In the wake of the news that the Eagles fired head coach Doug Pederson, former Eagle Malcolm Jenkins weighed in on his choice for the replacement.
The Eagles great and two-time Super Bowl champ on Monday afternoon gave a strong endorsement for running backs coach and assistant head coach Duce Staley:
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!
— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) January 11, 2021
And maybe he’s on to something.
Eagles owner Jeff Lurie brought up Staley’s name a little later, saying he expected Staley to be a candidate for the vacant head coaching job.
“I would expect Duce Staley to be a candidate,” Lurie said. “He’s a great representative of the Eagles, knows our values. I would expect him to be a part of the search as well.”
Staley, 45, played for the Eagles from 1997-2003 and has been on the coaching staff since the 2011 season. He worked his way up the ranks and has coached under the last three Eagles coaches: Andy Reid, Chip Kelly and Pederson.
This past summer, when Pederson missed time at training camp with COVID-19, it was Staley who took over head coaching responsibilities in person.
The Eagles actually interviewed Staley for the head coaching job in 2016 and they interviewed him for the offensive coordinator position before the Eagles hired Mike Groh. He obviously didn’t get either gig.
When the Eagles interviewed Staley for the head coaching position in 2016, the NFL was reportedly concerned that the Eagles used that interview to circumvent the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview at least one diverse candidate for head coaching positions.
When Lurie brought up Duce’s name on Monday, it was in direct response to a question about the Eagles’ potentially hiring a minority candidate.
“We are very open and it’s top of mind to make sure we have some of the best minority candidates in on the search,” Lurie said. “It’s very important, I think, for us, for the league. It’s top of mind. …
“Great question because I’ve never hesitated in this area, obviously have hired an African American as a head coach (Ray Rhodes in 1995) and proud of it because he was the right man for the job at the time and there’s plenty of possible candidates in this area.”
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