The Philadelphia Eagles didn't just part ways with Doug Pederson this offseason, they lost assistant head coach Duce Staley. He recently joined the Detroit Lions and will take on the same role.
Staley was an instrumental part of the Eagles' winning culture over the past couple of years. The front office interviewed him for their head coaching vacancy earlier this month, but the job ultimately went to Nick Sirianni.
Even though Staley didn't get his dream job with the Eagles, he recently wrote a heartfelt letter for the City of Brotherly Love. It truly showed just how special the bond was between him and Philly.
"I am very sad to leave this great organization and city and fans, but I am looking forward to the growth opportunities that lie ahead despite the uncertainties," Staley wrote, via NBC Sports. "The way you embraced me, gave me the best nickname I’ve ever heard (Duuuuucccceeee), the way you expect the best from your athletes, the fact you deserve our best given what you’ve invested in us — all of this motivated me to reach heights I never thought possible growing up as a country boy in South Carolina that loved playing football more than I was necessarily good at it.
"This has been an incredibly tough year for our fans dealing with issues like COVID and social justice. Regardless of where the rest of my career takes me, I will continue to lead from the front to help our community on these and other issues. While you know I will give my all to every team I have the pleasure to work for, you should also know I consider myself an Eagle for life. Best wishes to the best sports city of all time and never forget what we accomplished together. The grit and character of this city will allow you to accomplish even more going forward."
It's safe to say it won't be easy to replace Staley - both as a coach and leader.
Staley managed to be a part of three separate regimes for the Eagles. He was an assistant for Andy Reid, Chip Kelly and Doug Pederson over the course of his tenure in Philadelphia.
Perhaps someday a reunion will be in store for Staley and the Eagles. For now, the two sides will have to say farewell since Staley is on his way to the Motor City.