For all of the noise, the initiatives, committees, research reports and even various measures of progress, there’s still so much to be desired when it comes to equal opportunity for African Americans to become NFL head coaches.
Congratulations, Byron Leftwich. You called the plays for Tom Brady to help the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win a Super Bowl.
And you didn’t land even a single interview for any of the top jobs that opened up this year.
Eric Bieniemy? You didn’t ask to become the poster image of what’s wrong with the hiring process in the NFL. But it’s just happened that way. Three years, two Super Bowl appearances as the Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator, 12 interviews, zero job offers to become a head coach. Many wonder why. Or why not?
Never mind the passionate endorsements from the likes of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, head coach Andy Reid and tight end Travis Kelce. Or the apparent push from QB Deshaun Watson to join him in Houston. Back to the drawing board.
Meanwhile, white candidates with lesser resumes — i.e. Brandon Staley (Chargers), Dan Campbell (Lions) and Nick Sirianni (Eagles) — have been granted opportunities to become the next Sean McVay … or next Freddie Kitchens. A snapshot we’ve seen before.
What gives? On top of the Rooney Rule requiring teams to interview multiple candidates of color for head coach and GM vacancies and myriad, progressive attempts from NFL headquarters to bolster opportunities in a league…