As first reported by CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora and later confirmed by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Detroit Lions are adding former NFL running back Duce Staley to their coaching staff. Per Pelissero, Staley will be the team’s running backs coach and the team’s assistant head coach.
Staley was the longest-tenured coach with the Philadelphia Eagles, serving the exact same two roles with their franchise. But after 10 years, Staley wanted out given the changes happening with the Eagles franchise and after being passed over for the head coaching position in favor of Nick Sirianni.
Here’s what Eagles running back Boston Scott told the Philadelphia Inquirer about losing Staley.
“Not having him there [in the running backs room] is huge,” said Eagles running back Boston Scott, who said Staley was “not just a coach, but a friend, mentor, and teacher. I’m sure Miles [Sanders] feels the same way.”
And defensive end Brandon Graham:
“It [stinks],” Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham said Sunday, when asked about Staley’s impending departure. “But I understand it. New coach, new people. Duce will be a good asset to a staff, wherever he goes.”
Staley is obviously a well-respected coach among players, but he’s also clearly valued among coaches, as well. His upward trajectory could eventually land him a head coaching job. He interviewed for the Eagles job twice now and also their offensive coordinator position in 2018. Some Eagles players reportedly pushed for him to get the job after they fired Doug Pederson earlier this year. The Bears were reportedly interested in bringing Staley in, too.
Obviously, Staley’s addition likely means the end of Kyle Caskey’s run with the team. Caskey, too, is a well-respected and effective coach who helped D’Andre Swift navigate a difficult rookie year and made Kerryon Johnson acclimate well to his new role with the team as a third-down back. The Caskeys also created a charity called the Caskey Family Foundation, which helped give back to the Detroit community.
As of now, here’s what the Lions’ coaching staff looks like. Note that these hires have not been confirmed by the team unless otherwise stated.
Head coach: Dan Campbell (confirmed)
Offensive coordinator: Anthony Lynn
Offensive line coach: Hank Fraley
RB coach: Duce Staley
Defensive coordinator: Aaron Glenn (confirmed)
And here’s a look at their front office changes:
General manager: Brad Holmes (confirmed)
Assistant GM: Ray Angew
Unspecified role: John Dorsey
VP of Football Administration: Mike Disnder (confirmed)