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Duce Staley

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Personal information
Date of birth: (1975-02-27) February 27, 1975 (age 40)
Place of birth: Tampa, Florida
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Career information
High school: West Columbia (SC) Airport
College: South Carolina
NFL draft: 1997 / Round: 3 / Pick: 71
Career history
As player:
As coach:
  • Philadelphia Eagles (STQC, 20112012)
  • Philadelphia Eagles (RB, 2013–present)
  • Career highlights and awards
    Career Template:If empty statistics
    Rushing yards: 5,785
    Average: 4.0
    Touchdowns: 24
    Stats at
    Stats at

    Duce Staley (born February 27, 1975) is a former American football running back in the National Football League best known for his tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles. He also played for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played college football at the University of South Carolina. He is currently the running backs coach for the Eagles.

    Early years

    Staley attended Airport High School in West Columbia, South Carolina and was an All-State wide receiver, and played running back sparingly.[1]

    College career

    As a senior at the University of South Carolina in 1996, Staley was ranked 13th in the nation in rushing with 1,116 rushing yards.[2][1] In his South Carolina years, he attempted 345 rushes for 1,582 yards (4.58 per average). He also caught 59 passes for 489 yards and two touchdowns.

    Staley attended Itawamba Community College in Fulton, Mississippi in 1993 and 1994 where he was a NJCAA All-American.

    Professional career

    Philadelphia Eagles

    Staley was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1997 NFL Draft and played for the Eagles through the 2003 season. After his rookie season and the departure of Ricky Watters, Staley became the starter in a tumultuous 3–13 season which led to the dismissal of head coach Ray Rhodes. Under Andy Reid, Staley developed into the team's perennial leading receiver through Reid's screen-heavy West Coast offense. However, he played in only five games of the 2000 season due to a serious Lisfranc fracture. Staley also missed some playing time in 2001 due to a shoulder injury. Entering the 2003 season, Staley held out of training camp in an attempt to bargain for a new contract, as he was in the last year of his deal.[3] With Correll Buckhalter coming back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and Brian Westbrook entering his second season, the Eagles decided not to budge. This resulted in shared playing time among the three, as Westbrook became the premier back by season's end. They were known as the "Three-Headed Monster".[4] Consequently, the Eagles decided to not re-sign Staley.

    Pittsburgh Steelers

    Staley signed a five-year, $14 million contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers on March 9, 2004. Staley had rooted for the Steelers when he was growing up.[5] He instantly became the number one running back for his new team, and was seen as the eventual heir apparent for Jerome Bettis, who at the time had the sixth-most career rushing yards in NFL history.[6]

    Staley played in 10 games in 2004, and rushed for 830 yards. He only scored one touchdown however, as Bettis took most goal-line carries, and eventually took over the starting job since Staley missed six games.

    In 2005, after both he and Bettis were injured, Willie Parker, an undrafted free agent, had a stellar season, and Staley, in another injury plagued season, was dropped to third-string, managing only 148 yards in five games, with a 3.9 yard per carry average. The Steelers went on to win Super Bowl XL, giving Staley his first ever championship.

    Staley played just one snap in the Steelers' 2006 season-opening win against the Dolphins.[7] The Steelers signed former Packers' running back Najeh Davenport the next day, and deactivated Staley for the rest of the season. On December 3, 2006, the Steelers released Staley.[8] In his three-year tenure with the team, Staley played in just 16 games.


    Staley officially retired as a Philadelphia Eagle during the Eagles-Giants game on December 9, 2007. At halftime, Staley was escorted onto the field by former teammates for his retirement celebration featuring a brief ceremony and two highlight videos.[9]


    Year Games Played Games Started Attempts Yards Touchdowns Avg. Receptions Rec. Yards Rec. Touchdowns Rec. Avg. Fumbles
    1997 16 0 7 29 0 4.1 2 22 0 11.0 0
    1998 16 13 258 1,065 5 4.1 57 432 1 7.6 2
    1999 16 16 325 1,273 4 3.9 41 294 2 7.2 5
    2000 5 5 79 344 1 4.4 25 201 0 8.0 3
    2001 13 10 166 604 2 3.6 63 626 2 9.9 3
    2002 16 16 269 1,029 5 3.8 51 541 3 10.6 3
    2003 16 4 96 463 5 4.8 36 382 2 10.6 2
    2004 10 10 192 830 1 4.3 6 55 0 9.2 3
    2005 5 1 38 148 1 3.9 6 34 0 5.7 1
    2006 1 0 0 0 0 -- 0 0 0 -- 0
    Totals 114 75 1,430 5,785 24 4.1 287 2,587 10 8.9 22

    Coaching career

    Philadelphia Eagles

    Staley became a coaching intern for the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2010 offseason.[10] On February 8, 2011, Staley was promoted to special teams quality control coach.[11] After the departure of Andy Reid, Staley remained on the new staff with Chip Kelly and was promoted to the team's running backs coach.


    Staley is single and has a daughter, Shakia, and a son, Damani Zihir. He is a native of Columbia, South Carolina, which is where he resided during the offseason. He underwent a grueling yet innovative rehabilitation period prior to the 2001 season to become the first successful return from a Lisfranc injury. He annually holds The Duce Staley Football Camp at West Chester (PA) University, which benefits several charities, including First Steps Program in South Carolina, the Variety Club and Direct Care for Kids. He launched Catch 22 Foundation to help single mothers. He donated $25,000 to South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges First Steps early childhood education program in 1999 (Dec. 23) to help improve education in the state.


    1. ^ a b Haney, Travis. "Staley to join staff at USC". The Post and Courier. Evening Post Publishing Co. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
    2. ^ "Duce Staley Forced Out At USC". FITSNews. Viewpolitik, LLC. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
    3. ^ O'Rourke, Larry (August 1, 2003). "Eagles sign their top pick McDougle". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
    4. ^ Eckel, Mark. "Eagles are loaded with potential at runningback". New Jersey On-Line LLC. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
    5. ^ Blass, Eileen (March 9, 2004). "Steelers sign free-agent Duce Staley". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
    6. ^ "Steelers send Staley on his way". Chicago Tribune. December 5, 2006. 
    7. ^
    8. ^ "Steelers Release Staley, Place Reid on Injured List; Sign Familiar Faces". Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
    9. ^ "DUUUUUCE!!!! To Retire As An Eagle". December 6, 2007. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
    10. ^ Kapadia, Sheil (July 27, 2010). "Practice observations: Ingram, Jauron, the WRs". Retrieved 2010-07-27. 
    11. ^

    External links

    Preceded by
    Ricky Watters
    Philadelphia Eagles Starting Running Back
    Succeeded by
    Brian Westbrook