The football world woke up to some not-so-shocking news on Monday as the Carolina Panthers announced the firing of head coach Frank Reich. Philadelphia Eagles fans are more than familiar with Reich, who was our offensive coordinator when we captured Super Bowl LII before joining the Indianapolis Colts the next season.
As it turns out, Reich isn't the only former coach with Eagles ties to get axed by the Panthers to begin the week.
NFL insider Ian Rapoport reports that interim head coach Chris Tabor and offensive assistant Jim Caldwell have also dismissed running back coach Duce Staley and quarterback coach Josh McCown.
Staley began his career with the Eagles when he was selected 71st overall in 1997. He wound up spending seven years with the organization, racking up 1,200 career points (5th-most in team history) for 4,807 rushing yards (5th) and 22 touchdowns (10th).
While he left to join the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2004, Staley made his way back to the Eagles as a member of the coaching staff in 2011. He spent the next nine years with the team before working as the RB coach for the Lions (2021-22) and Panthers (2022-23).
McCown, on the other hand, didn't make as much of an impact in the City of Brotherly Love. He actually came out of retirement to join the Eagles during the 2019 campaign due to injuries to both Nate Sudfeld and Cody Kessler. He made four relief appearances between the regular season and playoffs, completing 21-of-29 passes (72.4%) for 199 yards without a touchdown or interception.
The Jacksonville, TX native returned as a practice squad participant in 2020 but was signed by the Houston Texans partway through the season. McCown then pursued various coaching openings before joining the Panthers as their QB coach ahead of the 2023 season.
Needless to say, Staley and McCown failed to live up to expectations. The Panthers have been a bottom-five team when it comes to the pass and run games thus far, generating just 265.9 total yards per game — good for third-worst in the NFL.
It'll be interesting to see if Staley and McCown (as well as Reich) get opportunities to coach again. While the ex-Philly trio didn't deliver, it's also worth noting that they aren't the reason why the Panthers are devoid of talent in most areas.
For now, they can enjoy the rest of the season from the sideline as the Eagles pursue another Super Bowl title.