After being bypassed for promotion twice, Eagles RBs coach Duce Staley should be unhappy, but he's not

Paul Domowitch, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Football

From the outside looking in, it might seem that Duce Staley has plenty of reason to be bitter about his job situation with the Eagles.

Staley has been the team's running backs coach since 2013. He is one of the most respected coaches at that position in the NFL.

Yet, when Doug Pederson was looking for a new offensive coordinator 2 1/2 years ago after Frank Reich left to become the Indianapolis Colts' head coach following the Eagles' Super Bowl championship, he promoted wide receivers coach Mike Groh over Staley and made offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland the run-game coordinator.

As a consolation prize, Staley was given the added title of assistant head coach. But in the NFL, which currently has just three Black head coaches and only two Black offensive coordinators, that title has been mostly decorative, frequently given to minority assistants to make it look like the league is more serious about its minority hiring practices than it actually is.

Staley was essentially bypassed again earlier this year after Pederson fired Groh following the Eagles playoff loss to Seattle. This time, Pederson decided not to hire another coordinator, instead bringing in Rich Scangarello, who was the offensive coordinator in Denver last year and was the San Francisco 49ers' quarterbacks coach the year before that, as a senior offensive assistant and making quarterbacks coach Press Taylor the team's passing-game coordinator.

The Athletic reported in January that Staley had inquired about the running backs coaching job at his alma mater, the University of South Carolina. Neither the school nor Staley ever confirmed or denied the report.


But in a video call with reporters on Friday, Staley insisted that he's as happy as a clam coaching the Eagles' running backs.

"I'm not disappointed at all" about not getting the offensive coordinator job, he said. "I don't feel overlooked. I said about two years ago (after Groh replaced Reich) how it's a little different here with the Eagles.

"We're not about titles. We're about getting the job done, and that's what we've been doing here for a while. We all have a chance to game plan. That's what's unique about our staff. We all have input. We're all able to go into a room and game plan together."

Staley, a 1,000-yard rusher with the Eagles in 1998, 1999 and 2002, was hired by Andy Reid as a special teams quality control coach in 2011.


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