NFL has long list of minority coaching, G.M. candidates

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In four weeks, the NFL’s regular season will end. At that point, the coaching carousel will spin.

This time, the league hopes to see an increase in representation of minority hires at both the coaching and G.M. positions. Toward that end, the league has maintained a “ready list” of candidates for both jobs, and for offensive and defensive coordinator positions.

PFT has obtained a copy of a version of the list generated last month.

The head-coaching candidates on the list printed on NFL Football Operations letterhead consist of, in alphabetical order, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, former Colts and Lions coach Jim Caldwell, Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, Penn State coach James Franklin, Bills defensive coordinator and former Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, Chargers quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton, Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, Arizona State defensive coordinator and former Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, 49ers coach Robert Saleh, and Michigan State coach Mel Tucker.

The G.M. candidates are Bills director of pro scouting Malik Boyd, former Eagles director of college scouting Trey Brown, Brown V.P. of football administration Chris Cooper, Bills assistant director of college scouting Lake Dawson, Rams player personnel consultant and former Browns G.M. Ray Farmer, Saints assistant G.M. Terry Fontenot, Raiders director of pro scouting Dwayne Joseph, 49ers V.P. of player personnel and former Lions G.M. Martin Mayhew, Ravens senior personnel executive Vincent Newsome, former Giants G.M. Jerry Reese, former Eagles director of pro personnel Louis Riddick, former Texans G.M. Rick Smith, Cardinals director of pro scouting Adrian Wilson, and Chargers director of player personnel JoJo Wooden.

Curiously absent from the list are former Bills G.M. Doug Whaley and former Raiders G.M. Reggie McKenzie.

Omitted from the list of coaching candidates, but named on the list of offensive coordinator candidates, is former Raiders and Browns head coach Hue Jackson. Other minority coaches with head-coaching experience who aren’t mentioned on the current list include former Broncos coach Vance Joseph, former Cardinals coach Steve Wilks, former Rams and Buccaneers coach Love Smith, and Arizona State coach and former Jets and Chiefs coach Herm Edwards. Texans interim coach Romeo Crennel and Falcons interim coach Raheem Morris also aren’t expressly named as head-coaching candidates.

The league’s owners recently created an incentive for teams to develop minority candidates for head-coaching and G.M. jobs, providing a pair of third-round compensatory picks to a team that loses a lower-level employee to a coaching of G.M. position elsewhere.

A generation ago, under the clear threat of litigation from Cyrus Mehri and the late Johnnie Cochran, the NFL promulgated the Rooney Rule, which requires at least one minority candidate to be interviewed for every head-coaching position. It has been expanded to include G.M. jobs. As of 2021, it will further expand to other high-level positions.

UPDATE 12:50 p.m. ET: Chris Cooper, per a league source, accidentally was added to the list of minority candidates, even though he isn’t a minority. He will be on the broader list that includes all candidates regardless of race.

18 responses to “NFL has long list of minority coaching, G.M. candidates

  1. If teams want to crack the code on hiring a good head coach they should talk to someone in the Rooney family. The Steelers have had three head coaches in the last 51 years, and all 3 have won super bowls. I’d think a great deal of their success begins with ownership. Oh, and their minority head coach is currently the only undefeated coach.

  2. I think Eric Biemiemy would be perfect fit in Detroit. He is an offensive minded coach and QB Matt Stafford has a few decent years left. Matt needs a decent ground game and some better overall receivers. Above all Matt needs a coach that believes in him. Eric believes in his QB.

  3. This is a better adjustment to have compensation for losing minority coaches that are developed; still not a perfect system, but it’s a significant improvement from what they had before.

  4. I applaud the leagues incentives to integrate more qualified minority candidates into senior positions.
    However, I would want my team to treat the hiring process no different than the process for drafting the players or signing free agents. Select the candidate you believe will result in the best chance of winning a championship while being a team player.

  5. The Rooney Rule is more of the same . It fixes nothing . It’s an attempt to fix a wrong, with a wrong. Now the NFL will reward those that use race as a metric in the hiring practice …..Let that sink in

  6. And more reasons why the NFL won’t be around in 10-15 years…people are sick of this, pick the best candidate no matter what race

  7. Eric Biemiemy would be a disaster in Detroit the same way Nagy (former Chiefs OC) is a disaster in Chicago. An armadillo in a top hat would look good running that O w Hill, Kelce and Mahomes.

  8. Saleh is the best candidate on the list. But this whole thing is wrong. It’s discrimination towards non minorities

  9. supercharger says:
    December 6, 2020 at 7:58 am
    Eric Biemiemy would be a disaster in Detroit the same way Nagy (former Chiefs OC) is a disaster in Chicago. An armadillo in a top hat would look good running that O w Hill, Kelce and Mahomes.

    ***********************************
    Or a success like Doug Peterson also a former kc oc. A couple years ago he guided philadelphia to it’s first ever SB championship win with a backup qb. Andy Reid has an excellent coaching tree overall.

  10. lz69 says:
    December 6, 2020 at 9:09 am
    supercharger says:
    December 6, 2020 at 7:58 am
    Eric Bieniemy would be a disaster in Detroit the same way Nagy (former Chiefs OC) is a disaster in Chicago. An armadillo in a top hat would look good running that O w Hill, Kelce and Mahomes.

    ***********************************
    Or a success like Doug Peterson also a former kc oc. A couple years ago he guided philadelphia to it’s first ever SB championship win with a backup qb. Andy Reid has an excellent coaching tree overall.
    —————————————————————————-
    Agreed. If Adam Gase was hired after his track record in Miami, Bieniemy certainly warrants a chance…

  11. While I agree, there should be more, we also see many get opportunities and flop. And, I don’t mean flop,but really do poorly.

    You’d think it would be the opposite based on how many have had opportunities and simply failed and faded away, leaving an unimpressive mark.

    The fact is MOST coordinators reach their peak as a coordinator, minority or not. Just because they played in the league or have bounced around as a coordinator, doesn’t mean they have the leadership qualities needed.

  12. Buyer beware on Andy Reid offensive hires. Frank Reich guided Philly to a SB championship. Peterson has looked terrible since Reich left, much like Nagy in Chicago.

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