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Chargers assistant to become Eagles' offensive coordinator; Staley headed to Lions

LES BOWEN
The Philadelphia Inquirer (TNS)
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) talks with head coach Anthony Lynn and offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, center, during a timeout in the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

The Philadelpia Eagles haven't confirmed it, but multiple reports Monday say Shane Steichen will be the team's offensive coordinator under new head coach Nick Sirianni.

Steichen, 35, was the Chargers' offensive coordinator under former head coach Anthony Lynn, who was fired at the end of the 2020 season. Steichen spent nine years with the Chargers in two stints, separated by a one-year interlude with the Browns in 2013. He worked alongside Sirianni from 2013-17, when Steichen was an offensive quality control coach and then quarterbacks coach, and Sirianni was quarterbacks coach, then wide receivers coach.

Steichen is a former UNLV quarterback who took over the Chargers' offense in the middle of the 2019 season, when coordinator Ken Whisenhunt was fired. The offense improved in the second half of that season.

In 2020, Steichen and the Chargers transitioned to rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, who showed excellent promise, completing 66.6% of his passes for 4,336 yards, 31 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and a 98.3 passer rating.

Former Colts offensive coordinator Sirianni, Steichen and passing game specialist Kevin Patullo, who reportedly is leaving that position in Indianapolis to join Sirianni with the Eagles, would seem to be the major figures charged with sorting out the Eagles' quarterbacking situation. Carson Wentz nose-dived to the bottom of the league in 2020, his fifth NFL season. Wentz was benched in favor of rookie Jalen Hurts for the final four games. Hurts provided energy and something of a different look to the offense, but the results didn't change.

Team owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman want to see a reinvigorated Wentz, after having invested $128 million in a four-year, 2019 contract extension. Trading Wentz this offseason would put a cap-pressed team in even more of a bind, incurring what would be a league-record $34 million dead cap charge. Wentz was said to be disaffected from fired head coach Doug Pederson, wanting a trade. Sirianni reportedly has spoken with Wentz, but there has been no word from the quarterback about his view of the situation.

Two weeks ago, when Lurie explained his decision to move on from Pederson, Lurie called Wentz "very fixable."

Philadelphia Eagles running backs coach Duce Staley, right, works with running back Darren Sproles (43) on the sideline during the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Duce Staley will join Lions: Duce Staley is leaving the Eagles to become assistant head coach and running backs coach in Detroit, a source with knowledge of the situation said Monday.

The title is the same one Staley held with the Eagles under Pederson.

Staley, who will turn 46 next month, wanted to move on after being bypassed for the head-coaching job in favor of Sirianni, a source said. Staley was the team's longest-tenured assistant, having been hired by Andy Reid in 2011. He served under Reid, Chip Kelly, and Pederson.

Players appreciated Staley's fiery, animated leadership. The Lions just hired a head coach, Dan Campbell, whose introductory news conference opened with a stirring call to arms right out of Braveheart, so they would seem to be well-matched.

"It [stinks]," Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham said Sunday, when asked about Staley's impending departure. "But I understand it. New coach, new people. Duce will be a good asset to a staff, wherever he goes."

Running back Boston Scott spoke Sunday of how "very detail-oriented" Staley was in preparing his backs. "Selfishly, I would love for him to stay here and be with us, but I would hope he does get an opportunity to have an increased role in a coaching staff, and stuff like that, because I really think his work is there. I just really hope he gets that shot."

Staley was a third-round Eagles draft pick in 1997 and is the franchise's fifth-leading rusher, with 1,200 carries for 4,807 yards in 98 Eagles games. He also caught 275 passes for 2,498 yards in seven seasons.