Doug Williams says “good ol’ boy network is alive and well” in front offices

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  “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.

75 responses to “Doug Williams says “good ol’ boy network is alive and well” in front offices

  1. I understand his frustration, especially when the majority of players are minorities.

    But the majority of NFL execs are not former players.

    And the fact that almost 16% of the NFL GMs are minorities when African Americans make up like 13% of the U.S. population is actually quite contrary to his complaint.

    I’m actually beginning to think Doug is just frustrated.

  2. You go Doug, drag the race card into this and I am sure you will get a job. Maybe you should call another ex-QB in Shaq Harris and see how that worked out.

  3. So just because you are a minority means you should be given an opportunity?

    There are only 32 G.M. positions available. You don’t have one. Guess what Mr. Williams, neither do hundreds of millions of other people!

    What makes you think you are more qualified than others? I would say that Marty Schoettenheimer is more qualified than you.

    OOOOPS! I guess the good ol boy network really IS alive and well.

    Here is a tip Mr. Williams. If you want a GM position go buy a team and hand yourself the title, ala Jerry Jones. But quit whining and playing the race card cause you sound like a fool and insult the likes of Ozzie Newsome.
    come to think of it, I would argue that Vince Young is more qualified than you.

  4. Doug will get his chance to be G.M. at Grumbling.

    Unless they pull the rug out from under him and hire some white guy just out of business school instead. But I doubt that.

  5. The expression “sour grapes” does not mean complaining about things now that you didn’t complain about before. It means pretending not to want something that you really want. For example, if he had said, “I’m glad they didn’t give me the job, because I didn’t want it anyway”, that would be sour grapes.

  6. Life is not fair my friend. Things are better, but not equitable. The combination of the economy and Obama-backlash has created new racial tension. This too shall pass…

  7. What card/excuse can all the caucasian guys use that can’t break into the G.M. ranks?
    Becoming a NFL G.M. is part experience (except in the case of Matt Millen), part timing, part who you know, part luck, and part B.S. (especially in the case of Matt Millen).

  8. Don’t hold your breath on getting a front office job now Doug.
    Wait……… Bruce (can’t draft for $h_t) Allen will get fired before year’s end, so get that resume to Schnibby now.

  9. Good ol’ boys network?! I thought Peter King said that didn’t exist!

    A lot of racism still going on in the football world. Both with the reporting and in the front offices.

  10. So you want to be a GM in the NFL, you say? Well I am just a fan but I can probably bet that calling all the owners of the NFL racist probably isn’t the best bet for you to becoming a GM. I’m just saying.

  11. Jon Gruden brought DW back into the fold and treated him like a king…. He’d been given responsibility in the organization and apparently didn’t perform very well, otherwise he’d have been given consideration for the GM job.

    The fact that he didn’t, speaks volumes about the confidence level the front office had about his potential.

    Because he didn’t get the job, and now out of the NFL alogether, he’s decided to run his mouth??

    Nothin like burning bridges (past AND future) …. heck, he might as well write a “tell all” at this point…….. probably all lies and BS, but I’d read it!!

    Also, make sure if you see Doug on the street, you don’t go asking for no autograph…….

    …..such a class act!!

  12. I have great admiration for Doug Williams but I do not believe a coaching background is necessary, or even preferred for the job of GM.

    Ted Thompson is case #1.

  13. Why would you want to take some personal accountability in your own life and career when you can just blame the white man? Seems like a simple enough plan.

  14. Isn’t there the possibility they just dont want to hire him? Without his resume in front of me what great things has he done in football management?Race card with a black head coach?! find it hard to believe
    Doesn’t matter now, he TORCHED that bridge and gonna be hard pressed to get interviews with other NFL teams that would not want to go thru the interview process and not hire him to get slapped with race card on them #hithimwiththedougie!!

  15. You go PFT! Now that the Rooney rule stuff is over, your pro union crap has annoyed everyone of your readers, its time the play the race card! Well played!

  16. just a wild guess Doug the fact that you, yourself are a rasist is prehaps why you don’t have a job. I remember you from your days in the greater Ruston Area in north Louisiana. Once a bigot allways a bigot.

    Don’t think because your black that gives you a free pass. Racisim works both ways and maybe that might be some of the reason you don’t get the jobs you want.

    The mening of one is that we are all one let go of your hate you bitter old fool.

  17. If these guys are actively working to keep Doug out of a front office role, they are not “good old boys”. They are bad old boys. The whole damn network of them. Dispense with the euphemisms and call a spade a spade.

  18. I am so sick of stories using the term minority, and then when the people in question are in the minority there is a degree of shock.. 5 out of 32 is roughly 15 percent. Whites make up 65 percent, blacks 13 percent. So assuming we aren’t including women and just going down racial boundaries, The numbers seem at least reasonable. Can at least 1 reporter do some basic math prior to posting stories so it is honest. It’s as if the media is to afraid to post something transparent. Racially, 5 out of 32 being minorities, is pretty close to being the exact number you would expect if you were to issue 1 job per race, at the proportion that they exist in this country. More over, if you look at college graduates, which I would assume a GM would have to have a degree, ( admittedly though again, this number is also unfair due to the fact that the ability for a minority to get a degree in this country is substantially more difficult than a white person, but that is not the NFL’s fault) the numbers become far far more skewed. Only 25 percent of Americans have College Bachelor degrees or better, and an astounding number of those belong to White Americans. Only 19 percent of African Americans have College degrees yet they only make up less then 15 percent of the population. I won’t inundate you with Math, but if you think about only 15 percent are African, then only 19 percent of the 15 percent even having the lowest level of education required, it becomes evident that 5 out of 32, is not a racist organization. If you want to cry racism, go with our education system, and our countries lack of ability to assist financially disadvantaged students. But if you do the simple math ( yes reporters I know you LOVE words, but numbers can tell a story too) The 5 out of 32 actually shows a rather diverse crowd statistically.

  19. It is what it is, we are always going to have racism (by all races) in the world and some men who think they are better than women. As long as we have to live with those two things we will always have the issue of rather this person or that person was passed over in the employment field because of their race or gender. As a God fearing man I’ve come to learn that when the devil closes one door, God opens another.

  20. He has a point. 70% of NFL players are African-American. Could Doug Williams really do any worse than Matt Millen or Josh McDaniels when it comes to talent evaluation?

  21. I don’t know if Doug was the victim of racism or not. But he’s not “playing the race card” if he actually believes he was denied an opportunity because of race. He’s simply describing what he believes happened to him.

  22. On behalf of everyone who works in finance, law, organized labor, law enforcement, etc. Allow me to say: NO S**T DOUG!

  23. Call me crazy, but I didn’t get an inference to race in his remarks.

    However, it seems that race is always assumed to be the problem for black people whenever they voice their opinion on a subject.

    His gripe is clearly with the new GM cap and contract types who came into football just through who they know rather than what they know like Dominic, Micky Loomas, Mike Tannenbaum, etc.

    It’s a legitimate gripe, but it’s not going to change anytime soon as long as human nature plays a part in such a tight knit community like the NFL. People will continue to hire who they know rather than the most qualified most of the time.

    For a guy who came up through the ranks scouting and learning football, it’s a slap in the face to lose out to the cap and contract experts who never did so, but are given the responsibility because they know the business of football.

  24. Every time I see this guys name it has something to do with race… Hell this guy was on the cover of a racist video game (Black College Football Experience – The Doug Williams Edition).

    Oh and–

    Last time I checked… wasn’t “Sanchez” a minority?

  25. “I understand the frustration”

    Really? Really??

    Were you drafted in 1978 as a black quarterback? Do you know what it was like to be a black quarterback in the late 70’s and 80’s? Have you ever experienced racism? That’s a rhetorical question, please answer it in your head. Everybody knows the NFL is racially biased when it comes to the hiring of executive positions and head coach positions. It’s a reflection of society and most of the comments on this board. But if somebody like Doug Williams wants to point out the obvious then his words should be respected not commented upon in an abusively disparaging manner.

  26. “…I coached high school. If you’ve got the patience and time to coach high school, you can do other jobs.”


    Yep, coaching high school is soooo much related to the duties of building an NFL team. Get over it Dougie, quit using your skin color as a crutch.

  27. Did someone actually just say Doug Williams is a victim of racism because America DID elect a black president??

    What tremendous logic!!!!

    So if you don’t get everything you want, it’s racism.

    And if you DO get what you want, it also can be racism depending on how it plays out.

    Well, I’d say that covers all the bases!

  28. ““I look at it this way, you’ve got guys sitting in the front office that never coached,” ”

    That’s not the biggest issue. It’s there are guys sitting in the front office that never SCOUTED. They aren’t supposed to coach from the GM seat, but control the roster and pick players. Scouting experience should be more valuable than coaching. I’d think.

  29. I tend to roll my eyes when ex-minority NFL players complain about the “good ole boy network” as it relates to the NFL. As he ever did an self-examination and asked himself why he wasnt being considered? You dont become a GM just because a select few people know your name. As a minority, I am getting sick and tired of fellow minority throwing out the race card when they arent qualified for jobs. Look at the work place Doug, most positions are filled through referrals i.e “the good ole boy network”.

  30. Gee, Doug, could it be because you have the communications skills of a grapefruit? Take some of those NFL bucks, and get some diction lessons. I could never understand a word you were saying.

  31. Part of being a GM is about being able to balance talent evaluation with sound fiscal business decisions, another part is being the face of a franchise. And just like no NFL team would want somebody that sounds like a complete moron like Roethlisberger, Bradshaw, and others, Doug Williams is not nearly articulate enough to allow anybody to have confidence in his intelligence.

    To further prove my point, the youtube video above is a great example of why Williams shouldn’t be allowed near a GM position. Considering he was wearing a Bucs outfit at the time of the video, it wouldn’t be surprising that the Bucs didn’t renew his contract last year because of it.

  32. We all know how well it worked having a former player as GM for the Lions

    Last time I checked the golden rule applies
    If you have the gold you make the rules

    And if your a Minority and 5 of 32 are Minority then I guess Minorites hold fewer jobs the the majority race

  33. Hey Doug, you need to speak like you learned more than 3rd f***ing grade English if you want to be a business exec in the NFL or anywhere else.
    There will be more black GM’s in the NFL when there are more qualified black candidates. The only “Color” in the NFL is green- as in $$$$$. They’ll pay whomever gets results.
    Like George Preston Marshall said- “I’ll hire some black football players when the Harlem Globetrotters hire some white basketball players.”

  34. on this very site there was a post about “the coaching clique”! and look who is in that old boys clique!

  35. The media and the front offices are all run by the good ole boy network that caters to the inferior awm complex that is rampant in the good ole usa.

  36. Along with the attempt to gut my wallet by owners, I watch less sports in general because of the constant reference to racism. I’m sick of it. I am not going to sit here and point out the perceived inequities. Just turn on your TV and you can see there is a very fair representation of black men in all positions of the NFL.
    Players, Coaches, Asst Coaches, SB winning coaches, etc Whatever.

    And the thing that kills me, is I don’t care who is who. I enjoy watching anybody play until someone starts saying “oh look at me, i’m black and blah blah…….” Its then I turn the TV off and go find something else. I check in to PFT to find out whats what, but the older I get, the less I need it.

  37. @ lotusfather who says:

    Every time I see this guys name it has something to do with race… Hell this guy was on the cover of a racist video game (Black College Football Experience – The Doug Williams Edition).
    Wow. That’s taking ignorance to a whole nother level. Williams never says race was an issue. The “fraternity” to which he alludes refers to guys who never played, or got their hands dirty.” He doesn’t say white men, but sure, its safe to assume that most front office guys, like most decision makers, in most business are white guys.

    But how is black college football racist? For that matter how is anything black only racist? Black folks account for just 13% of the population. If people like you don’t want anything to do with black folks, you can avoid them all together. And I’m guessing that you do just that. And should you do that, don’t worry, I’m sure you wouldnt be missed.

  38. just because you won a super bowl and coached a college program for a few yrs, does that qualify one to be a general manager of a professional sports franchise? I do think there is some discrimination that goes on and that is everywhere I believe to some extent, but also I dont believe in just handing somebody a position like that just because of his or her skin color. whether you want to see it or not that also is a form of discrimination or reverse discrimination. personally in the last 20 yrs the NFL has come a long way in promoting minorities to prominent positions where they have had success, but that to me doesnt automatically mean they are qualified to run an entire organization. that is totally a different animal.

  39. Do the Bucs even have a white guy on their team besides the kicker/snapper/holder?

    Wahhhh the white man is holding me down wahhhhh.

    How many asian coaches are there?

  40. Hey Doug…FYI the good ole boy network, nepotism, “who you know”, whose butt you kiss, etc. is the way things work in just about every company I’ve ever seen not just the NFL. Maybe you don’t know that though because you’ve never had to go out and get a regular job.
    Does Williams really believe that he would have gotten all the non playing related opportunities he has outside of playing had he not had connections from his playing days…a/k/a ” who you know”? Come on, man.

    The idea that he thought Sanchez who had played something like 16 games ever at the college level was somehow more suited to “playing now” than Freeman? Well I would love to see what is behind that logic. The way Williams talks in this piece sounds like player level trash talking, not the way an executive should talk. Doug haven’t you ever heard the old adage you “dress for the job you want, not the one you have”? It applies to how you should act as well.

  41. One of the problems with sports is that some believe you had to play the game to be any good at evaluating talent. That’s nonsense. For God’s sakes….. look at ESPN! The only people hired as reporters or analysts today are former players or hot chicks. Most of these people are TERRIBLE! (with a few exceptions)

    Hell, Howard Cosell couldn’t get a job in sports broadcasting today if he was just starting out. How insane is that?

  42. Pathetic. Have been a Buccaneer fan since williams played there. Doubtful that race plays ANY part. Williams was one of the dumbest QBs ever. Yes, he had a miracle super bowl with the redskins….but simply is not intelligent enough to be a GM in the NFL. Doug…..put the race card away. It’s not always about race…..its about qualifications and smarts.

  43. The percentages revealed by his comments are actually ahead of national averages. The Bucs have a minority coach and QB. And he fails to realize that GM positions are business management positions, not coaching positions. it doesn’t mean a player cannot become a talented GM (See Ozzie in B-more) but it’s not a given just because you played on the field. A lot of star players make lousy coaches and GMs because all they knew was playing the game (in fact one position) at a high level – not pursuing a job in another field or coaching all their lives. They know how to be a great QB, or shortstop, or power forward – and that’s it in a lot of cases. Handling numbers and the personalities of lesser players is not their strong suit.

  44. Sad day…lost some respect for Doug.

    Aside from the race card that everyone is commenting about…You don’t have to air out dirty laundry like saying everyone wanted Sanchez instead of Freeman…this doesn’t do anyone any good, especally not Doug Williams who will not get a job in the NFL…ever. If I was an owner there is no way I hire this guy.

    Enjoy coaching your son a Grambling, because I’m sure that is your last stop.

  45. Hey do you think I, a white guy, could get a job coaching at Grambling?
    No, you say? Why not?
    Maybe this over racism deserves a mention somewhere in the column wherein someone is whining about implied racism.

  46. Why does everything have to be considered race baiting or pulling the race card?
    As if ANY and EVERY time it is brought up it doesn’t merit the opinion of discrimination?

    Its racist to say that racism(discrimination) doesn’t exist.
    Just because you say it doesn’t, does not mean it doesn’t take place.
    Just because YOU don’t use the “N” word doesn’t mean others don’t.
    Hell I use it and I most definitely not consider myself a racist but maybe some black guys would.

    A lot of you are blind by design, shoving it dirt under the rug doesn’t mean its not there it just means you people choose to ignore it.

  47. Wow. A lot of angry white men here.

    I dont understand why you feel so threatened. Black folks only comprise 13% of the population. And due to age and/or circumstance, only a tiny percentage of them will have any influence on your life. So why do you get so upset when these things are discussed?

    Youre still in charge of things. Just relax and enjoy it.

  48. Maybe these people do not know how you were treated by Mr. Hugh Culverhouse when you wife died and he would not attend the funeral or send any of the Buccaneers Front Office people to represent the Tampa Bay Bucs. Maybe they don’t know how he refused to pay what you should have gotten when your contract was up. Maybe they have never read “Quarterblack. Maybe they don’t knowwhat a coach named John McKay or Joe Gibbs saw in you when it was said that no black QB could ever take a NFL team to the Super Bowl. I would just like to say Thank You Mr Williams for all that you have changed, for all the great players that now play the game every Sunday because of the barriers that you knocked down to give other black QB’s a shot. There are a lot of us old timers that know what you did to make this thing we call a game what it is today. Thank You and the best to you and all your future endeavors.

  49. First of all, lets put all the cards on the table:

    Doug Williams was an above average Super Bowl winning quarterback that happened to be black. Just because someone played in the NFL doesn’t mean they’re entitled to any future coaching, scouting or personnel positions.

    The reality is Doug Williams was/is a sub-par personnel executive. His management qualities are not desirable and he sounds completely uneducated when he speaks. This guy coud not attain an executive leadership position in the “real world”.

    The only reason he originally held that capacity was Gruden extending a hand to the guy who helped build the franchise. Again, just because you played does not mean you know the business side of football….period.

    Sometimes people’s sense of entitlement is out of control.

  50. OK. So I think more than a few comments are presumptuous. No where in the article did Doug Williams state ethnicity as an issue. (There is no such thing as race. Only the human race.) He actually mentioned the issues was a fraternity type of mentality. Those are the facts. Another thing to consider is that Doug Williams was the first black quarterback to win a Superbowl. Every quarterback before him was put on the Wheaties box. Guess what…he was skipped. I wonder why? It didn’t happen the next year. 😦

    I agree, if there are other issues keeping him out of a GM role, so be it. However, you do have to wonder about the age and type of personell in that capacity today. They think the same way those Wheaties execs did back in the day. So sad. I really do hope things have changed.

  51. As a society we have gone from Bull Connor to Barak Obama in 50 years – no country in history can come even close to making a statement like that. The last hole on the ‘white liberal guilt’ card was punched on November 4, 2008.

    We white folks lost the minority on racism long ago, if we ever even had it – there is no such thing as ‘reverse racism’.

  52. prior0knowledge says: Feb 21, 2011 11:13 PM

    for the ignorant, doug williams holds a super bowl passing record while playing for the redskins


    And I have a big tree in my front yard…

    Neither qualifies a person to be a GM of an NFL franchise…

    Not that I am implying that you might be lacking in fundamental cognitive skills…

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