When the news broke that Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly had assembled his brand new 2013 coaching staff, I was thrilled to hear the name Duce Staley for the first time in far too long.
Staley was a beloved member of the Eagles by teammates and fans alike ever since the ol’ timer was drafted by the Birds in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft. Even though Staley struggled with injury and consistency throughout his career, he was able to make a successful series of playoff runs with the Eagles during his tenure. Staley ended his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006 after four years with the team.
After two years as an Eagles’ special teams coach, Staley was promoted to the position of running backs coach heading into the upcoming 2013 NFL season. And it is safe to say that Staley will have a massive amount of pressure on him to repair and revive the Eagles’ talented, but largely underachieving, backfield from 2012.
Eagles starting stud RB LeSean McCoy certainly had a down year in 2012 before sustaining a concussion in Week 11 which kept him sidelined for a total of four weeks. Considering McCoy had just rushed for an incredible 17 touchdowns in 2011, his fans and teammates alike will be looking for him to explode again in 2013.
Backup RB Bryce Brown showed great inconsistency during his time in place of McCoy this past season, while he also displayed a very obvious and concerning fumbling issue.
One of the main issues that Staley should address as RBs coach this off-season is ball-security, because he has a backfield chock-full of young burners in McCoy, Brown and Dion Lewis, who are more concerned about the ‘big play’ as opposed to the play at hand.
I look for Staley to have a very positive effect on this youthful rushing unit, being that he is still relatively young himself and has personally experienced the cut-throat and highly critical fan-hood of the Eagles’ faithful.
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