Whether you like the Rooney Rule or not, it remains in place. Which means that teams must comply with it, or face the consequences.
Which means that the Raiders, who are expected to hire Jon Gruden to replace Jack Del Rio, have a problem.
But here’s the thing: It’s become incredibly easy to comply with it.
After a few potholes early in the life of the provision that requires every team with a coaching vacancy to interview at least one minority candidate (e.g., a phone interview of Dennis Green by the Cowboys before hiring Bill Parcells in 2002, and no interview by the Lions before hiring Steve Mariucci in 2003), teams have figured out how to check the box.
Even when it’s clear that a team has decided who it wants to hire, assistant coaches who hope to get their name in circulation and/or to perhaps secure favorable consideration for future jobs by helping the league avoid an awkward spot now will be happy to accept an interview for a job they know they won’t get. As to a job that seems to be on track to be filled quickly by a candidate who has been flagged as the next coach of the team by his current employer, there’s always a chance the team pre-complied with the Rooney Rule by secretly interviewing a current member of the staff or a candidate who currently is not attached to any NFL team.
Regardless, expect news to emerge quickly of the Raiders either interviewing someone soon or already interviewing someone, securing compliance with the Rooney Rule and avoiding any problems with the league.