As Doug Williams exits the UFL and returns to the sideline at Grambling, he has fired a shot at his prior employer, the NFL.
“The good ol’ boy network is alive and well,” Williams tells Rick Stroud of the St. Petersburg Times, via JoeBucsFan.com. “But it’s changed from the good ol’ boy network to the fraternity. I always find a way to overcome and just keep going forward.”
Williams is referring to his desire to become a General Manager, the goal of his jump to the Bucs after leaving Grambling the first time around. Currently, only five of the 32 NFL G.M. jobs are held by minorities.
“I look at it this way, you’ve got guys sitting in the front office that never coached,” Williams said. “I just didn’t coach college, I coached high school. If you’ve got the patience and time to coach high school, you can do other jobs. There are guys who learned the [football] language and never got their hands dirty, per se. They can’t go back and get their hands dirty again.”
Williams presumably is referring at least in part to Bucs G.M. Mark Dominik, who received the job in 2009 after Bruce Allen was fired. But it’s hard to contend that the Bucs aren’t interested in diversity, given that they gave the head coaching job to Raheem Morris after firing Jon Gruden at the same time.
Williams also shared some insights regarding the Bucs’ decision to pick quarterback Josh Freeman in the first round of the 2009 draft. Williams says that the team’s first choice was Mark Sanchez.
“I laugh, when I hear them talk about Josh Freeman,” Williams said. “I know they wanted Mark Sanchez. I sat right there while they were talking about trading up and getting Sanchez and all these different scenarios. Raheem Morris was the strongest guy [pushing Freeman] in there. I remember the owners asking me which quarterback I liked. I said, ‘If you want someone to play right now, take Sanchez. But I think over the long haul, Josh is going to be better,’ and I think he’s proven that. Raheem had the strongest conviction because he had been around the kid [at Kansas State].”
Some will surely view Williams’ remarks as a delayed case of sour grapes, and it’s possible that he hadn’t previously sounded off because he hoped that success as a G.M. at the UFL level could give him another opportunity with an NFL team. Either way, if he returns to the NFL in the future, it’s fairly safe to say he won’t be returning to the Buccaneers.