Steve Wilks still believes Rooney Rule is working

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Steve Wilks was one of eight minority head coaches in the NFL last season. He’s now the Browns’ defensive coordinator.

The Cardinals fired Wilks after only one season.

“I have nothing but great things to say about the Arizona Cardinals and the organization, Michael Bidwill and the entire family there,” Wilks said, via Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic. “This is a production-based league and we didn’t win enough games. Would I have liked to have more time? Of course.”

The league now has only four minority coaches, drawing questions about whether the Rooney Rule is working.

“I do think it’s working,” Wilks said. “Again, every owner has their own expectations and things that they want. I think again, it’s about production. It’s about winning. Does it take time? Yes.

“You look at any Fortune 500 company in the United States and they’ll tell you when someone comes in and takes it over, it’s going to take some time. You just wish that you had that time. I think the Rooney Rule is working. I think it is effective.”

At his annual state of the league press conference last week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell cautioned against judging the Rooney Rule based on one hiring cycle.

18 responses to “Steve Wilks still believes Rooney Rule is working

  1. After seeing what happened to Colin Kaepernick it’s not surprising this ex-HC chose to tow the company line. The man wants someday to get another chance.

    Nonetheless, it is shameful.

  2. Cannot even compare Kaep to Wilks.

    Bowles was fired after going 24-40; 5-11,5-11, 4-12
    Lewis was fired after 16 seasons
    Jackson – 3-36-1 after 2.5 seasons
    Joseph – teams were inept. Though Elway did him no favors

    This is nonsense. Plenty of coaches lost jobs.

  3. Sorry Steve, if you had stayed on in AZ you would have, no doubt, delivered us three more number one draft picks. It was time to go.

  4. He’s not a head coach, plain and simple. It was a bad hire, and they were wise to cut bait quick. Good DC, and perhaps he gets back to HC one day. GM Steve Keim should have got the boot, too – he’s had more time, and he’s failing. Should have been a full regime change.

  5. Considering 4 minority coaches have coached in a Superbowl in the last 15 years with two of them going multiple times and one being in the Hall of Fame now. Not to mention the one guy that took the Cincinatti Bengals from “Will they win a game” to “Will they ever win a playoff game” you can’t really argue the rule didn’t work and the point that good coaches were being passed over for years wasn’t made.

    The one negative is now there are so many coaching candidates that teams will fire coaches and GM’s way faster than before when they were just retreading the same guys over and over. Guys like Chuck Noll wouldn’t have lasted in todays NFL where firing people after one or two years is normal (took him 4 to make the Steelers a winner and was putting up Hue Jackson numbers his first 3 seasons).

  6. African Americans consist of 12.3% of the u.s. population. There are 32 NFL coaching jobs available. So for nfl coaching jobs to accurately reflect the diversity of our society, there should be 3.936 African American coaches in the nfl. There are currently 4 African American coaches so nfl coaching accurately represents the diversity of our nation. Our society has enough problems. Why are we creating issues on racial lines when there isn’t really any issue?

  7. djstat says:
    February 7, 2019 at 2:49 pm
    Cannot even compare Kaep to Wilks.

    Bowles was fired after going 24-40; 5-11,5-11, 4-12
    Lewis was fired after 16 seasons
    Jackson – 3-36-1 after 2.5 seasons
    Joseph – teams were inept. Though Elway did him no favors

    This is nonsense. Plenty of coaches lost jobs.
    ______________________________________________

    But that was not the comparison: Kaep to Wilks.

    Kaep was mentioned because he was critical of the NFL in a bold way & is now unemployed. Wilks was asked a question: Is the Rooney Rule working? He answered YES.

    But it is not working. In a league comprised predominantly of African-American men, only 4 of 32 HC positions are filled by AA men. Surely Wilks knows the Rooney Rule is not working. Yet he answered YES, it is working. He wants to work again in the NFL. He answered YES.

    That is shameful.

  8. You were given 16 games and we’re in over your head. The cards were embarrassed on their only prime game against the broncos . They were outscored by over 30 touchdowns on the season and no improvement was ever made. It was a complete nightmare

  9. John Webber says:
    February 7, 2019 at 3:06 pm
    African Americans consist of 12.3% of the u.s. population. There are 32 NFL coaching jobs available. So for nfl coaching jobs to accurately reflect the diversity of our society, there should be 3.936 African American coaches in the nfl. There are currently 4 African American coaches so nfl coaching accurately represents the diversity of our nation. Our society has enough problems. Why are we creating issues on racial lines when there isn’t really any issue?

    *************************************************************************

    It’s an article about a guy saying that he thinks the rule is working. He’s being positive about it. He’s not creating problems or issues, so why be salty.

    Also, African Americans constitute far more than 12.3% of NFL players, and of players at lower levels (e.g.,college). Coaches (not just HCs but assistants, position coaches, and coordinators) often are ex-players themselves (if not at the NFL level, then in college). Pretty clear that there’s a discrepancy there.

    “Our society has enough problems.” –> I get that it’s the NFL, but the underlying broader principle is equality of access to economic opportunity, which believe it or not, is a relevant issue for a lot of people. If it’s not for you, then kuddos.

  10. John Webber says:
    February 7, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    African Americans consist of 12.3% of the u.s. population. There are 32 NFL coaching jobs available. So for nfl coaching jobs to accurately reflect the diversity of our society, there should be 3.936 African American coaches in the nfl. There are currently 4 African American coaches so nfl coaching accurately represents the diversity of our nation. Our society has enough problems. Why are we creating issues on racial lines when there isn’t really any issue?
    ——————————————————–

    That’s some pretty bad math there!!! African Americans make up a whole lot more than 12.3% of the “football population”- using that math they would be way underrepresented.

    Say caucasians made up 60% of the US population, and people of Chinese Heritage made up 1%- using your math 60% of workers/owners in Chinese Restaurants would have to be white! Ha

    “Why are we creating issues on racial lines when there isn’t really any issue?”-

    There were ZERO Black head coaches for 40+ years in the NFL- that’s why the rule came into existence. Never got why the Rooney Rule stirs people up, it’s a fairly innocuous rule, doesn’t force anyone to hire someone- just assures that at least 1 minority candidate gets the chance to be interviewed.

    NFL jobs and hiring is so incestuous that rarely does the “most qualified” even get a chance. I’m a Pats fan- so lets look there. Bill’s son Steven Bellichik is a coach on the Pats, one of the best teams of the last 20 years. He had ZERO qualifications to be hired by the team except for being Bill’s son. He didn’t even have football experience- unless you count playing lacrosse with Chris Hogan! I’m not slighting Steven, he may turn out to be a fabulous coach, but there were literally 100’s of more qualified people working in college ball that never even had a chance to be interviewed for that job.

  11. nflfan12blog says:
    February 7, 2019 at 4:22 pm
    … Bill’s son Steven Bellichik is a coach on the Pats, one of the best teams of the last 20 years. He had ZERO qualifications to be hired by the team except for being Bill’s son. He didn’t even have football experience- unless you count playing lacrosse with Chris Hogan!
    _____________________________________________________________________________

    But he had the same qualifications his father had coming out of college: a college grad who played lacrosse and had one year on the football team as a long snapper. Both also had excellent coaches as parent/teacher, which in my opinion, makes him extremely qualified.

  12. harryshavik says:
    February 7, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    But he had the same qualifications his father had coming out of college: a college grad who played lacrosse and had one year on the football team as a long snapper. Both also had excellent coaches as parent/teacher, which in my opinion, makes him extremely qualified.
    ———————————————–

    Yeah- I think you just proved my point! The only reason Steven got his job with the Pats was because of Bill. What made Steve “extremely qualified”? There are literally hundreds of young coaches in college with 3-4 years of football coaching experience- are you saying that Steve is more qualified than them? Those young, experienced and qualified coaches NEVER even got a chance at an interview- not based on merit, but because they lack family connections.

    Its not meant as a criticism one way or the other on Bill or Steve, it doesn’t mean Steve won’t become or already is a fabulous coach, its just Steve had the privilege of being his son- he wouldn’t even been interviewed for the job, or any other NFL job otherwise. His hiring was never based on merit.

  13. Some folks here seem to have overlooked something. Wilks may seem like he’s toeing the company line, but he’s really slamming Mike Bidwell pretty hard. Not for being racist, but incompetent.

    Wilks made it clear he believes any new regime (I would assume general managers are included) needs to be given sufficient time to prove itself worthy or not. He basically said that well run businesses (Fortune 500 Companies) give their new management times sufficient time to settle in. Turn the ship’s momentum in the direction they want to go, and then go. I doubt he even had sufficient time to get the ship turned around.

    In my book, he just said that the Cards are a poorly run business.

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