This piece has been updated after initially running on Feb. 3.
LeGarrette Blount wasn't even asked about Duce Staley. He was talking about Jay Ajayi and then all of a sudden he segued to Duce and what a terrific head coach he thinks his position coach would make.
“He’ll be a great head coach and hopefully he gets that opportunity," Blount said.
Staley's seventh year as an Eagles assistant coach and fifth year as running backs coach culminated with a Super Bowl ring. He and Doug Pederson are the only coaches on the current Eagles staff who coached under Andy Reid, and Staley is the only one who's coached under Reid, Chip Kelly and Pederson.
He's firmly established his credentials as one of the NFL's best running backs coach. But he wants more, and he deserves more.
With John DeFilippo now in Minnesota and Frank Reich in Indianapolis, Staley is a top internal candidate to become the Eagles' offensive coordinator.
"He know defensive schemes inside and out," Blount said. "He studies film relentlessly. He texts us throughout the week and sometimes throughout the night and it's just like, 'Hey man, make sure you look at this, make sure you look at that, make sure you understand this,' so we can go out there and play fast.
"I think he can be an amazing play-caller. Just because he’s a running back doesn’t mean that he’d be one of those coaches who goes out there and runs the ball 60 times and throws it 15."
After retiring in 2006 and spending four years away from the game, Staley spent two years as the Eagles' special teams quality control coach under Reid before taking over running backs under Kelly.
Staley, 42, did interview for the Eagles' head coaching vacancy after Kelly was fired. He said he'd love the opportunity to move up in the coaching rankings.
“Yeah, definitely," he said in early February. "I think as coaches when you get into this business you're always looking to climb the ladder. Not looking to maintain that certain position.
"When you have a chance to move forward, when you have a chance to advance, you definitely want to take advantage of it."
Pederson and Staley were teammates in 1999. Staley had a franchise-record three 1,000-yard rushing seasons during his Eagles career. Along with former teammate Brian Westbrook, LeSean McCoy — who he coached — and Wilbert Montgomery, he's one of only four players in Eagles history with 4,000 rushing yards and 250 catches.
“Duce has done a great job," Pederson said before the Super Bowl. "He definitely, kind of like myself, leans on his experiences as a player because he’s been there, done that, out there in the games.
"The running back coach position, it takes a special coach. I don’t think just anybody can do it. You’ve got to have a presence about yourself, you’ve got to have a way about yourself, you’ve got to be able to communicate with different personalities in that room, and in our case we’ve got a couple starters in that room, and he’s been able to really shape them and mold them and get them to buy into what we’re doing offensively.
"Each one has a role, he does a great job with that, and he knows when to be hard on them. They all take coaching extremely well, and he’s been a big asset to that room, to the running backs, and to me.”
For whatever reason, Staley had not previously been considered a "hot name" when offensive coaching promotions were discussed, but he should have been.
Since he became running backs coach in 2013, the Eagles have the fifth-most rushing yards in the NFL and the sixth-highest rushing average at 4.4 yards per carry.
They're also third in scoring during that span and fourth in total yards.
"Duce is a guy who wants to win a lot of football games and he’ll do whatever it takes to win those games," Blount said. "So as a head coach I think he’d be a perfect candidate for a lot of teams.”