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Former Lions positional coach fired by Panthers

Former Detroit Lions running backs coach/assistant head coach Duce Staley was fired from the same position with the Carolina Panthers on Monday.

Carolina Panther vs New York Giants Perry Knotts/Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers started the week by announcing the firing of head coach Frank Reich. But as the day went on, it became apparent that this was not the only coaching change they were making. As first reported by ESPN, assistant head coach and running backs Duce Staley and quarterbacks coach Josh McCown were also let go by the organization.

This offseason, Staley left his job with the Detroit Lions—of the same title—in order to be closer to family. More specifically, he wanted to be near his mother, who was reportedly dealing with a health issue.

“She’s my heart, she’s my rock,” Staley said. “So if I had an opportunity to come home, I said to myself for a long time, I would.”

In Carolina, though, the offense struggled mightily. Through 12 weeks, the Panthers rank 29th in points scored and 31st in yards. In terms of the run game, Carolina ranks 29th in yards and 27th in yards per carry. The lack of development of rookie quarterback Bryce Young also likely heavily factored into the Panthers’ decision to let both Staley and McCown go.

It’s a tough break for Staley, who made a very understandable decision to take the Panthers job this offseason. He was one of the more beloved coaches in Detroit, both with his fellow coaches and his players.

“I just kinda found out about that,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said on Monday. “It’s unfortunate. I hate that for him. You don’t want to hear (about) anybody losing their job. It’s tough.”

To replace Staley, the Lions hired Scottie Montgomery, who holds the exact same position Staley did in Detroit (assistant head coach and running backs coach).

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