Philadelphia’s 2020 football season was a performance that fans never want to experience again. Although the year came to a close for the Eagles, their latest spectacle places them front and center in a coaching juggling act.
After filling the head coach position following several interviews, the Eagles will now close the curtain on assistant head coach Duce Staley. After a decade in Philadelphia, Staley will now fill that same role for the Detroit Lions.
ONE TOO MANY TIMES
Since Doug Pederson’s departure, the Eagles interviewed ten candidates for the head coach position — Staley among them.
As the longest-tenured member on Philadelphia’s coaching staff, Staley joined the Eagles in 2010 as an intern. He worked as a special teams quality control coach under Andy Reid, running backs coach under Chip Kelly, and was promoted to assistant head coach under Doug Pederson (while still maintaining his running backs coach role). He won his first Super Bowl ring as a coach in 2018 and was interim head coach when Pederson was diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier this year.
But it seems as if that wasn’t enough to earn him the coveted role to lead the Philadelphia Eagles… and it wasn’t the first time. In fact, Staley has not been given the chance to lead on three previous occasions.
In 2016, Lurie bypassed him for Doug Pederson. 2018, the Eagles hired Mike Groh instead of Staley for the offensive coordinator position. And, in 2020, rather than the offensive coordinator role going to Staley, the position was never filled.
IF THE EAGLES CAN’T PROVIDE IT, SOMEONE ELSE WILL
During the team’s search for a head coach, numerous players across the NFL endorsed Duce Staley for the job.
Former Eagles player Malcolm Jenkins took to Twitter, stating, “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!”
Ultimately the Eagles hired Indianapolis Colts’ offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni.
Shortly after, Staley requested out of his contract to pursue coaching opportunities elsewhere, and it didn’t take long before another team realized what an asset he would be.
A FUTURE ELSEWHERE
Yesterday, it was announced that Duce Staley will leave Philadelphia to join the Detroit Lions under head coach Dan Campbell.
Campbell is also new to the Lions, officially hired on January 20. The pair have never played or coached together; however they both played for the NFC East — Staley as a Philadelphia Eagle and Campbell with the Giants and Cowboys. Beginning their coaching careers one year apart, the two are likely to make a big impact to the team.
As of today, Campbell and Staley will also be joined by Eagles’ special teams coach Dave Fipp.
Although Staley’s locker room presence will be absent going into the upcoming season, he will surely be missed by the team and Philadelphia fans. We wish him all the best as he continues to his success throughout his career.