Doug Pederson Gets a Ringing Endorsement from Duce Staley

The Eagles assistant head coach spoke glowingly of his boss, saying that he doesn't want head coach Doug Pederson to leave
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PHILADELPHIA - Duce Staley doesn't have a say but the Eagles assistant head coach isn't bucking for the promotion at the expense of his current boss.

"I only know that Doug is a hell of a coach, man," Staley, an Eagles assistant during three regimes starting with Andy Reid, said. "He's been a hell of a coach for this organization, bringing a Super Bowl, of course.

"I don't want him to leave."

Staley has been an Eagles assistant since 2011 and obviously played for the organization from 1997 to 2003 so of the 27 years of Jeffrey Lurie's ownership, Staley has been around for 17 of them.

Perhaps no one on the football side of the organization, save for Lurie's right-hand man Howie Roseman, has a better feel for how the owner does business.

Obviously, Staley isn't going to speak out of turn when it comes to Pederson's job security but the veteran assistant did feel comfortable speaking for the rest of the coaching staff as Pederson's No. 2.

"I mean I can't speak for (Lurie)," said Staley. "... I don't want (Pederson) to go anywhere, and all the assistant coaches, they feel the same, but I'm speaking for them right now.

"The things as far as what he's done for us, like I said earlier, giving us the opportunity to have a voice, giving us the opportunity to do certain things. It's been awesome. And every coach would tell you that."

It's almost inconceivable that Lurie would consider firing Pederson less than three years after a Super Bowl LII win, but with Roseman's job safe and the difficulties of moving on from Carson Wentz, if Lurie wants significant change, as tends to be the case after what the owner perceives as difficult seasons, the easiest path to accomplish that would be through the coaching staff.

Staley might even be a candidate for the top job in that instance but the former star running back even defended Pederson when it came to scaling back some of his duties like play-calling.

"I don't want him to give it up, because he's real good at it," Staley said. "Just continue to do it."

When trying to jumpstart the struggling Wentz, Pederson did shift play-calling over to passing game coordinator Press Taylor for a brief time but has re-engaged with Jalen Hurts in the lineup.

Staley has experience with a great CEO coach in Bill Cowher from his playing days in Pittsburgh and believes Pederson could also handle that type of role if forced to scale back by Lurie.

"I had a chance to play for Cowher, and he was one of those coaches that didn't call plays and all he did was just say, what his job title was - be the head coach of the building, run the building, run the team, and Doug can do that too," Staley said. "He does that now while he's calling plays."

The Eagles will try to start their latest unlikely playoff run in Arizona on Sunday and if they're successful any discussion about Pederson's status moving forward will likely be tabled.

If the team is unsuccessful in winning arguably the worst division in the history of the current format, Lurie will start weighing things and the increasingly meddlesome owner should take Staley's ringing endorsement very seriously.

"Awesome head coach. Awesome," Staley said of Pederson. "He's one of those guys that lets you work. You got an opinion. He asks you your opinion. He wants to know. He wants to know about this, he wants to know about that. He comes to you to knock on the door, he sits in the office. I mean, of course, I played with him, so I know. So, I mean, he's awesome."

John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John every Tuesday and Thursday on "The Middle" with Eytan Shander, Harry Mayes, and Barrett Brooks on SportsMap Radio and PhillyVoice.com. He’s also the host of Extending the Play on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

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