The Bears reportedly have missed out on a top target for their vacant running backs coach position.
Longtime Philadelphia Eagles running backs coach Duce Staley is joining the Detroit Lions in the same position, according to a report from the NFL Networks’ Tom Pelissero.
The Bears were interested in bringing Staley to Chicago as a running backs coach, according to multiple reports. A former running back with the Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers, Staley had coached with the Eagles since 2011 and had been their running backs coach since 2013.
When former Eagles coach Doug Pederson contracted COVID-19 in August, Staley served as the de facto head coach for about 10 days during training camp while Pederson worked remotely. Staley’s experience with Pederson, a coaching peer and close friend of Bears coach Matt Nagy, no doubt drew Nagy’s interest. Staley and Nagy coached together for two seasons (2011 and 2012) in Philadelphia. Nagy was then the offensive quality control coach.
Instead of joining Nagy in Chicago, Staley will be heading to an NFC North rival in Detroit. The Lions are retooling under new head coach Dan Campbell. With quarterback Matthew Stafford reportedly on his way out of Detroit this offseason, the Lions are starting over on offense.
This, combined with the Bears choosing an inside hire, former safeties coach Sean Desai, as defensive coordinator, begs the question of whether the Bears are having trouble persuading coaches to come to Chicago. With head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace walking on thin ice in 2021, it’s probably not the most desirable of landing spots for potential assistant coaches.
More coaches have defected from Halas Hall than have signed up, at least as things stand right now. The latest coach to jump ship, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune, is outside linebackers coach Ted Monachino, who is not expected to return. A longtime assistant under Chuck Pagano in Chicago and Indianapolis, Monachino has been with the Bears for two seasons.
Already, defensive line coach Jay Rodgers reportedly has left for the Los Angeles Chargers. The Atlanta Falcons have officially hired former Bears passing game coordinator Dave Ragone and former running backs coach Charles London.
[Read more: Atlanta Falcons make Ragone, London hirings official]
So for those keeping track at home, the Bears are in need of at least four assistant coaches, as of Monday afternoon.