The Eagles need to do right by Duce Staley and let him walk

PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 20: Philadelphia Eagles coach Duce Staley looks on during the game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles on September 20, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

It shouldn’t have come to this. After a long and thorough Head Coaching search, the Eagles decided that Nick Sirianni will be the man to replace Doug Pederson and try to help the team get back on track. With a bombardment of coaching hires following suit, it seems likely that an outsourced offensive coordinator will also be brought in, leaving Duce Staley shortchanged.

Staley wants out of Philadelphia and it’s hard to really blame him. Having been the teams’ running back coach since 2013, the former Eagles great has withstood three coaching overhauls and helped coach up some brilliant talents. From LeSean McCoy and Miles Sanders to the rapid rise of Corey Clement that was so pivotal during the iconic 2017 Super Bowl run, Staley has worked with them all and become a beloved coach in the process.

Everywhere you turned, players both former and current stepped up on social media to advocate for Staley’s promotion to Head Coach…but this has been a movement for quite some time now and the noise seems too frequently fall on deaf ears.

Staley was given the promotion to assistant head coach this past offseason, but it may have more mirrored a glass ceiling than anything else. The Eagles had needed a new offensive coordinator in two of the last three seasons and going into this one, they needed a new Head Coach on top of that. Staley’s name was always in the mix, but never able to come out on top of the pile.

The 45-year-old interviewed for the offensive coordinator role in both 2016 and 2018, with Doug Pederson placing his chips on Mike Groh in the latter year due to his experience in the passing game.

What’s perhaps more infuriating this time around, is that the Eagles reportedly spent 4 hours interviewing Denver Broncos RB Coach Curtis Modkins, who helped develop Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman. Why would they shoot for an outside RB coach when they have a perfectly good candidate in-house?

Having played for the team for seven years, he’s now entering year 10 as a coach with them. It’s clear his heart is in Philadelphia, but at some point, self-worth comes into play. Staley has patiently waited, and waited, and waited, while an endless queue of coaches and coordinators pass him by and leave shortly after. If the Eagles are not going to offer him the opportunity to continue to grow within the organization, the best thing they can do is to let him go and try elsewhere.

It’s not an ending fitting for a man of Staley’s career and I highly doubt the Eagles will want to lose such an established coach who is loved by just about everybody. But if the team refuses to give him any kind of substantial promotion, keeping him boxed into an RB position he is clearly outgrowing would be doing him a monumental disservice.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire