The Philadelphia Eagles should seriously consider Duce Staley for HC.
With Doug Pederson – the Philadelphia Eagles only Super Bowl winning head coach in team history – now firmly out the door, Jeffrey Lurie and company have begun the search for their next HC. While some of the more obvious names like Lincoln Riley, Brian Daboll, and Arthur Smith are being tossed out there, the organization would be wise to first consider an option already in their building.
Duce Staley, a running back for the Eagles from 1997 to 2003, has been with the team as a coach since 2011. He first worked as a special teams quality control coach up until 2012, before getting promoted to running backs coach. He had the title “assistant head coach” added in 2018, and even got a brief bit of experience running the team this past summer when Doug Pederson missed some time with COVID-19.
On all accounts and purposes, Staley has excelled at every level he’s been at. He’s done a fantastic job with the Eagles running backs in recent years, playing a huge role in the development of guys like Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, and even Corey Clement back in 2017. He commands a ton of respect in the team’s locker room, and it’s no mistake that he was fast tracked to the position of assistant head coach just a few years into his professional coaching career.
While Staley hasn’t officially held the title of “offensive coordinator” quite yet (which is normally a good first step prior to being hired as a full-time HC), he’s played a big role in helping Pederson set up the offensive game plan in recent seasons:
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Staley might not have as stacked of a resume as some of the other external candidates, but he has the unique aspect of already having relationships within the Philadelphia Eagles locker room. Multiple Eagles players (past and present) have recently spoken up for Duce, citing that he already commands an immense amount of respect amongst the players. For whatever it’s worth, it feels like the team already knows who they want as their next HC, and that could be a useful piece of information for Lurie to consider as he looks to keep a sense of “culture” alive.
On a more fundamental level, Duce would also likely have zero problem allowing someone like Howie Roseman to have a significant say in decision making. Roseman’s “hands on” approach to things reputedly frustrated Pederson at times, which is understandable considering Doug literally won a Super Bowl. My guess is that Duce would be less interested in taking part in a power struggle of sorts, and would be more willing to succeed some coaching power to the front office (for better or for worse).
There’s an obvious desire to land one of the big names on the coaching department, I get that. However, if the Eagles are unable to land a leading candidate, they should turn this thing over to Staley as opposed to hiring a “B tier” candidate like Mike Kafka. Staley appears to be an exciting young coaching mind, and he’ll ultimately get a gig elsewhere if the Eagles don’t promote him sooner rather than later.