Duce Staley has a new coaching home. The Browns announced Monday that the Eagles legend is their new running backs coach.
Staley spent last year as the Panthers’ assistant head coach under Frank Reich, who he worked with here in 2016 and 2017, and running backs coach after two years with the same title on Dan Campbell’s staff in Detroit.
So Cleveland will become Staley’s fourth home in five years. After spending 10 years with the Eagles coaching under Andy Reid, Chip Kelly and Doug Pederson, Staley elected to leave when he wasn’t hired to replace Pederson as head coach after the 2020 season.
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Staley doesn’t have any direct connections with Browns coach Kevin Stefanski, but both were in Philadelphia together for a long time. Stefanski was playing at St. Joe’s Prep and Penn when Staley was with the Eagles.
"Duce was a tough, hard-nosed running back in this league and brings the mindset and energy to his coaching style that is needed in the running backs room," Stefanski said on the Browns’ website.
"He knows how to get the most out of his players and has worked with some of the best running backs in the NFL. We are excited to have him leading our running backs."
Stump Mitchell, the Browns’ running game coordinator since 2019 – a year before Stefanski was hired - was fired a day after the Browns lost to the Texans in an AFC wild-card game.
Staley has spent time with a couple other Browns assistant coaches. Staley and defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz were on Pederson’s staff from 2016 through 2020 and Browns senior offensive assistant Bill Musgrave were together with the Eagles twice. In 1998 – Staley’s second year in the NFL – Musgrave was Ray Rhodes’ offensive assistant and then took over play calling duties for Dana Bible after seven games. Musgrave was also Kelly’s quarterbacks coach in 2014 when Staley was RBs coach.
Another familiar face with Staley – if he’s still with the Browns next year – is safety Rodney McLeod, who overlapped with Staley for five years with the Eagles. McLeod had a good year in 2023 in his 12th season but is not under contract for 2024.
The Browns ranked 12th in the NFL in rushing yards this past year but only 26th in yards per carry. Leading rusher Jerome Ford had 813 rushing yards and caught 44 passes.
Staley ranks 5th in Eagles history with 4,807 rushing yards and 6th with 7,305 scrimmage yards. He's the only person in Eagles history to spend at least seven years with the franchise as both a player and a coach.
Along with LeSean McCoy, Ricky Watters and Wilbert Montgomery, he’s one of only four Eagles to rush for 1,000 yards three times.