The Macomb Daily
Running backs coach Duce Staley is headed to Carolina
The Detroit Lions will have to replace an important member of their coaching staff heading into the 2023 season.
Assistant head coach and running backs coach Duce Staley is leaving Detroit to join the Carolina Panthers’ coaching staff, according to a report from ESPN’s Dan Graziano.
Staley will now be working with new Panthers head coach Frank Reich.
By making the move to Carolina, Staley will now have the potential to be closer to his family.
Reich and Staley worked together for two seasons in Philadelphia, where Reich was the offensive coordinator and Staley the running backs coach. Staley’s new role with the Panthers is uncertain.
The former NFL running back spent two seasons in his role with the Lions working closely with head coach Dan Campbell. In addition to his role developing the likes of Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift, he worked closely with Campbell as an assistant head coach.
Under Staley’s direction, Williams enjoyed a career year in 2022. He posted a career-high in rushing yards with 1,066 and broke the Lions’ single-season rushing touchdown record with17.
Upon hiring Staley in 2021, Campbell expressed his desire to prepare Staley for a head coaching role of his own in the future. This relationship was similar to the one that Campbell had with Sean Payton during his time as the tight end’s coach of the New Orleans Saints.
“Do I think he can be a head coach in the NFL? No doubt about it,” former Eagles running back Brian Westbrook said last year on the AP Pro Football podcast. “Do I think he has the qualities and the ability to become a very successful head coach in the NFL? There’s no doubt about it. Can he lead men? Absolutely. So when we’re talking about knowing the Xs and Os, there’s no one in the league that’s going to know the X’s and O’s of football than Duce Staley.”
The Lions recently hired
Steve Heiden as their tight end’s coach.
Current tight ends coach Tanner Engstrand will remain with the team as the passing game coordinator.
Other members of the Lions’ staff have made headlines this offseason, as offensive coordinator Ben Johnson and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn have both received head coaching interest.
Johnson has already announced his intention to return to Detroit, while Glenn remains in the running for head coaching vacancies in Arizona and Indianapolis after interviewing for both positions. He’s set to interview with the Cardinals for a second time.