WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – This has been a historically poor offseason for minority coaching candidates in the NFL.
The Rooney Rule is failing to help a minority fill any of the 15 vacant head coaching and general manager positions across the league.
The rule requires at least one minority candidate be interviewed for all head coach and GM vacancies.
In a letter to the NFL Tuesday, the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which works to ensure equal opportunity for minority candidates, asked that the rule be expanded to both offensive and defensive coordinator positions.
When it comes to coaching, only the top position is covered by the rule, which states at least one minority candidate be interviewed for the job.
USA Today’s Jarrett Bell believes franchises need to be more open minded, citing hires like Andy Reid in Kansas City as more of the ‘Good Old Boy Network’ continuing its dominance.
Reid, who was ousted by the Eagles after 14 seasons, posted a mediocre 22-26 record in his last three years in Philadelphia.
“Why does that make him such a hot property?” Bell asked 106.7 The Fan’s Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier.
As the league heads further in the direction of high octane offenses, the belief is that minority coaching candidates that specialize in defense are being overlooked.
“If you look at the African-American coaches who have been hired since the Rooney Rule was instituted 10 years ago, I think there were 12 who have been hired during this era,” said Bell. “And 10 of the 12 were guys with defensive backgrounds, like Mike Tomlin and Leslie Frazier.”
Bell says double standards and a candidate’s choice of supporting coaching staff also contribute to lack of minority hires.
“I think Lovie Smith could still be in Chicago if he picked the right offensive coordinator,” Bell said. “And he went through three of them during his years with the Bears.”
Ray Horton, Arizona’s former defensive coordinator, was reportedly so incensed he missed out on being promoted to head coach when the Cardinals hired Bruce Arians, he demanded the team release him from his contract.