Duce Staley, who spent two years as Eagles running backs coach under offensive coordinator Frank Reich, is joining Reich’s Carolina Panthers staff, ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported Wednesday afternoon.
Although Staley’s role hasn’t been announced, Reich needs an offensive coordinator and Staley would seem to be an ideal fit.
After 12 years as a special teams coach and running backs coach, this would be the first coordinator opportunity for the 47-year-old Staley.
Staley was a finalist for the Eagles’ head coaching job after Doug Pederson was fired, and when he was passed over, he joined Dan Campbell’s Lions staff and spent the last two years as assistant head coach and running backs coach.
Reich was named head coach of the Panthers last Thursday after getting fired by the Colts. In 2016 and 2017, Staley’s two years with Reich, the Eagles had the 4th-most rushing yards in the NFL and won a Super Bowl.
Staley, the Eagles’ 2nd-round pick in 1997, ranks fifth in franchise history with 4,807 rushing yards. He had three 1,000-yard seasons, tied for 2nd-most by an Eagle behind LeSean McCoy’s four. He finished his career with the Steelers and won his first Super Bowl ring in 2005.
Andy Reid, who coached Staley his last five years with the Eagles, brought him in as a coaching intern in 2010 and then gave him his first full-time coaching job in 2011, when he served as special teams quality control coach. Staley remained with the Eagles under Chip Kelly as well as Doug Pederson, moving up to assistant head coach in Pederson’s last three years here.
Staley grew up in West Columbia, S.C., which is about 90 miles south of Charlotte. Lions beat writer Justin Rodgers of the Detroit News reported that Staley wanted to be closer to home to help out his mom, who has health issues.
The Panthers haven’t had a top-10 offense since the 2015 Super Bowl season, when they were No. 1.