Duce Staley

Eagles might not hire an offensive coordinator after all

Eagles might not hire an offensive coordinator after all

Maybe the Eagles aren't going to replace Frank Reich after all. 

Reich left his post as the Eagles' offensive coordinator earlier this week when he accepted the head coaching job in Indianapolis, but it seems like the Eagles might not be in a hurry to give his old title to someone new. 

The Eagles have "no immediate plan" to hire an offensive coordinator, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, who also says they could give receivers coach Mike Groh and running backs coach Duce Staley more responsibility. 

In a way, this makes sense. The Eagles' offensive coordinator is really head coach Doug Pederson, who runs that side of the ball and even calls plays on Sundays. Reich offered a great sounding board, but the team is coming off a Super Bowl appearance and if they have enough cooks in the kitchen, why potentially mess up their chemistry? 

It's rare for a team to keep the offensive coordinator title vacant, but not unheard of. In fact, the Eagles wouldn't even be the only team in the NFL right now to do it. 

In San Francisco, head coach Kyle Shanahan serves as the 49ers' offensive coordinator. He called his own plays in 2017. 

The same is true in Houston with Bill O'Brien. O'Brien began his time in Houston without an offensive coordinator, then promoted quarterbacks coach George Godsey to OC. But when the team fired Godsey after the 2016 season, they didn't hire a replacement. Instead, O'Brien went back to calling plays and wearing both hats. 

The Rams also don't technically have an offensive coordinator either after Matt LaFleur left for the same title with play-calling duties in Tennessee. Now, Sean McVay has a run game coordinator and a pass game coordinator who kind of take over the traditional OC job. 

Play-calling is pretty much the difference in all of these cases. Traditionally, it has been the offensive coordinator's job to call plays, but when a team has a head coach who does it, the OC position becomes less of a necessity. 

Reich was a unique member of the Eagles' staff because of his relationship with Pederson; it was worth having him around. For now, it appears the Eagles have deemed it's not worth trying to find someone to take that title right away. 

Eagles set to promote rising star to QBs coach

eagles-press-taylor.jpg
Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles set to promote rising star to QBs coach

It looks like the Eagles are ready to promote one of the rising stars in their coaching department. 

After John DeFilippo's departure for the Vikings' offensive coordinator job, the Eagles are expected to promote Press Taylor to fill his old position as quarterbacks coach, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport on Monday.

Taylor, who just turned 30 last month, has been with the Eagles since the 2013 season when Chip Kelly hired him as an offensive quality control coach. Not only did Doug Pederson keep Taylor on his first coaching staff, he promoted him in 2016 to the team's assistant quarterbacks coach. 

It was actually Taylor who now-famously mined the "Philly Special" play from watching film of the Bears-Vikings game from the 2016 regular-season finale. 

Not all that far removed from his playing days at Marshall, Taylor became an offensive graduate assistant at Tulsa in 2011 and stayed there for just two seasons before Kelly hired him, starting Taylor's quick ascent to now being one of the most important position coaches on the staff. 

Taylor is obviously one of the youngest coaches on the staff, but he now has the job to help Carson Wentz continue to grow in Year 3 as he comes off an ACL and LCL tear. It'll also be Taylor's job to keep Nick Foles ready and to continue Nate Sudfeld's development. 

With Taylor's taking the quarterbacks coach job, that obviously rules out receivers coach Mike Groh, who would have also seemingly been a good fit. Groh has a background with the quarterback position and seemed open to the idea of one day coaching them again. 

After Taylor fills the quarterbacks coach opening, the Eagles still need to figure out how to replace Frank Reich at offensive coordinator. Groh could be a possibility there, but so could running backs coach Duce Staley

Duce Staley's promotion could be coming

Duce Staley's promotion could be coming

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.”