Former Jets and Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards does not agree with the proposal to reward teams that hire minority coaches and GMs with better draft picks.
The proposal, which NFL owners decided to table this week, would have moved a team up 10 spots in the third round of the draft if it had a minority general manager and six spots if it had a minority head coach. Edwards says that makes no sense.
“The first thing that came to my mind was, ‘What does that look like?’” Edwards told the New York Post. “What does that even sound like? This is the National Football League. This is supposed to be the standard bearer of how things are done. And to incentivize people for not only interviewing guys but hiring guys? No one wants that. I don’t blame any owner for hiring whoever he wants to hire. But to incentivize it, it just makes it awkward, man. You don’t want to get hired under that cloud. It’s bad for the league, it’s bad for the coach, it’s just bad for football.”
Edwards said that he, Tony Dungy, Marvin Lewis, Lovie Smith and Mike Tomlin all became head coaches because owners were interested in hiring coaches from the defensive side of the ball. Now, Edwards wants to see more diversity among quarterbacks coaches and offensive coordinators, and thinks that will lead to more diversity among head coaches.
“That was a defensive era, and a lot of defensive guys got hired,’’ Edwards said. “Now the era has flipped for the most part to an era of offense. Well, guess what? Who coaches the quarterbacks and who are the offensive coordinators? They’re not many guys of color that coach those positions.’’
Edwards, who is now the head coach at Arizona State, has been in coaching since 1987. He’s been living the issue of diversity in coaching for decades, and has a lot of wisdom about where the NFL is and where it needs to go.