The Philadelphia Eagles are giving Duce Staley another opportunity at their head coaching position, interviewing the longtime assistant and player for the job, per a report from John Clark of NBC Sports Philadelphia. Staley is very familiar with interviewing for a promotion on the Eagles' coaching staff, having interviewed for head coach in 2016 and offensive coordinator in 2018 and 2020 -- though he did not land any of the positions. He was promoted to assistant head coach in 2018.
Staley has a generation of experience with the Eagles organization, first as a running back from 1997 to 2003 then arriving on the coaching staff in 2011 and remaining there the past 10 seasons. A former third-round pick, Staley combined for 7,305 yards from scrimmage (4,807 rushing, 2,498 receiving) and 32 touchdowns in his seven seasons with the Eagles. He had three 1,000-yard seasons with the franchise, tied for second-most on the Eagles since a 16-game season was implemented in 1978.
Staley was hired by former Eagles head coach Andy Reid in 2011 as a special teams quality control coach and was retained on the staff by Chip Kelly as a running backs coach in 2013. Doug Pederson retained Staley as running backs coach and promoted him to assistant head coach after the Eagles won the Super Bowl. Staley ran the team for a brief period while Pederson was out with COVID-19 in August.
Since Staley was hired as Philadelphia's running backs coach in 2013, the Eagles have the seventh-most rushing yards in the NFL despite not having a 1,000-yard rusher since LeSean McCoy in 2014. Philadelphia had a different rushing leader in every season from 2014 to 2019, and hasn't had its rushing leader from the previous season return to the roster the following year until the streak ended with Miles Sanders in 2020. Sanders was the first Eagles player since McCoy to lead the team in rushing in consecutive seasons. The Eagles have averaged 123.2 rushing yards per game under Staley since he became running backs coach.
Eagles owner and CEO Jeffrey Lurie has already endorsed Staley as a head coaching candidate, putting him in serious consideration for the job. Staley is also very popular amongst the players in the Eagles' locker room and has been a motivator on Pederson's coaching staff.
Duce Staley #NextManUp !!! Every time he stood in front of the team he had the attention and respect of everyone in the room. The embodiment of what it means to be an 🦅 @Eagles , in a coach. I’m good where I’m at lol BUT, In another lifetime I’d love to play for him!— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) January 11, 2021
"I think that we are very open and it's top of mind to make sure we have some of the best minority candidates in on the search. It's very important I think for us, for the league and it's top of mind," Lurie said earlier in the week. "(Duce) is a great representative of the Eagles and knows our values. I would expect him to be part of the search, as well."