Five NFL insiders on the NFL Network got together last night regarding the current practices in place to make sure minority candidates are getting a fair shot at NFL head coaching and front office positions, and the consensus is that the current setup may be doing more harm than good.
With the Redskins hire of Ron Rivera all but official at this point, there are currently just four minority head coaches out of 32 head coaching positions.
According to the panel, that appalling figure is not an NFL problem, as many seem to believe. At its core, it boils down to an ownership problem.
"Owners hire people...the NFL doesn't. The NFL has done a tremendous job putting in programs to promote and circulate candidates, and in fact, every team this year was given a database that includes the names of every minority offensive coach at both the collegiate level and the NFL level," analyst Jim Trotter shared.
"So this is not an NFL problem. This is an ownership problem."
Many point to the NFL's Rooney Rule as a huge step in the right direction in opening doors for minority coaches in the league. However, that's not always the case.
Trotter goes on to share that there are minority candidates at the college level that are declining opportunities to interview with NFL teams because they are concerned that they are "sham" interviews that simply allow NFL organizations to "check the box" of interviewing a minority candidate. That begs the question...is the Rooney Rule operating like we wanted it to when it was instituted? Or is it backfiring it a major way?
Interestingly enough, one of those college minority coaches Trotter says turned down an opportunity to interview with an NFL team was Clemson co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, who declined an interview opportunity with the Panthers because "in part he didn't feel it was a legitimate interview."
During the course of their conversation, the panel brings up a number of familiar names that should get consideration this coaching change cycle including Jim Caldwell, Marvin Lewis, Robert Saleh, and others.
See the video for more interesting discussion points on the state of minority coaches being considered for NFL opportunities.