Minority hiring across the NFL went up in this latest cycle, but there are still only three Black head coaches.
Dan Campbell said Tuesday he’s grooming Duce Staley to become another one.
Campbell hired Staley to be Detroit’s assistant head coach/running backs coach in January, after the former pro running back had spent his entire coaching career with the Eagles. Staley also had the assistant head coach title in Philadelphia from 2018-2020. Campbell said being the assistant head coach isn’t just a label.
“I told him, ‘You’re not going to be a token assistant head coach.’ I’m going to use him,” Campbell said. “We had him in during our player evaluations on the whole offense and defense — though he wasn’t able to be in there very long because he had to go back with [offensive coordinator Anthony] Lynn and work offensively. But I’m going to keep him abreast of the cap and things of that nature, what we’re trying to do with free agency.
“He’s going to be primed and ready to be a head coach when it’s all said and done. All his bases are going to be covered. He’s going to be able to check off every box and say I’ve been there, I’ve done that. I know, I’ve been training for this — just like Sean [Payton] did for me. He’s going to be a true assistant head coach. And if something goes down and he needs to step in into my seat, he’s ready to roll. So that’s how I view it.”
Campbell was the Saints’ assistant head coach/tight ends coach from 2016-2020, so he knows what the role should look like and how it should function. Time will tell if it will actually result in Staley becoming a head coach.