Anthony Lynn on Rooney Rule changes: “Sometimes you can do the wrong thing while trying to do the right thing”

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The NFL has proposed an expansion to the Rooney Rule that transforms it from requiring minority candidates to be interviewed for head-coaching and G.M. positions to rewarding them for hiring minority candidates.

Chargers coach Anthony Lynn, one of four minority head coaches currently in the NFL, shared his thoughts on the proposal during a Friday appearance on CBS Sports Radio with Zach Gelb.

“I think sometimes you can do the wrong thing while trying to do the right thing,” Lynn said.

Many would agree with Lynn. This new effort to promote diversity in NFL hiring practices arguably goes too far, incentivizing decisions based on race by offering enhanced draft position to teams that hire minority candidates.

“I think that there are a lot of qualified African-American coaches that could be a head coach in this league, and I just pray that we do our due diligence and give these guys an opportunity,” Lynn said. “There are some qualified applicants and they need an opportunity, and I think this is — out of desperation this is something that has been thrown out there.”

Part of the problem is the lack of minority owners, and the unwillingness of non-minority owners to take the time to get comfortable with the prospect of hiring someone with whom they may not immediately find a natural connection.

“Sometimes we hire people that we have something in common with, or someone that looks like us,” Lynn said. “Someone that came from the same background as I did, you’re more comfortable doing that.”

Lynn also suggested that the league should expand from the presumption that offensive and defensive coordinators are the natural candidates to receive a promotion to head-coaching positions, arguing that non-coordinator assistants (including assistant head coaches) should get greater consideration.

“There are a lot of brilliant guys that can call plays but can’t lead a damn team,” Lynn said.

Every owner wants to find the best possible leader for the owner’s team. But it’s not as easy as finding the best players. The leadership quality is far less tangible, and it usually takes at least a full season or longer to decide whether the coach truly can “lead a damn team.”

Throw in the fact that dysfunctional teams tend to do dysfunctional things, and it’s really no surprise that plenty of franchises careen around aimlessly trying to find the right coach, constantly swinging and missing and swinging and missing and keeping the wrong guy too long and not giving perhaps the right guy enough time and generally creating a revolving door that prevents the team from ever establishing the kind of continuity that leads to consistent contention.

45 responses to “Anthony Lynn on Rooney Rule changes: “Sometimes you can do the wrong thing while trying to do the right thing”

  1. well said Mr. Lynn, I wonder why coaches that have proven themselves to be incompetent continue to get chances despite their track record, like so many here have said what happened to hiring the best person for the job rather than just someone who has hovered around .500 and chokes under pressure, is that familiarity that Lynn speaks of a possible reason? Or it could also be that some owners truly do not care about winning just raking in the dough- we do not need to name who those owners are, pretty obvious

  2. ….I hear what your sayin’

    Don’t let any privileged entities tell you that there isn’t a pool of great future coaches of color.
    You can shut that lame argument down.

    What I’m waiting for is “the right thing ” to be done since america drafted its constitution with the serpent of
    slavery and oppression coiled under the signing table.

    #onedayyoullcometogrips

  3. So what about non minorities we are slowly being discriminated against, and this is another example of that

  4. Let’s not be racist here… but when you bring race into a conversation, doesn’t that in of itself make it racist? We as a society will never get over racism until we treat everyone as just a human.

  5. I understand the Rooney Rule has been flawed from it’s beginning to today, but the intentions are still good.

  6. I agree with Lynn however this does not mean that there shouldn’t be some type of change to the Rooney rule. It is obviously not working. There needs to be more opportunities given to minorities not just as coaches but executives as well.

  7. I think the real problem is a lot of the minority coaches tend to gravitate to the defensive side of the ball (for whatever reason) and right now the NFL is in the “hire the hot young offensive coordinator” phase. A few years ago when Lovie Smith and Mike Tomlin were coming up it was the other way around. We should see the hiring trend even out at some point the same way we have a plethora of black quarterbacks right now but no question there’s too few minority coaches at the moment.

  8. “There are a lot of brilliant guys that can call plays but can’t lead a damn team.”

    Interesting thing for him to say as a longtime assistant of Rex Ryan…

  9. dcpatfan is right, y’all can dislike it, but it is a known and proven fact of America’s timeline, should we tak about what was done to the indigineous people as well? Go ahead, y’all dislike away – good for a chuckle(your dislike, not the aforementioned subjects) even though it is sad

  10. Lynn is right. A head coach needs to be a leader / motivator / able to delegate pretty much like anyone else in a leadership position in any company and those types of people are difficult to find. Maybe the NFL needs to move a focus towards leadership training for coaches (regardless of color). This training could be in the form of training classes and weekend retreats that are not only run / led by ex NFL coaches but anyone who has had success being a leader in the business world. I would also suggest that NFL owners get involved (especially in a weekend retreat scenario) so they are able to get to know potential coaches in waiting and have a better understanding of these folks when they are ready to hire.

    At the end of the day you want to expand the pool of prospects to ensure an owner who is looking to hire a head coach has as many choices as possible. This will help to ensure the chances are greater for the best man getting hired for the job and having success.

  11. No they’re not, the Rooney rule is a waste of people’s time. The owners know who they want, this dumb rule is a dog and pony show. This reminds me of the whole CTE garbage and how it’s somehow the NFL’s sole problem or responsibility to pay for it. If a player ends up with CTE it started back in high school or college not the NFL. A player doesn’t just get CTE by playing NFL football starting day one. The same thing goes for no good minority coaches or gms, it starts or needs to start on the lower levels. You need to get a variety of whatever colored coaches you want in the lower ranks so that they get the experience they need, they can move up to the next level after. You can’t just pick any NFL offensive or defensive coordinator a put them in a head coach job and expect them to succeed. How do both of these thing have anything in common? Well, CTE should be dealt with and controlled on the lower levels before it becomes a serious issue in the pros. If there was more diversity in the lower levels, there would be more minority coaches in the pool to pick from. It’s not that hard to figure out, you can’t wait until you get to the top level to deal with serious issues just because the NFL cash to pay problems away and not fix them. If you do, you end up with some diversity council wanting to pay teams to pay unqualified minorities to a job that they should never be in the running for.

  12. Black males make up 6% of the population so they should make up 6% of coaching and they are already exceeding that so why the hell are they crying about this?

  13. Why would a billionaire choose to move up 10 spaces for a special teamer rather than sign the HC he wants?

  14. Looks like the diversity committee quickly came up with this crap so they could go to the steak buffet downstairs.

  15. hermanmerman99 says:
    May 16, 2020 at 6:09 pm
    Black males make up 6% of the population so they should make up 6% of coaching and they are already exceeding that so why the hell are they crying about this?
    ————————————————————
    Women make up more than 50% of the entire population. So where the heck are all the female coaches?
    I mean, really….

  16. Throw in the fact that dysfunctional teams tend to do dysfunctional things, and it’s really no surprise that plenty of franchises careen around aimlessly trying to find the right coach,
    ==================================================

    And they do that with black coaches, not just white. The fact is most black head coaches, and there’s been a lot now, have not been successful.

  17. “Someone that came from the same background as I did, you’re more comfortable doing that.”

    And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

  18. Stexan they are the ones whining and crying about percentages in coaching you imbecile. I pointed out that they are already exceeding their proportion of coaching according to their percentage of the total population. I’m sorry your texas high school education can’t help you understand that

  19. I think Anthony Lynn is fantastic…he could coach my team all day long.

    And he’s right on this issue.

    Perhaps there’s a concern here, but just because a black man is not hired as a G.M. or coach does not mean anything racist going on (and why does racism only seem to happen to black Americans, seemingly never to Asians, Indians, Caucasians, etc). And just because 75% of an employment group (in this case players) is a particular race doesn’t mean there should be regulations regarding management percentages. That’s just non-intelligent thinking, and by definition a racist view of life in general.

    The NFL and most everything should be a meritocracy. This does not mean that this couldn’t lead to Constitutional rights being violated, and if that’s the case; bring the disinfectant sunlight on the issue and see what happens. But writing racist rules that will only exacerbate the issue is not the solution.

  20. I always liked Anthony Lynn and held him in high esteem. He has solidified my high regard for him.

  21. No team owner became a billionaire because they are stupid. When you invest that kind of capital into a NFL team business, you are going to hire top notch coaches, GMs, have great facilities, and associated personnel. That approach knows no color or race and that approach is not going to change. The best prove themselves on the way to the top and are hired on merit. If you want to get your head and idiot thoughts wrapped around the Rooney Rule then how come you have black players representing over 70% of the players while representing 13% of the population? Better choose your path of equality wisely!

  22. I am an indigenous person – my people are maybe 1M worldwide…I guess I should be commissioner of the NFL. I would at least be better than Goodell.

  23. Any successful business ALWAYS hires the best person available … that’s why they are successful.

  24. Only they’re suggesting to do something horrible while do something terrible.

  25. akfinfan says:
    May 16, 2020 at 7:04 pm
    What happened to just hiring the most qualified candidate?
    ——————————————————————————-
    Yes, the NFL is currently doing exactly that as the NY Giants just hired New England’s special teams coach as their head coach. Your point is crystal clear indeed.

  26. No minority coach wants a Head Coaching job so the team can get a better draft pick. They know if the team starts doing poorly, they will be blamed and make for an easy scapegoat when fired. Getting the job the right way means they’ll be given a real shot to build the franchise and will have support from ownership.

  27. I can t wait till football season starts and we can actually talk about football instead of sociology

  28. If you honestly think about it. You will get penalized for not hiring a minority HC or GM.

    It’s Reverse Discrimination.

  29. Women make up more than 50% of the entire population. So where the heck are all the female coaches?
    I mean, really….

    That’s because it’s a MEN’S league, genius. Oy.

  30. If the owners pass this measure they are blatantly admitting that they are racists. No other way to look at it. They would literally be saying “We just don’t have it in us to hire non-white coaches. We must be bribed to do it.”

  31. So if a white man and a black man equally qualified for a job, the black man will be chosen 100% by color of the man’s skin so the team gets the pick. Now if thats not the pure defination of racism, I dont know what is.

  32. If a team hires a black hc and two black coordinators, and their punter and kicker are black, they get a top 10 pick.

  33. Wait, wait, wait. Anthony Lynn is a good guy who has yet to prove that he should be a head coach in this league. I like him, but thousands of folks out there could have done the same job as he has so far.

  34. I’m not sure I agree with the league’s stance. I’m with Coach Lynn on this one. We’re people of colour who have many talents. We don’t want to be patronised by anyone. All we want is a fair shot and given the same opportunities as everyone else.But that’s not happening. What is the best way around this? I don’t know, but giving inducements is not the answer. Education is.

  35. It’s off but not terribly when you consider the African American population in the US is roughly 14%. I believe we have three African American HCs in the NFL. Roughly 9.4% – 3/32

    I truly can’t imagine an owner today not hiring the better suited HC because of color. At least I hope not.

  36. The problem is the lack of black 2nd and 3rd string QBs. That is the feedstock from where future offensivue gurus develop their acumen and eventually become OCs & head coaches.

    Starting QBs make too much money to turn to coaching.

    So if you want more black coaches you need more black backup QBs.

  37. shihtzumum says:
    May 17, 2020 at 6:30 am
    I’m not sure I agree with the league’s stance. I’m with Coach Lynn on this one. We’re people of colour who have many talents. We don’t want to be patronised by anyone. All we want is a fair shot and given the same opportunities as everyone else.But that’s not happening. What is the best way around this? I don’t know, but giving inducements is not the answer. Education is.

    ———–

    This will never happen…bc….racism. I agree mostly with you, but, yeah, US wants to be like Russia, who happily murders Africans that go there…1% of the population. Right wing extremeists are basically Russian white males. Low education, high tolerance for hate bc they are nothing.

  38. ““There are a lot of brilliant guys that can call plays but can’t lead a damn team,” Lynn said.”

    ———————————–

    Race concerns aside, this should be a statement that everyone agrees with. McVay, anyone?

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