5 potential candidates to replace Dan Campbell as Detroit Lions head coach
5. Duce Staley, Detroit Lions running backs coach/assistant head coach
If Campbell were to be fired during the season, again very unlikely but possible, Staley is the clear interim replacement with the title of assistant head coach. He is certainly future head coach material, having paid his dues as an assistant for many years in Philadelphia under three head coaches before coming to Detroit on Campbell’s staff.
The unanswered question, as it is with any first-time head coach, is how he’d handle the big picture and big-boy decisions that determine wins and losses.
For those who will point out how unlikely it is to hire someone to replace a fired head coach with someone from said-fired head coach’s staff, it’s rare but not unprecedented. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers elevated Dirk Koetter from offensive coordinator to head coach after firing Lovie Smith.
Staley may get some head coaching interviews after the season, independent of Campbell’s status in Detroit. But if the Lions make a coaching change, he should automatically be on their list of candidates to talk to in the search to replace Campbell.