The Detroit Lions are having more changes to their coaching staff this year. According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, Lions assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley is getting hired by the Carolina Panthers. At this point, it is not clear what Staley’s role will be with the Panthers.
The Panthers just hired Frank Reich to be their head coach and he has a connected history with Staley. Reich was the offensive coordinator for the Eagles from 2016-17 while Staley was the team’s running back coach.
Staley has held his role in Detroit for the past two seasons, helping develop and motivate D’Andre Swift along the way, and he’s certainly been partially responsible for Jamaal Williams’ career season, crossing over 1,000 yards for the first time in his career and setting the franchise record with 17 rushing touchdowns in a season.
“He knows what it takes,” Swift said of Staley back in training camp. “He’s been in the position that I was in, so he the type of coach that’s going to push me to my limits and that’s the type of coach that I need.”
The Lions have been grooming Staley for a promotion since he landed in Detroit. Last year, he was able to act as head coach for the Senior Bowl, and as assistant head coach, he had more input in decisions than a running backs coach typically would.
Again, it’s unclear what role Staley will have with the Panthers, but one would assume it’s a promotion. As for the Lions, they will need to find another running backs coach for 2023, and Staley’s passion for the position will not be easy to replace.
Update: Justin Rogers of the Detroit News has more information on Staley’s exit:
Confirming Duce Staley is leaving for Carolina. It's still unclear what his role will be with the Panthers, but OC is in play. Lions let him go to be closer to his mother, who is dealing with some health issues.— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) February 1, 2023