The NFL has plenty of rules that often are ignored. Unless those rules are going to be enforced, they should be changed.
Case in point: The current rules prohibit teams from hiring head coaches employed as assistants by other teams whose postseasons have not yet ended. Twice in the last three years, however, the worst-kept secret in the NFL centered on a team having a deal in place with an assistant from a Super Bowl team.
And so the rule could be going away. The Competition Committee has proposed a rule change permitting a club to “negotiate and reach an agreement with a head coach candidate during the postseason prior to the conclusion of the employer club’s season.”
It’s a rule that is long overdue. It was overdue two years ago, when the Falcons had a wink-nod deal in place with former Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. And it’s even more overdue now, after the 49ers had a wink-nod deal in place with former Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.
Will it be a distraction for the assistant coach? Nope. If anything, it will remove the potential distraction that arises when a guy who knows that, if his team keeps winning, he won’t get hired. That happened five years ago, when the Buccaneers decided they could no longer wait for former Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride.
And, yeah, that’s Gantt in the background of the photo. After putting up a photo of the new guy earlier, I need to find a way to make it up to the rest of the crew.