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Brandon Staley on fourth downs: “If we lose, we’re going to do it on our terms”

The Chargers led the NFL with 22 successful conversions on fourth downs last season, but as is usually the case, head coach Brandon Staley also took some criticism when the Chargers were stopped on fourth downs. He says he can accept that.

Staley believes that the Chargers’ aggressive style of play is going to pay off more often than not, and that when it doesn’t work out, the Chargers at least will know they played the game their way.

“There has to be a fearlessness to play in this game, and what I wanted to establish was that,” Staley told TheAthletic.com. “The history of this team when I got here, it was like someone’s going to get hurt, they’re going to blow a lead, something catastrophic is going to happen. There’s this ‘Chargering’ thing. There’s all of these external factors that I know in my life, they’re just all excuses. They’re just all excuses.

“And so, how do you change that? Well, you have to do things different, you have to have a different approach. . . . Our mindset’s going to be on us, it’s not going to be on the opponent. It’s going to be on us. So creating that fearless mindset of, we are going to be aggressive, we’re going to put the ball in our hands, we’re going to trust our guys to make plays.

“If we lose, we’re going to do it on our terms, not someone else’s terms.”

Coaches across the NFL are getting more aggressive on fourth downs, and Staley is leading the way, accepting that the fourth down failures will be outweighed by the fourth down successes.