Duce Staley was LeSean McCoy's position coach with the Eagles for two seasons. He ran behind Tra Thomas for six seasons and worked alongside him as a coach for another two.
McCoy and Thomas made headlines this offseason with incendiary comments about Chip Kelly and race. McCoy, traded to the Bills in March, said that Kelly got rid of "all the good black players" the fastest.
Thomas, whom the Eagles didn't bring back as an assistant, said that some players thought there was "a hint of racism" in how the team was run. The former Pro Bowl tackle also pointed out that Staley is the only remaining position coach who is African American.
Asked about McCoy's and Thomas' statements Wednesday, Staley defended Kelly.
"Chip is not a racist at all," Staley said. "Chip and I work well together. Everybody has their own opinion. I'm not here to actually talk about Tra or here to talk about what McCoy said. I know from my relationship with Chip that's definitely far- fetched.
"We're all here to do a job, and that's what it's all about. It's about football. So don't take something that's a chapter and make it a book."
Kelly said in March that he was disappointed with Thomas' comments and said last week that McCoy was wrong.
Staley was one of 12 coaches the Eagles made available to the media Wednesday. Every NFL team is obligated to give access to assistant coaches at least once during the spring. Of the 12 coaches, including the three coordinators, Staley is the only one who is black.
Ted Williams, who is black, coached tight ends last season, but he is now a scout. He was replaced by tight ends assistant Justin Peele.
Williams was Staley's position coach during his seven seasons as an Eagles running back. Staley was asked if having a position coach who is also black has makes it easier for both to relate to one another.
"We all speak English," Staley said.
McCoy met Wednesday with reporters in Buffalo for the first time since his comments were published by ESPN The Magazine last month, but he refused to explain himself further and nearly ended the interview, according to reports.
"I don't have to explain myself to nobody," McCoy said. "I said what I said about how I felt."
McCoy, the Eagles' all-time leading rusher, was dealt to the Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso in March. He gave several interviews after the trade critical of Kelly, but has not accepted his calls. Staley said he did talk to McCoy.
"It was just a hello and a goodbye," Staley said.
Staley, who was once released by the Eagles, said that the move was strictly business.
"My reaction, of course, LeSean and I are close," Staley said. "You have to understand this is a business. He understands that. And everybody that works on this level understands that. He moved on with a better opportunity for him, and he'll take full advantage."
Eagles quarterbacks coach Ryan Day, who played for Chip Kelly at New Hampshire and is from the same hometown as Kelly, said he took the job this year because of a familiarity with Kelly and Philadelphia.
"I think for my wife and kids - we had just had our third child . . . and I feel like they're at the age now where it's a good time to make the move," said Day, who was previously the offensive coordinator at Boston College and had worked at Temple.
"We had been to Philadelphia twice before, so there's a familiarity for my family. A familiarity with this coaching staff, with Coach Kelly, and a bunch of guys on this staff who I've coached with before, so that kind of all fit. And I was excited to get back in this offense again that I played in at college."
Kelly said in March that Day, 36, is a "rising star in football." Day replaced Bill Musgrave, who became the Oakland Raiders' offensive coordinator.
The Eagles finalized their scouting staff, including the promotion of Trey Brown to assistant director of college scouting and the additions of Marty Barrett to senior scout and Chris Shea to director of scouting administration/strategic management.
The Eagles moved Mike Bradway from assistant director of college scouting to Southwest scout, Ryan Myers to pro/college scout, and Michael Davis to personnel executive. They also added David Hinson as Midwest scout.
Brown will work with vice president of player personnel Ed Marynowitz on college scouting. He spent the last two years as the West Coast scout and came to the Eagles from the New England Patriots.
Barrett spent the last 18 years with the Chicago Bears, including the last two as director of college scouting. He worked with Dwayne Joseph, whom the team hired last month as director of pro scouting.