Duce Staley’s role as Detroit Lions assistant head coach is more than just a title


Duce Staley is an ace on Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell’s staff.

Staley’s title of “assistant head coach” is not some ceremonial tag that was added to his duties as running backs coach as an incentive to join the Lions when Campbell was filling out his staff.

It is just what the title implies: Assistant head coach with duties that take some of the burden off Campbell.

Campbell spelled out what he had in mind when he heard that Staley might be leaving the Eagles after 10 seasons as an assistant coach — the last three as assistant head coach.

Before that, Staley played running back for 10 seasons — the first seven with the Eagles (1997-03) and the last three with the Steelers.

“I said, ‘Look, you’re not going to be a token assistant head coach,'” Campbell said Tuesday morning in a Zoom interview with the Detroit media.

“I’m going to use him. I plan on using him for some media obligations. We had him in our player evaluations — the whole offense and defense.”

Under Campbell’s plan, Staley will be exposed to some degree to the issues that confront a head coach.

“I’m going to keep him abreast of the cap, things of that nature — what we’re trying to do,” Campbell said.

“What we’re trying to do with free agent guys I know, even if they’re on defense. I want him to have a hand in it. I already told him, I want him to look over the fine schedule — us sit down together.”



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