‘Strong Candidate:’ Ex-Rams Assistant Could Turn to Sean McVay Protege

Sean McVay

Getty Sean McVay congratulates Brandon Staley on January 1, 2023 in Inglewood.

Though he’s moved on from running the defense for the Los Angeles Rams, Brandon Staley may be tapping into the Sean McVay tree to help him find his next offensive coordinator.

First reported by Tom Peliserro of the NFL Network on Friday, January 20, the Los Angeles Chargers have asked to speak with Zac Robinson, who currently serves as quarterback coach and passing game coordinator for the Rams. Pelissero adds that Robinson is considered a strong contender for the opening with the Chargers

“The Chargers requested an interview with Rams pass game coordinator/QBs coach Zac Robinson and he’s considered a strong candidate for their offensive coordinator job, per sources,” Pelissero reported. “Robinson, 36, is a former NFL QB and now a fast-rising assistant.”

Familiarity with Staley certainly helps both parties.

“Brandon Staley was on the Rams’ staff with Zac Robinson in 2020, so there’s familiarity there. L.A. fired Joe Lombardi earlier this week, and now have a coveted OC opening,” Pelissero said.

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network added that the Baltimore Ravens “have put in their word” for their own offensive coordinator opening following the resignation of Greg Roman.

Staley Came Under Fire After Chargers Elimination

Staley will soon enter his third season as an NFL head coach. But many called for his firing following the Chargers’ Super Wild Card Weekend debacle against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Already taking heat from fans and media for playing his starters in Week 18 when the Chargers had already clinched a playoff berth, Staley’s Chargers blew a 27-0 lead and ended up on the wrong side of the third biggest NFL comeback in playoff history in losing to the Jags 31-30.

Stephen A. Smith of ESPN was one of the most outspoken critics for Staley, saying on First Take “Ladies and gentlemen, Brandon Staley should not be allowed on the plane ride home.”

Staley also dismissed the question of whether Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson had out-coached Staley in the end, saying it was a “high-level game all the way around.”

But instead of losing his gig, the Chargers and Staley opted to clean house after the playoff collapse by firing the OC Lombardi. The move was made despite the Chargers ranking third overall in passing yards and taking ninth in total yards. Quarterback Justin Herbert additionally improved his completion percentage in 2022 under Lombardi.

This move points to Staley seeking to find someone who can work with the Pro Bowl quarterback first, then expand on utilizing Pro Bowl Austin Ekeler and veteran wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.

Robinson Avoided Staff Changes in Rams

On Wednesday, January 18, McVay went through his own coaching staff changes in parting ways with five different assistants including special teams coach Joe DeCamillis and offensive line coach Kevin Carberry.

Robinson remained one of the holdovers of the 2022 staff. He is largely credited for helping reignite Baker Mayfield in his third NFL stop for the 2022 season — who went on to deliver his best completion percentage since his rookie season with Robinson working alongside him.

The former Oklahoma State quarterback Robinson is additionally lauded for helping produce the Super Bowl winning season for Matthew Stafford in 2021, which saw Stafford match a previous career-high in touchdown passes with 41.

Now, Robinson could be in for a coaching elevation — which officially involves two AFC suitors including one with a past McVay assistant.

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