The Philadelphia Eagles interviewed their running backs coach Duce Staley on Friday for their vacant head coaching position, according to reports. The Eagles fired former head coach Chip Kelly on Tuesday after three years with the team. Kelly finished his stint with the Eagles with a 26-21 record, including a division title in his first year with the team.
Eagles director of public relations Derek Boyko released a tweet confirming the interview:
#Eagles confirm they interviewed running backs coach Duce Staley for the head coach position. The interview occurred on Friday.— Derek Boyko (@derek_boyko) January 2, 2016
Staley, a former NFL running back who played for the Eagles from 1997 to 2003 and the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2004 to 2006, began his coaching career with the Eagles in 2011 as a special teams quality control coach on Andy Reid's staff. He was promoted to the team's running back coach in 2013 when Kelly took over as the team's head coach.
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie is said to really like Staley. The move, however, could also be the Eagles' way to ensure they satisfy the Rooney Rule, an NFL rule requiring a team to interview at least one minority candidate for any head coach or general manager vacancy. The Eagles could be looking to keep interim head coach Pat Shurmur as their full time head coach, with an announcement planned for after the regular season ends this weekend, and are using an in-house candidate to quickly and easily satisfy the minority requirement.
The Eagles are one of three NFL teams that have already fired their head coaches, joining the Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans. The Indianapolis Colts are not expected to retain head coach Chuck Pagano, whose contract ends after the season, and the Cleveland Browns are thought to be preparing to fire their head coach, Mike Pettine.