5 refreshing insights from LA Rams DC Brandon Staley’s perspective

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I – Defense from a former quarterback’s perspective

The first fresh take was the evolution from an offensive quarterback into the role of a defensive mindset.  Before his entrance into the defensive side of the field, Staley was a quarterback for James Madison University. A quarterback with no easy road to the NFL to play professionally. So he did what most do, he pursued a football coaching track.

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That pursuit led him to sign on with Northern Illinois head coach Jim Novack. But Novack didn’t need help on offense.  Staley signed on as a defensive graduate assistant because Novack loved the entire quarterback-turned-defensive-coach angle.  Per Staley, Novack had great success with a former quarterback on the defensive side of the ball, Scott Schaeffer.  So Staley signed on to follow the same path.

Having that aspect placed out there, it makes perfect sense. Send a thief to catch a thief mindset. Or rather, in this case, send a former quarterback to outthink a quarterback.

Per a November 28, 2019 interview for DenverBroncos.com, Staley elaborated further, describing the role of a defensive graduate assistant as being solely responsible for running the scout team.  To do that, the graduate assistant must think like a quarterback, must prepare in the same fashion as the opposing team quarterback. Having been a quarterback, the scout team preparation became second nature for Staley.

That mindset remains with Staley today. That mentality of looking at his defense from the view of how opposing offenses would go about creating mismatches and winning those mismatches. Look for that mindset to lead the Rams defense to be very prepared throughout the 2020 season.