Chargers coach Brandon Staley tells reporters to 'stop asking that question. I'm going to [call] the defenses'

Lean in and listen closely, because Brandon Staley won't say this again.

He's the captain of this ship. He will be calling the defense — which has allowed the third-most points in the NFL since he became the Los Angeles Chargers head coach.

And he doesn't want to be asked about it again.

"You can stop asking that question," Staley told reporters on Sunday. "I'm going to be calling the defenses, okay? So we're clear. So you don't have to ask that again."

The way things are going for Staley, reporters won't have to keep asking him that question, or any other, much longer.

Loss after loss, the Chargers media group has asked Staley if he'd hand off the defensive play-calling duties. Media members asked after the Kansas City Chiefs rolled 31-17 over Los Angeles in Week 7.

Then they checked the temperature again following the 41-38 loss to the Detroit Lions a week ago, in which the defense allowed 533 yards, five touchdowns and more than 200 of those came on the ground. In Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins the defense conceded 536 total yards.

The Chargers are now 4-6, and coming off a demoralizing 23-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers in which Staley's defensive players picked each other to help free up receiver Romeo Doubs for the Packers game-winning score.

It's possible that the third-year coach is sitting on the hottest seat in football right now.

"You guys act like we've never played good defense," Staley said in a heated exchange. "That's not the truth. That's not the truth. You act like we haven't made any improvements. Today, in the run game, we played outstanding. We're rushing the quarterback well. What we've gotta do a better job of is in the passing game, and that's where our full attention is. It's where it will continue to be.

"There are a lot of other things that caused us to lose today. It certainly wasn't our defense. It was the way we played as a team. ... Stop making it about one unit, because that's not what happened out there today. Our team lost, and I am fully responsible for it."

That last part is certainly true.

The fact is, quarterback Justin Herbert played a great game against the Packers — he threw two touchdowns and for 260 yards on 21-of-36 passing. He also played well last week against the Lions.

But the Chargers lost today and a week ago, because their defense is a sieve. Herbert is constantly being put in the impossible position of putting up lots of points to compensate for that. And Staley won't admit that, even though his team is 1-3 when they score 30 or more points since the beginning of last season's playoffs. Other teams that have hit that marker during that stretch are 64-9.

Staley's inability acknowledge that may cost him more than wins and losses as the season progresses.

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