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3 things to know about Eagles' coaching candidate and current running backs coach Duce Staley

Martin Frank
Delaware News Journal

The Eagles have identified at least one candidate in current running backs coach Duce Staley.

Staley also interviewed for the head coaching job when Doug Pederson was hired in 2016. He is one of several candidates for the job, but the only one to be publicly identified by Eagles chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie.

Here are some things to know about Staley:

Eagles running back coach Duce Staley takes the field before the Eagles play the Vikings Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

Eagles' longest-tenured coach

Staley has been on the coaching staff since 2011, the only coach to serve continuously since then. He has outlasted three head coaches in Andy Reid, Chip Kelly and now Pederson.

Staley started out as a special teams quality control coach in 2011 before becoming running backs coach in 2013. He added the title of assistant head coach in 2018.

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Staley has never been a coordinator in the NFL. He was twice passed over for the position with the Eagles.

When Eagles chairman and owner Jeffrey Lurie was asked about interviewing minority candidates, he mentioned Staley as a candidate, saying: "He's a great representative of the Eagles and knows our values. I would expect him to be part of the search, as well."

The players' choice

If the choice were left up to the players, it seems like Staley would win the job in a landslide. 

Safety Rodney McLeod, after news of Pederson's firing, posted on Twitter: "Hope they give my man Duce an opportunity. He was a hell of a player in the league, and now a hell of a coach!"

Former Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, someone Lurie trusts implicitly, had a similar reaction to Staley's qualifications as a head coach. He posted on Twitter:

"Duce Staley #NextManUp !!! Every time he stood in front of the team he had the attention and respect of everyone in the room. The embodiment of what it means to be an @Eagles in a coach. I’m good where I’m at lol BUT, In another lifetime I’d love to play for him!"

Super Bowl champ – as a Steeler

The Eagles drafted Staley in the third round of the 1997 draft, and he teamed with Correl Buckhalter and later Brian Westbrook in what became known as the "three-headed monster" backfield.

Staley, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards three times in his career, ranks fifth in rushing yards in Eagles' history with 4,807.

The Eagles let him leave as a free agent after the 2003 season, and he signed with the Steelers. In his first season away, the Eagles went to the Super Bowl, losing to New England. The following season, Staley was on the Steelers' Super Bowl winning team.

Contact Martin Frank at mfrank@delawareonline.com. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.