Duce Staley
refer to caption
Staley in 2013
Cleveland Browns
Position:Running backs coach
Personal information
Born: (1975-02-27) February 27, 1975 (age 48)
West Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:242 lb (110 kg)
Career information
High school:West Columbia (SC) Airport
College:South Carolina
NFL Draft:1997 / Round: 3 / Pick: 71
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
As player

As coach

Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:5,785
Rushing average:4.0
Rushing touchdowns:24
Receiving yards:2,587
Receiving touchdowns:10
Player stats at PFR

Duce Staley (born February 27, 1975) is an American football coach and former player who most recently was the assistant head coach and running backs coach for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL). He previously served in the same capacity with the Detroit Lions during the 2021 and 2022 NFL seasons, and with the Philadelphia Eagles in various assistant coaching roles from 2011 to 2020.

Staley played college football as a running back at South Carolina and was drafted by the Eagles in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft, and during his playing career was best known for his tenure with the Eagles. Subsequently, he was a player with the Pittsburgh Steelers when they won Super Bowl XL against the Seattle Seahawks. Following the end of his playing career, Staley began his coaching career as a special teams quality control coach in 2011. He was promoted to the running backs coach in 2013 and given an additional role as assistant head coach in 2018. Staley was a coach with the Eagles when they won Super Bowl LII against the New England Patriots.

Early years

Staley attended Airport High School in West Columbia, South Carolina and was an All-State wide receiver, and played running back sparingly.[1]

Playing career


As a senior at the University of South Carolina in 1996, Staley was ranked 13th in the nation in rushing with 1,116 rushing yards.[1][2] In his collegiate career at South Carolina, Staley attempted 345 rushes for 1,852 yards (5.4 yards per carry). He also caught 59 passes for 489 yards and two touchdowns.

National Football League

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span
5 ft 11+18 in
(1.81 m)
220 lb
(100 kg)
31 in
(0.79 m)
8+78 in
(0.23 m)
All values from NFL Combine[3]

Philadelphia Eagles

Staley was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1997 NFL Draft and played for the Eagles through the 2003 season.[4] After his rookie season and the departure of Ricky Watters, Staley became the starter in a tumultuous 3–13 season which led to the dismissal of head coach Ray Rhodes. Under Andy Reid, Staley developed into the team's perennial leading receiver through Reid's screen-heavy West Coast offense. However, he played in only five games of the 2000 season due to a serious Lisfranc fracture. Staley also missed some playing time in 2001 due to a shoulder injury. Entering the 2003 season, Staley held out of training camp in an attempt to bargain for a new contract, as he was in the last year of his deal.[5] With Correll Buckhalter coming back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and Brian Westbrook entering his second season, the Eagles decided not to budge. This resulted in shared playing time among the three, as Westbrook became the premier back by season's end. They were known as the "Three-Headed Monster".[6] Consequently, the Eagles decided to not re-sign Staley.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Staley signed a five-year, $14 million contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers on March 9, 2004. Staley had rooted for the Steelers when he was growing up.[7] He instantly became the number one running back for his new team, and was seen as the eventual heir apparent for Jerome Bettis, who at the time had the sixth-most career rushing yards in NFL history.[8]

Staley played in 10 games in 2004, and rushed for 830 yards. He only scored one touchdown however, as Bettis took most goal-line carries, and eventually took over the starting job since Staley missed six games.

In 2005, after both he and Bettis were injured, Willie Parker, an undrafted free agent, had a stellar season, and Staley, in another injury plagued season, was dropped to third-string, managing only 148 yards in five games, with a 3.9 yard per carry average. The Steelers went on to win Super Bowl XL, giving Staley his first ever championship.

Staley played just one snap in the Steelers' 2006 season-opening win against the Dolphins.[9] The Steelers signed former Packers' running back Najeh Davenport the next day, and deactivated Staley for the rest of the season. On December 3, 2006, the Steelers released Staley.[10] In his three-year tenure with the team, Staley played in just 16 games.


Staley officially retired as an Eagle during the Eagles-Giants game on December 9, 2007. At halftime, Staley was escorted onto the field by former teammates for his retirement celebration featuring a brief ceremony and two highlight videos.[11]

NFL statistics

Year Games Played Games Started Attempts Yards Touchdowns Avg. Receptions Rec. Yards Rec. Touchdowns Rec. Avg. Fumbles
1997 16 0 7 29 0 4.1 2 22 0 11.0 0
1998 16 13 258 1,065 5 4.1 57 432 1 7.6 2
1999 16 16 325 1,273 4 3.9 41 294 2 7.2 5
2000 5 5 79 344 1 4.4 25 201 0 8.0 3
2001 13 10 166 604 2 3.6 63 626 2 9.9 3
2002 16 16 269 1,029 5 3.8 51 541 3 10.6 3
2003 16 4 96 463 5 4.8 36 382 2 10.6 2
2004 10 10 192 830 1 4.3 6 55 0 9.2 3
2005 5 1 38 148 1 3.9 6 34 0 5.7 1
2006 1 0 0 0 0 -- 0 0 0 -- 0
Totals 114 75 1,430 5,785 24 4.1 287 2,587 10 8.9 22

Coaching career

Philadelphia Eagles

Staley became a coaching intern for the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2010 offseason.[12] On February 8, 2011, Staley was promoted to special teams quality control coach.[13] After the departure of Andy Reid, Staley remained on the new staff with Chip Kelly and was promoted to the team's running backs coach. Kelly was fired as the team's head coach in December 2015 and Staley was interviewed for the vacant head coaching job in January 2016.[14] Staley was retained as the team's running backs coach by new head coach Doug Pederson on January 20, 2016.[15] On February 4, 2018, Staley won his first Super Bowl as a coach, and second overall, as the Eagles defeated the Patriots, 41–33, in Super Bowl LII.[16] On February 20, 2018, Staley was promoted to assistant head coach while maintaining his running backs coach position.[17]

On August 2, 2020, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson was diagnosed with COVID-19 during training camp. He planned to communicate with the team virtually during his quarantine, and he relinquished day-to-day head coaching duties to Staley in the interim.[18] Pederson returned to the team on August 12.[19]

The "Duce Staley drill", a practice drill that Staley created to enhance players' footwork, was added to the NFL Scouting Combine in 2020.[20][21]

Detroit Lions

On January 25, 2021, Staley was hired by the Detroit Lions as their assistant head coach and running backs coach under head coach Dan Campbell.

Carolina Panthers

On February 1, 2023, Staley joined new head coach Frank Reich and the Carolina Panthers as the running backs coach and assistant head coach positions. On November 27, Staley was fired along with quarterbacks coach Josh McCown and head coach Frank Reich.[22]

Personal life

Staley is married to Maria Steadman, with three daughters and four sons. He is a native of Columbia, South Carolina, which is where he resides during the offseason. He underwent an innovative rehabilitation period prior to the 2001 season to become the first skill position NFL player known to return from a Lisfranc injury.[23][24] He annually holds The Duce Staley Football Camp at West Chester University in Chester County, Pennsylvania, which benefits several charities, including First Steps Program in South Carolina, the Variety Club, and Direct Care for Kids. He launched the Catch 22 Foundation to help single mothers. He donated $25,000 to South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges First Steps early childhood education program in 1999 to help improve education in the state.

His son, Damani, plays linebacker for the South Carolina Gamecocks.[25]


  1. ^ a b Haney, Travis. "Staley to join staff at USC". The Post and Courier. Evening Post Publishing Co. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  2. ^ "Duce Staley Forced Out At USC". FITSNews. Viewpolitik, LLC. Archived from the original on January 25, 2012. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  3. ^ "Duce Staley, Combine Results, RB - South Carolina". nflcombineresults.com. Retrieved October 19, 2022.
  4. ^ "1997 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 30, 2023.
  5. ^ O'Rourke, Larry (August 1, 2003). "Eagles sign their top pick McDougle". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 16, 2010.
  6. ^ Eckel, Mark (June 5, 2011). "Eagles are loaded with potential at runningback". NJ.com. New Jersey On-Line LLC. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  7. ^ Blass, Eileen (March 9, 2004). "Steelers sign free-agent Duce Staley". USA Today. Retrieved January 16, 2010.
  8. ^ "Steelers send Staley on his way". Chicago Tribune. December 5, 2006. Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  9. ^ "Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers - September 7th, 2006 - Pro-Football-Reference.com". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  10. ^ "Steelers Release Staley, Place Reid on Injured List; Sign Familiar Faces". Steelers.com. Archived from the original on January 4, 2012. Retrieved January 16, 2010.
  11. ^ "DUUUUUCE!!!! To Retire As An Eagle". PhiladelphiaEagles.com. December 6, 2007. Retrieved January 16, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Kapadia, Sheil (July 27, 2010). "Practice observations: Ingram, Jauron, the WRs". philly.com. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
  13. ^ "Eagles finalize coaching staff - Philly". Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  14. ^ "Duce Staley interviews for Eagles' vacant coaching position". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. January 2, 2016.
  15. ^ Berman, Zach (January 21, 2016). "Eagles retain seven coaches, add seven new ones". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  16. ^ "Eagles dethrone Tom Brady, Patriots for first Super Bowl title in stunner". USA TODAY. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  17. ^ Berman, Zach (March 7, 2018). "Eagles make coaching changes official; two assistants added, six earn new titles/responsibilities". Inquirer.com. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  18. ^ McManus, Tim (August 2, 2020). "Eagles coach Doug Pederson tests positive for COVID-19". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  19. ^ McManus, Tim (August 12, 2020). "Doug Pederson back with Eagles after positive test". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  20. ^ Smith, EJ (February 28, 2020). "NFL scouting combine: 'Duce Staley drill' was added to the running backs' workouts. What is it?". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  21. ^ @Eagles (February 29, 2020). "No better person to run the Duce Staley Drill than the man himself!" (Tweet). Retrieved February 29, 2020 – via Twitter.
  22. ^ "Panthers move on from Duce Staley, Josh McCown". www.panthers.com. Retrieved November 27, 2023.
  23. ^ Paoloantonio, Sal (June 19, 2001). "Staley making progress in comeback". ESPN.com. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  24. ^ Marvez, Alex (August 12, 2003). "Rookie Linebacker Gone". Sun-Sentinel.com. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  25. ^ "Damani Staley - Football". Damani Staley South Carolina Gamecocks Player Bio. Gamecocksonline. Retrieved December 3, 2020.