Lions left tackle Taylor Decker offers insight into Duce Staley’s departure
The departure of Duce Staley from the Lions coaching staff was very sudden publicly, and left tackle Taylor Decker has offered more insight from his perspective.
On Wednesday, the surprising news the Lions were losing running backs coach Duce Staley to the Carolina Panthers came via ESPN’s Dan Graziano. Justin Rogers of The Detroit News reported Staley’s mother is having health issues, prompting his taking an opportunity to be close to home (he’s a South Carolina native).
While the news of Staley’s departure from the Lions was very sudden publicly, it’s worth wondering how long it was brewing behind the scenes. Staley surely conveyed his concerns about his mom’s health to head coach Dan Campbell, and a plan to replace him was probably being started in case new Panthers head coach Frank Reich wanted Staley on his staff.
On the day the news about Staley broke, Lions left tackle Taylor Decker appeared on the Honolulu Blues podcast. He had some insight on Staley’s departure from a player’s perspective.
Taylor Decker confirms big reason for Duce Staley leaving the Lions
Here’s what Decker had to say.
"I will say Duce called me this morning,” Decker said on Wednesday. “We probably talked for 10, 15 minutes about it. I believe he called every single person, at least on the offense. I believe he called all of them. Before he called me, he said he had spoken to all of the running backs. He was trying to reach every single guy, individually.It was for personal reasons, mostly. It’s not because he doesn’t want to be part of our organization. It’s not because he doesn’t love us, but he needs to do what’s best for his family. I respect him as a man for that, because he’s a guy’s guy and a man’s man, and he’s got to handle his business. You can’t say a bad thing about that.”"
Decker went on to laud Staley’s importance to the Lions as he came in on Campbell’s staff in 2021, and he naturally lamented the departure even with absolute understanding why. It’s a sentiment surely widespread, if not universal, among Lions players and coaches.