A league source familiar with Duce Staley's thinking shot down a report on a national website that the Eagles' long-time assistant coach contacted South Carolina football officials about a vacancy on their coaching staff.
According to a story in The Athletic about the current state of the Gamecocks’ coaching staff, South Carolina football beat writer Josh Kendall wrote that Staley recently contacted head coach Will Muschamp about the running backs coach vacancy at South Carolina and was “rebuffed.”
Running backs coach Thomas Brown left the program this week to take the running backs job under Sean McVay with the Rams, where he replaces Skip Peete, who was not retained. Peete’s brother Rodney is a former Eagles quarterback and teammate of Staley.
But the source said Staley did not inquire about the job and would never consider leaving the Eagles for a college position coach role.
Staley has been bypassed several times for promotions in his nine years as an Eagles assistant coach. But it’s hard to imagine any NFL position coach willingly leaving for a college position coach job, no matter how unhappy or frustrated he may be.
In a way, you can’t blame Staley if he is growing frustrated.
The former Eagles great was given a courtesy interview for the head coaching vacancy in 2016 after Chip Kelly was fired, but that was largely seen as a move merely to satisfy the NFL's Rooney Rule requirements.
When Doug Pederson hired Mike Groh as offensive coordinator instead of Staley after the 2017 season he gave Staley the additional title of “assistant head coach,” but that title is seen as largely ceremonial.
And after this past season, when Groh was fired, Staley was seen as a top candidate again for the job, but Pederson instead hired Rich Scangarello from the Broncos as senior offensive assistant and promoted quarterbacks coach Press Taylor to the role of passing game coordinator.
Staley still carries the title of assistant head coach, but the Eagles also have a senior offensive assistant, a passing game coordinator and a running game coordinator in O-line coach Jeff Stoutland.
They no longer have anybody with the title of offensive coordinator.
Pederson and Staley go back to 1999 when they were teammates on Andy Reid’s first team here.
Including his seven years as a player and nine years as a coach, Staley has spent 16 of the last 23 years with the Eagles.
Staley was a three-time 1,000-yard rusher for the Eagles and remains the 5th-leading rusher in franchise history with 4,807 yards. He’s also 4th among running backs in Eagles history with 275 catches.
Andy Reid first brought Staley in as a special teams quality control coach in 2011, and Kelly promoted him to running backs coach in 2013.
In his seven years as running backs coach, the Eagles rank 7th in the NFL in rushing yards with 123 per game and 9th in rushing average at 4.3. All that despite having a different leading rusher each year since 2014.