After a decade on the Eagles’ staff, Duce Staley is leaving Philadelphia.
The longtime assistant and former NFL running back is headed northwest to the Motor City, joining Dan Campbell’s new staff in Detroit as assistant head coach and running backs coach, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported.
Staley had become a fixture in Philadelphia over the last decade, surviving the departures of Andy Reid and Chip Kelly to stick with the Eagles through Doug Pederson’s tenure. In that span of time, Staley filled a variety of roles, serving as special teams quality control coach, running backs coach and assistant head coach. He’d grown to become a favorite son of Philadelphia, thanks to his seven seasons spent there as a player before making the traitorous but necessary move west to Pittsburgh for his final three NFL campaigns.
Staley owns two Super Bowl rings, earning one as a player with the Steelers in Super Bowl XL, and one as a coach with the Eagles in Super Bowl LII. His type of resume should bring him instant credibility with Lions players, who might be a little too young to remember Staley’s playing days but can’t look past the glint of two championship rings.
Staley’s hiring brings yet another ex-player to Campbell’s staff. The former NFL tight end has assembled a group that also includes former Broncos and 49ers running back Anthony Lynn (offensive coordinator) and former three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Aaron Glenn (defensive coordinator). Campbell might also retain former Eagles, Browns and Rams center Hank Fraley as offensive line coach, if a report from the Detroit Free Press proves to be true.
“It’s obvious that Dan — I think the players are just going to love him,” Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp said of Campbell’s attractiveness as a candidate who is a former NFL player, via MLive’s Kyle Meinke. “They’ll respect him. He played. I think his presence in the locker room is going to be incredible, and I think having played the game does make a difference. I think players will respect what he’s saying because they know that he’s been there, and he’s done it. So, yes, I think it’s definitely a positive, positive factor.”
Campbell still has more of his staff to fill out, and if his introductory press conference is any indicator, his team will be as tough and gritty as his staff was during its own playing days.
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