Star running back Austin Ekeler revised his earlier statements Thursday about Los Angeles Chargers head coach Bruce Staley. His new comments don’t read like much of an improvement for the Chargers coaching regime.
Ekeler was asked if he has faith in Staley following the Chargers loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 7 that dropped Los Angeles to 2-4. Ekeler said he had “no choice” but to have faith in their head coach.
Ekeler’s comments weren’t a ringing endorsement of Staley, a head coach many fans and pundits thought should be fired following the Chargers’ loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the playoffs last season.
Austin Ekeler clarifies comments on the Chargers’ HC
The 28-year-old running back clarified his point Wednesday. Per Nick Shook’s transcription with NFL.com, Ekeler said his comments were taken out of context. Ekeler then offered another subtle shot at the coaching staff:
“I think the clip got taken out of context,” Ekeler explained Wednesday, per NFL Network’s Bridget Condon. “It doesn’t matter how I feel, like, what matters is I have to go out and do my job. It’s my job to go play well, and then that will [in turn] make Staley look even better.
“It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how I feel about it. I don’t give a damn about how I feel. I’m not spending one ounce of my energy thinking about how I feel because it doesn’t matter. What matters is I have to go execute.
And if I don’t feel like I did that at a high level, I can’t think about anything besides that. And so that’s where I’m coming from, where it’s like, how do you feel about Staley? I don’t have an opinion about that. Because I gotta make sure I do my job first.”
Ekeler is correct that if the team plays better, Staley will look better. However, Ekeler isn’t backing up his coach at all with his newest comment. Not having an opinion on Staley means, at best, he’s indifferent to the coaching staff.
The Chargers could be looking at a long next 11 games to finish the season. Ekeler is set to hit the free agency market in the offseason. One would assume he won’t stay a member of the Chargers next season–with Staley or not.
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