Austin Ekeler: I don’t have an opinion on Brandon Staley, and it doesn’t matter; I have to do my job

The Chargers are facing a disappointing season, and their 2-4 start has put coach Brandon Staley under pressure.

Star running back Austin Ekeler recently responded concisely when asked if the locker room still supports Staley.

“We have no choice, right?” Ekeler replied.

Ekeler clarified his statement this week, explaining that it was not meant as criticism.

“I believe my comment was taken out of context,” Ekeler told Bridget Condon of NFL Media. “How I feel is irrelevant, what matters is that I have to perform well on the field. It’s my responsibility to play well, and by doing so, I can enhance Staley’s reputation.”

“My personal emotions don’t matter. I don’t care about how I feel. I won’t waste any energy thinking about my feelings because they are inconsequential. What matters is executing my role. If I believe I didn’t perform at a high level, I can’t focus on anything else. So, when asked about my opinion of Staley, I don’t have one. My priority is to fulfill my duties.”

During the offseason, Ekeler expressed interest in a trade and sought a better contract. Eventually, he received a revised deal with additional incentives.

An ankle injury has limited Ekeler to three games this season, resulting in only 53 touches for 272 yards and a touchdown. While the Chargers rank eighth in total offense, their rushing game is ranked 16th.

It’s not a favorable start, especially in a contract year.

“Emotions are irrelevant,” Ekeler acknowledged. “Whether I feel happy or sad doesn’t matter at all. I have a job to do. I need to show up and focus on executing my plays. That’s all that matters. I evaluate the day based on what we’re going over, how I execute it, my energy level, and my fundamentals. If I concentrate on these aspects, which is primarily what I focus on, I have a daily mantra where I tell my fiancée, ‘Hey, go win the day.’ I respond with, ‘No one cares about your feelings. Let’s dominate this.’ It’s the same mindset I bring into the team.”


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