Philadelphia Eagles assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley has asked the team to release him from his contract, according to a report from John Clark.
That Staley wants out should come as no surprise; he hasn’t really been able to advance his career in Philly. He’s basically been stuck as the Eagles’ running backs coach since first taking that job in 2013. The Eagles did add the “assistant head coach” label to his title after the team won Super Bowl LII. But that seemed to be about a bump in profile more than responsibility.
No one could blame Staley for feeling frustrated with the Eagles interviewing him twice for their head coach opening — once in 2016 and again this year — but ultimately passing on him. Especially for two guys in Doug Pederson and Nick Sirianni who, like Staley, didn’t have extensive play-calling experience at the time of their hires. Not to mention Staley having the public support of players during this year’s search.
NFL insider Mike Garafolo reports Staley is expected to meet with Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie soon. Perhaps Lurie will try to convince Staley to stay ... or just refuse to let him out of his contract. But it seems like the Eagles would have more respect for Staley than to do that.
Garafolo also notes there are “a few teams” interested in adding Staley. The Chicago Bears are reportedly one of those teams and they have a running backs coach job to fill. It wouldn’t be ideal for Staley to leave for a lateral job but it’s clear by now he doesn’t have upward mobility in Philly.
It’s a shame Staley hasn’t been afforded more opportunities because the feeling here is he’ll make a good head coach one day. In the meantime, he’ll have to continue to bide his time.
Assuming the Eagles grant his request, the team will have to find a new running backs coach.