As initially reported by ESPN’s Ed Werder, the Philadelphia Eagles have interviewed their former running back and current running backs coach Duce Staley for their vacant head coach position. As a member of the Eagles’ staff since 2010, Staley is one of the few players or coaches in the organization to have been with the team since the Andy Reid era and through the short-lived Chip Kelly era.
As a player, Staley was an Eagle from 1997 — when Ray Rhodes, not Reid, was the team’s head coach — until 2003, averaging 4.0 yards per carry and 49.1 yards per game across 98 games. Staley went on to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers over the next three seasons, including Pittsburgh’s 15-1 season in 2004 and Super Bowl-winning season in 2005.
Since Staley’s appointment as running backs coach in 2013, Philadelphia’s rushing attack has had the league’s seventh-best mark in yards per attempt, the fourth-most rushing yards, and the fourth-most rushing touchdowns. After relying on LeSean McCoy in 2013 and 2014, the Eagles have primarily given attempts to free agent signee DeMarco Murray this season, while also giving significant touches to Ryan Matthews and Darren Sproles.
The Eagles had fired Chip Kelly earlier this week, making offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur the team’s interim coach for their Week 17 contest at the New York Giants. Shurmur has been Philadelphia’s offensive coordinator since 2013, and was the team’s quarterbacks coach from 1999-2008, which corresponds with much of Staley’s tenure as Eagles’ running back.