Report: Duce Staley to Join Lions After Requesting Out from Eagles Contract

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 25, 2021

Philadelphia Eagles' Duce Staley watches warm ups before a preseason NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Michael Perez/Associated Press

Duce Staley will reportedly become the Detroit Lions assistant head coach and running backs coach after holding the same positions with the Philadelphia Eagles, according to Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Staley had been the Eagles running back coach since 2013, but he asked out of his deal after the team hired Nick Sirianni as its new head coach.

According to John Clark of NBC Sports, he had "several other opportunities" around the league.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported the Chicago Bears also had interest in the 45-year-old.

Staley spent 10 years in the NFL as a player, including seven with the Philadelphia Eagles. He returned to Philadelphia in 2010 as a coaching intern and worked his way up through the staff.

His rise has stalled recently, however, even though he interviewed for the head coaching job in 2016 and 2021 as well as offensive coordinator in 2018 and 2020, per Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

The coach will now get a fresh start with the Lions under new head coach Dan Campbell.

Campbell had served as an assistant head coach and position coach for the past five years with the New Orleans Saints, so he likely sees the value in the role. Staley has also earned plenty of praise from players hoping to see him get a bigger role somewhere.

Malcolm Jenkins @MalcolmJenkins

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!

"Selfishly, I would love for him to stay here and be with us," Eagles running back Boston Scott said, per Bowen. "But I would hope he does get an opportunity to have an increased role in a coaching staff, and stuff like that, because I really think his work is there. I just really hope he gets that shot."

He will now try to help a Lions franchise that hasn't won a playoff game since 1991 and is coming off three straight losing seasons. The rushing attack could especially use improvements after ranking 30th in the NFL in 2020.

Detroit hasn't finished in the top 20 in rushing yards since 2013. Staley and talented young running back D'Andre Swift could help snap that streak in 2021.