Mike Tomlin likes conversation about incentivizing minority hiring

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Even though the NFL tabled the proposal to reward teams for hiring minority head coaches with draft position, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin likes the idea.

Or at least that the idea was brought up.

Via Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com, Tomlin said during a podcast with Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari that he liked the theory of making it valuable for teams to increase opportunities.

“We’ve always taken it from the approach of, punitive if you don’t interview minority candidates or things of that nature,” Tomlin said. “I just like the different approach in terms of spinning it 180 and talking about maybe incentivizing those that develop the talent and those that hire the talent.”

The league’s initial proposal would have rewarded teams with six spots in draft order the following year for hiring a minority head coach, along with compensatory picks for the team which lost (in other words, cultivated) minority coordinators and head coaches.

“We’re making some adjustments because we’re acknowledging right now that the system is broken, that minorities are not getting enough opportunity,” Tomlin said. “And we’re trying to just figure out how to stimulate that. . . . I agree it’s debatable about the value placed on the incentivized plan, but I just generally like the discussion.”

After the incentive package was tabled, the league did expand the provisions of the Rooney Rule, to require teams to interview at least two external minority candidates for head coaching jobs, at least one minority candidate for any of the three coordinator positions, and at least one external minority candidate for the senior football operations or General Manager jobs.

That’s the progress that was made, and Tomlin hopes the conversation continues.