Posted: February 13th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

I remember when the Eagles drafted Duce Staley in April of 1997. The Eagles had a pair of outstanding RBs in Ricky Watters and Charlie Garner. We knew Watters was likely to leave when his deal was up, but the thought of Garner and Staley as a 1-2 punch seemed pretty appealing.

That duo never amounted to much, but Staley became a workhorse runner starting in 1998. He ran for 5,785 yards as an Eagle and helped the team become a powerhouse under Andy Reid.

Reid gave Staley a chance as a coaching intern in 2010. He then got a job as part of the staff in 2011, working on STs. Staley eventually became the RBs coach under Chip Kelly and he’s held that position ever since. In Feb of 2018, Staley was also named Assistant Head Coach.

Staley is a smart veteran coach. He’s been part of the Eagles family for a long time. Staley and Doug Pederson played together and they’ve coached together.

How is it that Staley didn’t get any consideration for the offensive coordinator position when the Eagles were looking?

Staley came into the league in Jon Gruden’s West Coast Offense. He then played for Reid in the WCO. Staley did go to Pittsburgh for a couple of years. He played in Ken Whisenhunt’s offense. Staley then came back to the Eagles as a coach, working in the WCO under Reid, Kelly and Pederson. To be fair, Chip used college ideas, but a lot of his passing game was Pat Shurmur, who had learned the WCO from Reid.

Staley knows the WCO pretty thoroughly.

The problem with that is that Jeffrey Lurie didn’t want more WCO this offseason. He’s already got Pederson running the Eagles attack. Pederson is a WCO guru, having coached and played in it for two decades.

Lurie didn’t make any public announcements, but if you follow the Eagles actions, you can tell that the team was looking for outside ideas.

One target was Graham Harrell, the OC at USC and an expert in the Air Raid offense.

The Eagles reportedly had interest in a pair of 49ers assistants, hoping to get someone from the Kyle Shanahan system.

There was a report that the Eagles wanted to talk to Mike Kafka. He played for and coached under Andy Reid, but did play for six other NFL teams. Kafka also spent a season coaching at Northwestern and seeing the spread offense up close.

The Eagles wanted to talk to James Urban, who coached under Andy Reid. He has worked for the Ravens and their unique offense the past couple of years. He spent several years working for the Bengals, part of that working under Hue Jackson. Hue isn’t a good head coach, but he is a creative offensive mind.

If you look at that, the Eagles were focused on younger coaches. They wanted someone who could bring new ideas to the team. Several of the coaches had some type of college experience. That’s where a lot of new ideas come from so you can see why the Eagles would be interested.

Staley wouldn’t have brought anything new to the position of OC. He wasn’t what the Eagles were looking for.

Too many people are making this a case of whether he was qualified. That’s not the question. Staley has the right mind, right experience and right leadership skills. The Eagles were looking for new ideas.

If anything happens to Doug Pederson (fired, retired, abducted by aliens, etc.), Staley would get an interview to be his replacement. Staley is a strong leader. He is tough on his players. He is a demanding coach. Staley has the skill set to be a good head coach.

Just because the Eagles didn’t interview Staley for the OC job doesn’t mean they don’t think highly of him. He wasn’t the right fit for what they wanted in a new coach.

The two guys the Eagles did bring in, Rich Scangarello and Andrew Breiner, have the kind of new ideas the team wanted. Needed, actually. I wrote about them here.

I understand how some fans are frustrated at Staley being passed over. He’s been a part of the Eagles family for a long time. You want him to succeed. I can see where Staley might be frustrated with the situation.

Any notion that Staley should quit out of frustration is nuts. He has a good job with a good team. Staley has a legit chance to be a head coach in the future. Quitting would be like cutting off your nose to spite your face. If he has a better opportunity elsewhere, go for it. But just quitting to show the Eagles he’s frustrated? That would be dumb.


One thing we absolutely know…Duce can coach up some RBs.

He hasn’t had great resources in recent years, but has managed to get the most out of his guys.

2016 – Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood

2017 – LeGarrette Blount, Corey Clement, Jay Ajayi, Wendell Smallwood

2018 – Josh Adams, Corey Clement, Jay Ajayi, Wendell Smallwood

2019 – Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard, Boston Scott

I love this video. Toward the end he gets on Clement and it cracks me up.

Here is Duce in the OTAs.


One Comment on “Duce”

  1. 1 AffiliateLabz said at 12:39 PM on February 15th, 2020:

    Great content! Super high-quality! Keep it up! 🙂