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Carolina Panthers

Five things to know about Duce Staley

Jamaal Williams, Duce Staley

CHARLOTTE – Frank Reich continued to add to his staff Tuesday, bringing on Duce Staley to serve as the Panthers' assistant head coach and running backs coach.

Staley, 47, boasts 12 years of NFL coaching experience and another 10 years of playing experience in the league, primarily with the Eagles. He served as an assistant head coach and running backs coach in Detroit for the past two seasons.

Here are five fast facts to know about him:

1. Leading the Lions' run game: Staley spent the last two seasons leading running backs in Detroit, working under Dan Campbell. He helped Detroit's rush game consistently improve, going from 4.42 yards per rush in 2021 to 4.5 in 2022, marks ranked 15th in the NFL and the Lions' best since 1998. He helped develop Detroit's Jamaal Williams into one of the NFL's top rushers in his sixth season, as Williams slashed career highs and put up his first 1,000-yard rushing season in 2022. Williams finished the season with the most rushing touchdowns in the league (17) and 11th-most rush yards (1,066).

Darren Sproles, Duce Staley

2. Super Bowl win with Reich: Before moving on to Detroit, Staley spent 10 years on staff in Philadelphia, where he also spent a large chunk of his playing career. Staley and Reich coached together from 2016-17 when Reich was offensive coordinator and Staley coached running backs. The two helped the Eagles reach their Super Bowl win for the 2017 season, and Staley was then promoted to an assistant head coaching role in addition to overseeing running backs. In entirety, Staley was on the Eagles' coaching staff from 2011-20, starting as a special teams quality control coach from 2011-12 before spending the rest of his tenure coaching running backs.

3. Playing history: Staley played a decade in the NFL before transitioning to coaching. A versatile running back with pass-catching ability, Staley was drafted by Philadelphia in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft after finishing his college career at the University of South Carolina. He played for the Eagles through 2003, battling various injuries before landing at Pittsburgh ahead of the 2004 season. Staley won a Super Bowl with the Steelers in the 2005 season, though he was limited for much of the run due to injury. He retired as an Eagle in December 2007.

Andy Reid, Duce Staley

4. Carolina roots: Staley was born and raised in West Columbia, S.C., nearby his alma mater South Carolina and about 90 minutes from Charlotte. He attended Airport High School in West Columbia and was an All-State wide receiver, playing limited snaps at running back in high school. Staley played college football for the Gamecocks until 1996. His son, Damani Staley, graduated from Ridge View High School in Columbia and played linebacker at South Carolina from 2017-21.

Duce Staley

5. His own combine drill: Staley has had a combine drill named after him since 2020. The Duce Staley Drill tests a runner's ability to change direction in a small space. The drill is set up with three bags on the ground to form the shape of a letter T. Players step over the bags from the left side at first, then finish the drill in reverse before running up the field on either the right or left based on where a coach is lined up. Staley told the Eagles’ team website in 2020 he first created the drill in 2014 to maintain running back Darren Sproles' foot quickness after he was acquired via trade from the Saints.

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