Why Eagles should hire Duce Staley as offensive coordinator

Why Eagles should hire Duce Staley as offensive coordinator

The Eagles' search for a new offensive coordinator should begin right inside their own building.
Offensive coordinator jobs usually go to hot quarterback coaches and former quarterbacks, but I can’t think of anybody more qualified to take this offense to the next level than Duce Staley.
Two years ago, Doug Pederson gave Duce the assistant head coach title, which speaks volumes about how much he values Staley.
These two go back 20 years, when they were teammates on the 1999 Eagles. When Pederson became head coach in 2016 he didn’t hesitate to keep Staley, who had been on Andy Reid’s staff in 2011 and 2012 and also on Chip Kelly’s staff.
Staley is one of the brightest offensive minds I’ve been around. 
Obviously he knows the NFL running game. He ran for nearly 6,000 yards in his 10-year career with three 1,000-yard seasons, and in his seven years as running backs coach here, the Eagles have the 7th-most rushing yards in the NFL. And that’s with a constantly rotating cast of backs — Shady for a couple years and Miles Sanders this year but also guys like DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews, LeGarrette Blount, Josh Adams, Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood.
Staley’s knowledge of the passing game is just as keen. Heck, he was one of the NFL’s best receiving backs in the late 1990s and early 2000s. 
But this goes way beyond all that.
Staley isn’t just an innovative, knowledgeable offensive mind who has a long history with Pederson. He’s a master motivator. A terrific communicator. A positive force in the lives of all his players.
Look at the brilliant season Miles Sanders had and read his comments from last month about Duce.
You need someone to kick J.J. Arcega-Whiteside’s ass after another dropped pass? Duce won't hesitate.
You need someone to work endless hours into the night going over the gameplan with Carson Wentz? Duce is your guy.
You need someone to find new ways to deploy a unique talent like Boston Scott? I can’t think of anybody more qualified.
The NFL becomes more of a passing league every year, and that’s why these jobs generally go to quarterback coaches.

I just hope Staley’s history as a running back and a running backs coach doesn’t exclude him from this conversation.
Pederson won a Super Bowl with a long-time NFL quarterback, Frank Reich, in the offensive coordinator chair, and Mike Groh’s successor could very well be a QB.
Among the leading candidates are Mike Kafka, the Chiefs’ quarterbacks coach, who played here under Pederson and coached with him in Kansas City; current Eagles QBs coach Press Taylor; one-time Eagles QBs coach and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur; former Redskins coach Jay Gruden, a record-setting QB at Louisville; Shurmur’s former OC and QB coach Mike Shula; and Ravens QBs coach James Urban, a one-time Eagles QBs coach.
Quarterback coaches. All of 'em. And you can understand why.

Everything today revolves around finding a franchise quarterback and then surrounding him with the best talent and the best coaching minds you can find.
But the Ravens have one of the NFL’s most explosive and exciting offenses in the league, and their offensive coordinator is a former o-line coach, Greg Roman. Heck, the Vikings had one of the NFL’s best offenses this year, and their offensive coordinator, Kevin Stefanski, was a star defensive back at St. Joe’s Prep and Penn. 
It’s not about what position you played, it’s about what you bring to the table, and few people have meant more to this organization as a player and a coach over the last generation than Staley.
Staley has a strong relationship with everybody on this roster. He has a very good and productive working relationship with Pederson. He has a mastery of this offense and understands personnel. He’s proven over and over he’ll get the most out of the players he works with. 
He may not be a hot name, but he very well could be the best name.

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Watch Eagles cheerleader Kyle Tanguay crush his American Idol audition

Watch Eagles cheerleader Kyle Tanguay crush his American Idol audition

Rookie Eagles cheerleader Kyle Tanguay captured Philly fans' collective hearts this past season with his energy and excitement at the Linc. It was an instant connection. 

Over the weekend, he did the same thing with American Idol's judges.

Tanguay, 21, zipped down to Washington, D.C., to audition for the rebooted singing competition after his first year with the Birds' cheerleading squad, looking to broaden his performance horizons after the warm reception he received in 2019.

The Eagles' cheerleading squad showed out in a big way for Tanguay's audition in front of Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan, including performing a quick custom "Kyle" cheer after flooding the audition room.

Ultimately, though, Tanguay wasn't going to get a free trip through the contest if he couldn't sing.

His clip on Sunday night's show showed: he can really, really sing.

That's a no-joke performance from someone who had never sung in public.

Tanguay talked with NBC Sports Philadelphia's Brooke Destra earlier this month about the audition:

It was the most craziest experience ever and it really allowed me to remind myself that it’s okay to step outside your comfort zone. The experience on the show was so awesome, so exciting and it’s something that I cannot wait for the world to see.

Tanguay keeps the hits coming. Auditions continue through mid-March, and then we head to Hollywood, where Tanguay will probably win even more fans.

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Doug Pederson explains why he no longer has an offensive coordinator

Doug Pederson explains why he no longer has an offensive coordinator

As Doug Pederson enters Year 5 as Eagles head coach, there’s a notable change to the structure of his coaching staff. 

He doesn’t have an offensive coordinator. And now we have a reason why. 

Earlier this offseason, Pederson fired offensive coordinator Mike Groh a day after he said Groh was safe and then shook up the structure of his coaching staff, electing to move forward sans an official OC. 

As the NFL world gets ready to take over Indianapolis this week for the annual NFL Scouting Combine, Pederson spoke the the Eagles Insider Podcast and finally explained his decision. 

It’s a great question because it’s a question I have really pondered about for quite some time, really for many years. You look around the league and there are teams who don’t have coordinators. There are teams that have coordinators. I’ve had a coordinator by title. I look at the structure of what we’re doing offensively and how collaborative we put our game plans together. It’s like players; it’s not about one guy. Same way on the coaching staff. It’s not about one coach who has to do everything. It’s a collaborative effort. 

“Bottom line, I’m the one calling plays on game day. So in some facets, you could consider me the offensive coordinator as well. The more I thought about it, I’m like, just again, I’m really excited about Press (Taylor). I think he’s got a bright future. Giving him the title of passing game coordinator, really again, gives him the opportunity to give more thought and input on our game plans. Having Rich (Scangarello) being as a senior offensive assistant, he can assist and help sort of bridge the gap with [Jeff Stoutland] and Press and putting all the pieces together, along with myself and Justin Peele and Duce Staley. Just bringing our game plans together. That’s what I want. That’s my vision for this season and really having a seamless transition that way. 

“When we win, we win as a team. Again, it’s not about one guy getting the credit. I feel like this is the best structure for us, for me as the play caller. Because there’s times when I get pulled in a lot of different directions and I gotta lean on Press. And I’m going to have to lean on Rich and Jeff Stoutland and the guys to really pull the game plans together and really give me the information that I need as we prepare for games.” 

While Pederson — and really everyone inside the NovaCare Complex — has always stressed a collaborative effort in all football manners, he didn’t really give any specifics about how the workload will be split and how Groh’s former responsibilities will be divided up in the new power structure. 

Hopefully, we’ll get some of those answers in Indianapolis this week. 

As a reminder, he’s an updated look at the new structure of the Eagles’ offensive coaching staff. 

Head coach/play caller: Doug Pederson

Quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator: Press Taylor 

Offensive line coach/run game coordinator: Jeff Stoutland 

Senior offensive assistant: Rich Scangarello 

Running backs coach/assistant head coach: Duce Staley 

Tight ends coach: Justin Peele 

Wide receivers coach: Aaron Moorehead 

Pass game analyst: Andrew Breiner 

It’s not unheard of for an NFL coach with a clear focus on one side of the ball — like Pederson on offense — to not have an official coordinator. But this is just the first time he has elected to have this setup. 

The optics weren’t great a month and a half ago when Pederson gave Groh a vote of confidence only to fire him a day later, but on the podcast claimed he was still going through his evaluation process at the time. 

At the time, one obvious theory was that Pederson wanted to keep Groh and the front office overruled him. But that’s a theory that has been shot down multiple times by the Eagles. And Pederson on this podcast said that he listened to input from his bosses but, ultimately, the coaching staff is up to him. 

“The coaching staff is my responsibility,” he said. “I’m the one that hires them and I’m obviously the one that has to do the dirty work and sometimes let coaches go. That’s my responsibility.”

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