More on Duce

Posted: February 16th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 3 Comments »

The world of coaching is a fascinating and complicated subject. Assistant coaches want to help their current team win and they also want to advance their careers. There are times when those two ideas clash and that can cause some real issues.

Steve Spagnuolo was an assistant coach with the Eagles from 1999-2006. He wanted to be a defensive coordinator, but Andy Reid blocked him from talking to other teams a couple of times. This led to some friction between them. Spagnuolo did leave in 2007 and became the DC for the Giants, helping them to win a Super Bowl. Spags eventually became the head coach coach of the Rams. He didn’t do well in that job and was fired. Spags went back to being an assistant.

Reid hired Spagnuolo to be the Chiefs DC in 2019 and he helped Big Red win his first Super Bowl. It was special to see them hugging at the end of the game. You could see the real joy on Spags face, knowing he had helped his mentor reach the mountain top.

Their relationship had been strained when Reid denied Spags the chance to move on. That was long forgotten by 2019. Maybe success away from Reid healed the wound. Or maybe Spagnuolo’s time as a head coach changed his perspective.

As the head coach of a team, you want your assistants to do well and advance their careers. But you also have an obligation to your organization to keep as many talented players and coaches around for as long as you can. Reid wasn’t blocking Spagnuolo to be a jerk. He was trying to keep a good coach as part of the Eagles. Maybe Spags realized that when he became head coach of the Rams and had to look at things from a different perspective.

Duce Staley can’t be thrilled with Doug Pederson and the Eagles for the recent changes to the offensive staff. Why not reward him for being a loyal assistant and long time part of the Eagles family?

Pederson had to do what he thought was best for the organization, as well as listening to what Jeffrey Lurie wanted. Clearly Lurie wanted some outside ideas for the offense. That wasn’t going to happen by promoting Duce.

Pederson could have pushed the matter, but if he had won an argument with Lurie and promoted Duce, there would have been multiple concerns. Pederson would have had to replace Duce, who is an excellent RBs coach. Then there would have been the question of whether Duce was the right man to be offensive coordinator.

The smart move was to leave Duce as the RBs coach and to go find outsiders to help the offense. There are no guarantees the moves will work, but this was the smart course of action.

Duce has to be wondering about his future. Is he limited to being the RBs coach?

Duce talked to his alma mater about a job. This report makes it sound like a lateral move, but I guarantee you that is not the case. No sane person would stop being the RBs coach for an NFL team to become the RBs coach for a mediocre NCAA team. Duce would have taken a pay cut and would have had to learn the ins and outs of recruiting, the biggest drawback for most college coaches. No one likes begging high school kids to come play for them.

My guess is that Duce talked to South Carolina to see about a shot as their offensive coordinator or play-caller. Duce knows that he needs some time in a different offensive scheme and that he needs a chance to call plays. I think he was smart to consider a move to college.

Muschamp “rebuffed” him. I’m sure this was Muschamp’s way of saying “Don’t do this. Stay in the NFL.” Rebuff makes it sound like Muschamp didn’t want him. I’m sure Muschamp would have been thrilled to add a good coach. Instead, Muschamp did the right thing and told Duce the smart move is to stay with the Eagles. Muschamp has a 26-25 record at South Carolina and doesn’t have the best job security.

Duce clearly wants to move beyond his current role. I’m not sure what the right answer is because I don’t know his preferred goal. Is he more focused on becoming a head coach or an offensive coordinator?

The best advice I could give to Duce is to network and go to coaching clinics. Make yourself into an expert on the passing game. Study college football and see what trends are going on at that level.

I remember reading an interview with Press Taylor from last offseason where he was talking to other young coaches about the creative defensive schemes being played in the Big 12. The coaches were talking about what Matt Campbell does at Iowa State. Campbell and his staff don’t have elite talent so they have to be creative to deal with dynamic offenses. The coaches love talking X’s and O’s. There is a real passion for scheming.

I have no idea if Duce is like that. If he is, he needs to sell that side of himself. Duce is not a known commodity in terms of his knowledge of the passing game.

Some people think this is more about race than Duce’s background. I understand that point of view, but disagree.

The first head coach Lurie hired was Ray Rhodes. The first defensive coordinator hired under Lurie was Emmitt Thomas. Rhodes wanted Dick Daniels to help run the front office. There was no pressure by the NFL to hire a black coach. Lurie hired the best man for the job and then empowered him to hire the best people. Color wasn’t an issue.

Andy Reid’s first choice to be his DC was Marvin Lewis. He turned the Eagles down so they hired Jim Johnson.

Juan Castillo coached for the Eagles for more than a decade. No one pressured Lurie to hire a Latino coach. Castillo got his foot in the door and proved to be an excellent assistant.

The Eagles have had several high-ranking minority members of the scouting staff. Louis Riddick is the most prominent. Dwayne Joseph was a terrific Pro Personnel Director for the team. He left to go work for Mike Mayock.

The Eagles have been very open-minded under Lurie. I don’t think Duce’s skin color was an issue at all.

There is bias in the coaching world, but not necessarily how you think. Young is better than old. Offense is better than defense. QBs/WRs coaches are better than OL/RBs coaches. And don’t even bring up TEs coaches.

I’m not naive. There are bound to be some coaches/GMs who focus on race. There are some owners who think about race. I think most people are desperate enough to win that they will hire the best candidates, but clearly that isn’t always the case.

We do need more balance among NFL coaches and coordinators. The Rooney Rule needs to be adjusted so that more minority coaches are getting looked at.

You shouldn’t be able to interview minority coaches on your own staff and have that count. The goal is to get exposure to new coaches.

You could also stipulate that interviewing former head coaches shouldn’t count. Talking to Jim Caldwell or Leslie Frazier doesn’t grow the pool of minority candidates. Those guys are re-treads.

If you wanted to be aggressive, you could tell teams to interview one minority candidate from offense and one from defense/special teams when looking for a coach. The goal is here is to get exposure for coaches who may not be known around the league. There are some really talented coaches out there who just need a chance.

The next time we have a long discussion on Duce Staley I hope it is because he’s been able to take the next step in his coaching career, be it with the Eagles or elsewhere.


3 Comments on “More on Duce”

  1. 1 AffiliateLabz said at 6:30 PM on February 16th, 2020:

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

  2. 2 Eagles News: Nate Sudfeld aux Giants? | FR24 News France said at 9:45 AM on February 17th, 2020:

    […] Plus sur Duce – Iggles BlitzJe suppose que Duce a parlé à la Caroline du Sud pour voir un tir en tant que coordinateur offensif ou appelant. Duce sait qu’il a besoin de temps dans un schéma offensif différent et qu’il a besoin d’une chance d’appeler les pièces. Je pense qu’il était intelligent pour envisager un déménagement à l’université. Muschamp l’a «repoussé». Je suis sûr que c’était la façon de Muschamp de dire « Ne fais pas ça. Restez dans la NFL.  » Rebuff donne l’impression que Muschamp ne voulait pas de lui. Je suis sûr que Muschamp aurait été ravi d’ajouter un bon entraîneur. Au lieu de cela, Muschamp a fait la bonne chose et a dit à Duce que la décision intelligente était de rester avec les Eagles. Muschamp a une fiche de 26-25 en Caroline du Sud et n’a pas la meilleure sécurité d’emploi. Duce veut clairement aller au-delà de son rôle actuel. Je ne sais pas quelle est la bonne réponse car je ne connais pas son objectif préféré. Est-il plus concentré sur le fait de devenir entraîneur-chef ou coordonnateur offensif? […]

  3. 3 porndodo said at 7:49 PM on February 17th, 2020: