Inside the Article:
On Thursday, Duce Staley spoke to the Carolina media and he explained why he left the Lions for the Panthers. Heading into the offseason, we knew there was a chance that the Detroit Lions could lose offensive coordinator Ben Johnson to an NFL team with a head coach opening, and we quickly learned that defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn was also in the mix to get a promotion elsewhere. But, when news broke that assistant head coach/RBs coach Duce Staley was leaving the Lions to join the Carolina Panthers, plenty of people were surprised at the decision.
Duce Staley reveals why he left Detroit for Carolina
While speaking to the media, Staley explained his reasoning for leaving Detroit for Carolina.
“It feels good to be back close to home,” Staley said on Thursday. “Just growing up as a kid being in South Carolina during the time the ’95, ‘96 Panthers got going there. As a kid you always dream about if you’re playing in the NFL, you want to play close to home. So, the Panthers were definitely one of those teams that I thought about hopefully drafting me. It didn’t happen, but here I am now.”
Upon the news that Staley was leaving for the Panthers, it was reported that he was leaving to be closer to his mother, who has health issues. Staley spoke about that on Thursday.
“She’s my heart, she’s my rock,” Staley added. “So if I had an opportunity to come home, I said to myself for a long time, that I would.”
Staley also noted that another draw to Carolina was that he would be reunited with Panthers' new head coach, Frank Reich.
“Being able to spend those years in Philadelphia with Frank Reich and win a Super Bowl,” Staley added. “To see him go out there and affect young men the way he did was awesome,” Staley added. “I said to myself, ‘I would love to have the opportunity to coach with him again.’”
Staley went on to compare the Panthers to the Lions in terms of having grit.
“I can tell you what excited me about the team,” Staley said. “It’s all about grit! I just left a team in Detroit that’s all about grit. I see a bunch of hungry men, and I can’t wait to get out there with them, and go to war with them.”
Why it Matters for the Detroit Lions
From the moment Staley was hired by Dan Campbell as his assistant head coach, he quickly became a pillar in the organization. Staley was a coach that players on the team trusted and that they could go to with any of their issues. Upon Staley leaving for Carolina, the Lions went out and hired former Indianapolis Colts RBs coach Scottie Montgomery. According to those in the know, Montgomery is a great addition to Campbell's coaching staff