NFL commissioner Roger Goodell just wrapped up his post-owners meeting press conference, and made several references to potential changes to the Rooney Rule.
While there was discussion of several aspects, there are no major changes now. But you have to wonder if the league is able to adjust the calendar, whether the door will be open for some more interviews for minority candidates in the future.
Goodell said that expanding the rule requiring teams to interview a minority candidate for head coaching jobs to coordinators was discussed, but not adopted. He also referenced discussion about freezing the hiring period until after the Super Bowl so coaches on top teams aren’t penalized by their own success, but said owners couldn’t decide how it would work.
But if the combine, free agency and the draft were pushed back later in the spring, as has been discussed, it might create more time for interviews.
As it stands, waiting until mid- or late-February to hire a coach would put a team at a planning disadvantage, with the combine days away, free agency starting a month later, and the draft a month after that. But if those events were pushed back in the year, it might create more of an opportunity for experimentation by owners who are used to doing business a certain way.
As Goodell mentioned several times, the real key is creating a deeper pool of qualified candidates. But creating a process where hires don’t have to be so immediate might help teams take a closer look at candidates who aren’t getting chances now.