Duce Staley is joining new Lions head coach Dan Campbell’s coaching staff. Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com first reported the news on Monday. NBC Sports later confirmed.
Staley, bypassed by the Eagles this month for a coaching promotion for the fourth time, last week asked the team to let him out of his contract and allow him to pursue coaching opportunities elsewhere.
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Staley was among 10 candidates the Eagles interviewed for the head coaching opening that eventually went to Nick Sirianni. He was also bypassed for the head coaching job in 2016 when Doug Pederson was hired and for offensive coordinator in 2018 when Mike Groh was hired and 2020 when the job wasn't filled.
The 45-year-old Staley has spent 17 of his 19 seasons in the NFL with the Eagles, seven as a player and the last 10 as a coach under Andy Reid, Chip Kelly and Pederson. He finished his playing career in 2005 and 2006 with the Steelers and won a Super Bowl.
Campbell and Staley never played or coached together, but they were contemporaries in the NFC East for six years — Staley with the Eagles and Campbell with the Giants and Cowboys — and they began their coaching careers a year apart, Campbell in 2010 and Staley in 2011.
Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweeted that Staley will hold the title of assistant head coach/running backs, the same role he had the past three seasons with the Eagles.
The Lions’ leading rusher this past year was future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson, who is not under contract for next year and may retire.
Detroit's only running backs under contract for 2021 are Philly native D’Andre Swift and Kerryon Johnson.
Swift, who played at St. Joe’s Prep, was a 2nd-round pick last year out of Georgia, where he shared the backfield with Elijah Holyfield, who Staley coached with the Eagles. As a rookie this past season, Swift rushed for 521 yards with a 4.6 average and eight TDs. Johnson, a 3rd-year pro out of Auburn, ran for 181 yards and two TDs.
Staley’s former Eagles teammate Hank Fraley was the Lions’ offensive line coach last year under Matt Patricia and according to the Detroit Free Press plans on returning to the Lions this year under Campbell. The Free Press also reported that Campbell has interest in Dave Fipp — the Eagles’ special teams coach since 2013 — for that role on his staff.
Staley, the only person in Eagles history to spend at least seven years with the organization as both a coach and a player, is the 5th-leading rusher in franchise history.
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