The Philadelphia Eagles interviewed Duce Staley, the team's incumbent running back coach, for their vacant head coaching job. This afternoon Ed Werder of ESPN first reported that the interview took place, shortly thereafter Eagles director of public relations Derek Boyko confirmed:
#Eagles confirm they interviewed running backs coach Duce Staley for the head coach position. The interview occurred on Friday.— Derek Boyko (@derek_boyko) January 2, 2016
Staley, as Eagles fans are well aware, played for the team for seven seasons from 1997-2003, and was the team's primary running back for all but his first and last year with the team. He then joined the Steelers in 2004 and won a Super Bowl with them as a backup in 2005. After retiring following the 2006 season, he joined the Eagles a coaching intern in 2010, and then was hired as a special teams assistant for the 2011 season. When Chip Kelly took over in 2013 he retained Staley, making him running back coach.
In Jeffrey Lurie's press conference explaining why he fired Chip Kelly, he said that he fired him before the season was over so that he could get a head start on the coaching search. Interviewing in-house candidates first makes sense, they're already in the building. That the first interview was a black position coach with little experience is a cause for concern, teams that conduct such interviews usually do so simply to satisfy the Rooney Rule, for example after the 2010 season the Cowboys interviewed Ray Sherman, their WR coach, then hired interim head coach Jason Garrett and fired Sherman. However the timing of this may indicate that the main reason was simply time.
Should the Eagles decide to interview interim head coach Pat Shurmur (which reportedly hasn't happened yet) or defensive coordinator Billy Davis, it makes sense to wait until after the Giants game on Sunday and not take away from their preparations. Taking a position coach out of preparations to interview him is less disruptive. Despite Staley's relative inexperience, as someone who played and coached for Andy Reid and then coached for Kelly, Staley is in a position to provide unique insight and understanding to the position as it relates to the Eagles.
Either way, the Eagles search for a new head coach is now officially underway.