2020 NFL: Offseason News and Notes

Bowser

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Sep 27, 2019
44
You have presented at least four logical fallacies in this post alone and nothing you say is relevant.
I'm happy to take this offline, but besides a few admittedly impolite ad hominems, I'd love to know what you're referring to.

I understand defining "minority" makes some people uncomfortable, but let's not pretend that more precision isn't better than less, and that it won't lead to a more effective, equitable program.
 

JCizzle

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Outside of this weird debate, do we know who came up with this policy?

It seems like if someone wants to be a coach or GM, they need to want to do it, be willing to be mentored, and find a mentor. I know Belichick mentored Ozzie, Romeo, and Flores. I know Dungy (who I don't like but credit where credit due) has been a mentor to other black coaches, who else?

I'm interested in what guys like Dungy and Belichick think would be appropriate.
To me, this discussion starts and stops with Eric Bieniemy. Andy Reid is getting up there as having one of the strongest coaching trees in NFL history. Everyone wants offensive minds in today's game. Bieniemy is the OC under Andy Reid and helped develop the QB that everyone is trying to emulate. It's beyond weird that he wasn't hired this year. It looks even worse after they went on to win the SB.
 

tims4wins

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Jackson is a good example, and there are a handful of others (Tyrod Taylor, Geno Smith, Jacoby Brissett). Vick only hung around two years as a backup after his Philly years. Vince Young only really had one year as a backup (the "Dream Team" year).

I have not studied this, however. It would be a good study.
Right, thanks, I figured there were more than I was remembering. What would be the best way to look at it? Maybe a 5-10 year average of # (or %) of starting black QBs and compare the same % to backups? If (making this up) we find that black QBs start for an average of 15% of teams, and the backup % is a similar figure, does that tell us that backup QB is not really the issue?
 

Rough Carrigan

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Why do you think anything the Klu Klux Klan believes is relevant to anything at all? When you argue twice that the KKK is a potential contribution to this alleged proposal do you feel it really is? Is this the line you are drawing?
They're the only example I know of who had/have the infamous "one drop" standard. You're either going to pick a somewhat unsatisfying fractional background line or go with an extreme position that only a rightly hated outfit felt was relevant.
 

BaseballJones

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Can we all agree that even if we may not fully know what the NFL means by "minority", that THEY must know - or at least OUGHT to know - what THEY mean by the term, if they're going to make rules that require teams to bring X number of minorities into the hiring process, and reward teams for hiring minorities?
 

Bowser

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Sep 27, 2019
44
They're the only example I know of who had/have the infamous "one drop" standard. You're either going to pick a somewhat unsatisfying fractional background line or go with an extreme position that only a rightly hated outfit felt was relevant.
Here's another standard: the Bureau of Indian Affairs offers housing, education, and other benefits to individuals who are members of a federally-recognized tribe. According to this article, many tribes require an individual to have anywhere between a 1/16 and 1/2 "blood quantum level" to enroll.
 

tims4wins

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Can we all agree that even if we may not fully know what the NFL means by "minority", that THEY must know - or at least OUGHT to know - what THEY mean by the term, if they're going to make rules that require teams to bring X number of minorities into the hiring process, and reward teams for hiring minorities?
They ought to, but NFL. I mean, they couldn't agree on pass interference.

Also, "no sir, I did not consider science" - Troy Vincent
 

cornwalls@6

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The policy strikes me as a half-measure/band aid, being proposed largely for optics. I do not want to give the league too much credit for it. But, I don't see any real downside to it, and if it results in any progress on the issue, worth doing. Even if, as noted by others, it still doesn't address the root causes behind the shameful lack of diversity in coaching and front office positions. I'd also add that the fear of teams gaming the system, or hiring a coach of questionable racial status, for the specific reason of getting a marginally better 3rd round pick seems way overblown. Maybe it breaks the tie between an equally qualified minority and white candidate. I think even that would probably be pretty rare, and not at all a bad thing.

Edited for clarity. I realize its still only a proposal, and has not been implemented.
 
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Bowser

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Sep 27, 2019
44
Can we all agree that even if we may not fully know what the NFL means by "minority", that THEY must know - or at least OUGHT to know - what THEY mean by the term, if they're going to make rules that require teams to bring X number of minorities into the hiring process, and reward teams for hiring minorities?
+1

The policy strikes me as a half-measure/band aid, being proposed largely for optics. I do not want to give the league too much credit for it. But, I don't see any real downside to it, and if it results in any progress on the issue, worth doing.
I mostly agree with this take, but I don't see why we should accept a half-measure when we can likely do better. My issue with the proposal is that it focuses on output rather than input. I'm more interested in increasing the talent pool than bean-counting our way to a less offensive racial mix.

For example, I'm not at all convinced the lack of diversity among NFL head coaches is due to racism. By my count, 19 franchises have had (or currently have) either a black head coach or Ron Rivera over the last 20 or so years. Of the remaining franchises, who are the racists? Bob Kraft? The Allen family? Shahid Khan? The Saints haven't had a minority head coach, but the Benson's other team currently does. Same with the Kroenkes, who own the Rams and the Denver Nuggets; the Nuggets were recently coached by Brian Shaw. Pegula in Buffalo is married to a Korean woman.

Hell, maybe all these people are racists, but I don't see it. If the league believes their lack of diversity is a serious issue, then they ought to come up with a serious solution, not what looks to be on its surface a half-baked PR stunt whose chief selling point is that there's not much downside to it.
 
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Super Nomario

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Can we all agree that even if we may not fully know what the NFL means by "minority", that THEY must know - or at least OUGHT to know - what THEY mean by the term, if they're going to make rules that require teams to bring X number of minorities into the hiring process, and reward teams for hiring minorities?
They've had programs for years that hinge on the idea of minorities, without issue and AFAIK without a concrete definition. We haven't had teams in the past claiming that some guy is actually 1/64th whatever and thus qualifies for the Rooney Rule. I don't know why we're concerned about this now. Note that they have made some minor changes to programs, for instance including women as part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship. So if this becomes an issue, they might need to define who qualifies as a minority; until then, I don't see a need or much value in it. There is also the Fritz Pollard Alliance advocating for minorities who can decide if an edge case is worth complaining about.

I mostly agree with this take, but I don't see why we should accept a half-measure when we can likely do better. My issue with the proposal is that it focuses on output rather than input. I'm more interested in increasing the talent pool than bean-counting our way to a less offensive racial mix.
Can you be more specific here? What do you think of the other proposals that teams are voting on?

For example, I'm not at all convinced the lack of diversity among NFL head coaches is due to racism. By my count, 19 franchises have had (or currently have) either a black head coach or Ron Rivera over the last 20 or so years. Of the remaining franchises, who are the racists? Bob Kraft? The Allen family? Shahid Khan? The Saints haven't had a minority head coach, but the Benson's other team currently does. Same with the Kroenkes, who own the Rams and the Denver Nuggets; the Nuggets were recently coached by Brian Shaw. Pegula in Buffalo is married to a Korean woman.

Hell, maybe all these people are racists, but I don't see it. If the league believes their lack of diversity is a serious issue, then they ought to come up with a serious solution, not what looks to be on its surface a half-baked PR stunt whose chief selling point is that there's not much downside to it.
You say racism isn't the issue and then quickly turn to the question of whether individuals are racist. I am leery of equating those two, and find that discussions that equate them turn unproductive. People who don't think of themselves as racist and don't intend to be racist discriminate against minority groups pretty frequently, often without even meaning to. We definitely have to ask questions about the root(s)of the problem(s) here, but output is a pretty important indicator of fairness.
 

Kliq

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Jackson is a good example, and there are a handful of others (Tyrod Taylor, Geno Smith, Jacoby Brissett). Vick only hung around two years as a backup after his Philly years. Vince Young only really had one year as a backup (the "Dream Team" year).

I have not studied this, however. It would be a good study.
Here is a list of every black QB starter in history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_starting_black_NFL_quarterbacks

I haven't done any real number crunching, but just looking at the list from 2005 on, there is a pretty stable collection of quarterbacks who were not particularly good, but managed to hang around for a while. Jason Campbell, Tarvaris Jackson, Josh Johnson, Joe Webb, Tyrod Taylor, RG3, Geno Smith, etc. I haven't done any comparisons to the percentage of white quarterbacks and how they are able to hang around, but I wonder how big the gap would be.

There are also some additional factors, like historically black QBs are often big running QBs, who naturally are more susceptible to injury. When looking for a backup teams may be looking for a reliable option who has a low injury risk. It is notable that out of the long-time backup QB who were black, a lot of them (Campbell, Jackson, Johnson, Smith) were more traditional pocket-passers, then say, Mike Vick or Vince Young.

Also looking at this list there is clear progress in developing black QBs, and plenty of the leagues brightest stars (Mahomes, Jackson, Watson, Wilson, Prescott, Murray) are black QBs. I do wonder though, if black QBs are still being overlooked for backup positions. It is possible it is a case similar to the 1960s NBA, were the league had plenty of black superstars, but the average, run of the mill players were overwhelmingly white.
 

( . ) ( . ) and (_!_)

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Case in point - Steve Belichick. These people have simply done absolutely nothing more to earn these positions beyond winning the DNA sweepstakes and yet they're gifted an opportunity early in their careers in one of the most competitive industries. They get to build up coaching and scouting skills while minority candidates are typically playing the game, and then they get to roll into job interviews in future years with all kinds of experience on their resume.

And please don't tell me that Steve Belichick was the best possible candidate for safeties coach of the Patriots.
This is a weird example to use because Steve Belichick was hired as a quality control assistant coach and spent 4 years in that type of role before being named Safeties coach. He wasn't immediately awarded a mid-level coaching job, he followed the typical path that a young coach follows starting at the lowest level of coaching. Then after cutting his teeth there he moved up.
Sure he probably got the initial gig due to his father, but is a kid that's been around the game his whole life and spent a year playing D1 college football that unreasonable of a hire for an entry level position?
Your post makes is seem as though you are suggesting Bill plucked his name for the safeties coach role out of thin air.
 

Bowser

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Sep 27, 2019
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They've had programs for years that hinge on the idea of minorities, without issue and AFAIK without a concrete definition. We haven't had teams in the past claiming that some guy is actually 1/64th whatever and thus qualifies for the Rooney Rule. I don't know why we're concerned about this now. Note that they have made some minor changes to programs, for instance including women as part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship. So if this becomes an issue, they might need to define who qualifies as a minority; until then, I don't see a need or much value in it. There is also the Fritz Pollard Alliance advocating for minorities who can decide if an edge case is worth complaining about.
On the one hand, yes, there's no immediate downside to not addressing the lack of a specific definition. On the other hand, given that the league is looking to implement a policy that advantages certain teams and disadvantages others, I believe they ought to dig into the details a bit more. I wouldn't be surprised if the vagueness around what a minority is receives greater scrutiny from owners now that a competitive advantage is attached to it.

Can you be more specific here? What do you think of the other proposals that teams are voting on?
Here are the other proposals/provisions I'm aware of:

1. Removing barriers to allowing assistant coaches to interview for other positions. SUPPORT.
2. A variety provisions of the main policy we've been debating, including awarding teams a 5th rounder if a minority assistant takes a coordinator position at another team, and a 3rd rounder if one leaves for a head coach/GM position; and awarding a 4th rounder for hiring a minority QB coach and retaining him/her for more than one season. DO NOT SUPPORT.

In general, I support the vast majority of recent efforts to improve diversity, such as increasing fellowship positions and empowerment summits with college coaches.

You say racism isn't the issue and then quickly turn to the question of whether individuals are racist. I am leery of equating those two, and find that discussions that equate them turn unproductive. People who don't think of themselves as racist and don't intend to be racist discriminate against minority groups pretty frequently, often without even meaning to.
I am leery of getting into this. I've done the diversity and implicit bias training at my university, which seems like where your response is pointing. Much of the literature on this is based on Greenwald and Banaji's Implicit Association Test (IAT) -- I believe Gladwell wrote about it in Blink. The problem is that under greater methodological scrutiny, the IAT has proven to be neither especially reliable or valid.

We definitely have to ask questions about the root(s)of the problem(s) here, but output is a pretty important indicator of fairness.
It can indicate fairness/unfairness, but it's not dispositive. Thomas Sowell has many excellent books on more or less this subject.

Edit: To add, I don't have the answer, of course, but I expect more from the NFL. I resent having to get behind such a half-assed effort.
 
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RetractableRoof

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I agree that's what they're looking for. There's a story that when they hired Matt Patricia, they offered him the job but almost rescinded it right away because he said he had to check with his wife. They are not overly concerned with credentials. They are looking for sickos, basically.


My understanding from reading about this in the Patriots, Ravens, and other organizations - they see the paltry pay as a feature, not a bug. They want guys scraping by, sleeping on couches, etc. They like that it weeds out tons of potential candidates; do you know how many people want jobs in football? They want to filter that down to just these crazos who will do anything. The last thing they want is a broader pool.
If we are talking about forcing change to encourage opportunities for more than the usual suspects, you have to break some eggs. Telling teams they have to pay a coaches minimum wage to ensure that all demographics have a similar shot at the coaching ranks would be low hanging fruit in my opinion. It might BE a feature, but features can be killed as well as bugs. Or we have to accept that the conditions that produce the best coaches (the crazos who will do anything) aren't conducive to diversity because of the economic barriers of little to no pay. I don't care what the implementation is - raise their pay, but tell them they have to live in dorms on campus to get the job - you still get the crazies, but any football crazy can apply, not just the economicly stable ones.

You've kind of described The Scouting Academy (which is a shorter-term program), which has helped some people get hired. I think most teams would rather train guys themselves from the ground up though.
I'm not aware of The Scouting Academy, but if it sounds like a parallel, ok. I don't think you could create a program that got through the basics of what I would call a "produce a coach with a decently broad football IQ" curriculum in less than 2 years. I'd hope the academy output would be coaches with the kind of fundamental knowledge that would allow an organization to get them up to speed (wrt to organizational priorities, tweaks, expectations) reasonably quickly. Like engineers from academia, graduating with a paper and little to no experience doesn't necessarily make one a coach, only ready to gain experience. Whether the organizations want to mold their own is again immaterial - I'm looking for ways to fill the pipeline with candidates who can't be dismissed as "don't have x background", or the like. It doesn't make sense to me to point to one coach (e.g. Bienemy) who on the surface is qualified, but hasn't gotten a HC position and say something is wrong because he hasn't found a job. Maybe the one individual is an example of someone who doesn't interview well? [Note: I only used his name because it was brought up in the thread, I know next to nothing about him as a head coach candidate.] I want to be able to point to wave of prospective candidates who've self qualified by going through this program, and watch them weave their way through systems and see where the issues are then. I'd even be ok with the league making this sort of program mandatory to be an on field coach - grandfather anyone in an organizations pipeline, and mandate it going forward. Then you have some data to work with going forward.

And again, there are structural problems that exist at the top, not the bottom. You've got only two black GMs and meanwhile teams are hiring dudes like John Elway and John Lynch who have basically no qualifications.
And again, I don't think the NFL can only resolve the problem by looking solely at the top. Fans seem to collectively agree the smartest owners are the ones who identify the right football people for the job, and get out of their way. As the owner of the Broncos, if I interviewed 99 minority candidates and 1 white candidate, how can I be faulted for giving Elway the job in Denver. As long as I thought his hiring would be best for every aspect of my organization - I mean the guy urinates Denver Orange. Good choice or bad choice, it's clearly not a racist one. It's not like they hired Vrabel who had no ties to the organization. No matter how you force interviews at the top, or reward hiring minorities with incentives) those critical positions are going to be filled by candidates with criteria that matters to the owners, not the NFL. Organizations worth billions are just not (and should not) be filling the critical 2-3 jobs with candidates prioritized to meet a minority quota - they are going to hire the people they believe to be the right ones for the job. That will not change.

Note: Lynch was hired in 2017 as GM. In 2020 his team was in the SuperBowl. I'm not sure he can be pointed to as a bad hire. He can be pointed to as a non-minority hire without experience, but clearly something stuck out to the 49ers to make such an atypical move. It would appear to be justified. It seems weird to criticize the hiring of 2 GMs that have collectively brought a Superbowl win and a couple of Superbowl appearances to their franchizes. I understand the context of your statement - but how does one hold them up as bad examples of minority hiring, when they are good examples of football hiring?
 

Marciano490

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Is this part really true though? Or are the %s similar. We have seen guys like Vick, Vince Young, and Tavaris Jackson stick around a while as backup QBs. There’s probably a few others I have forgotten. Maybe it is truly an issue, unsure.
You’re citing 2 top 3 picks and a second rounder versus Hoyer, an UDFA. Obviously, this isn’t the whole universe of black or white QBs, but Glennon, Schaub, Drew Stanton we’re still in the mix long after Young and Jackson were out.
 

Kliq

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You’re citing 2 top 3 picks and a second rounder versus Hoyer, an UDFA. Obviously, this isn’t the whole universe of black or white QBs, but Glennon, Schaub, Drew Stanton we’re still in the mix long after Young and Jackson were out.
Jackson played the same amount of seasons as Stanton (10). Glennon is entering his eighth season this year. Schaub did hang around forever, but unlike those other guys was actually good for a portion of his career, cracking 4,000 yards three times and making two pro-bowls.

Hopefully we will see more cases like Byron Leftwich, who spent his first three seasons as a starter, then spent eight more seasons as a backup, then got into coaching and now will probably have a chance to be a head coach, if things go well this year in Tampa.
 

Super Nomario

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And again, I don't think the NFL can only resolve the problem by looking solely at the top. Fans seem to collectively agree the smartest owners are the ones who identify the right football people for the job, and get out of their way. As the owner of the Broncos, if I interviewed 99 minority candidates and 1 white candidate, how can I be faulted for giving Elway the job in Denver. As long as I thought his hiring would be best for every aspect of my organization - I mean the guy urinates Denver Orange. Good choice or bad choice, it's clearly not a racist one.
As far as I can tell, the Broncos in fact interviewed zero minority candidates for the GM position when they hired Elway. They skirted the Rooney Rule by appointing Elway CEO while leaving their GM Brian Xanders in place but cutting him off at the knees. (The Raiders did the same thing to Reggie McKenzie when they hired Gruden).

It's not like they hired Vrabel who had no ties to the organization.
Lynch had zero ties to SF. But honestly, I'm not sure that makes it better, or worse.

No matter how you force interviews at the top, or reward hiring minorities with incentives) those critical positions are going to be filled by candidates with criteria that matters to the owners, not the NFL.
I don't disagree with this, but I also think it's a big part of the problem. The owners want to hire people they're comfortable with for the positions that interact with them the most: CEO, GM, and to a lesser extent head coach.

Note: Lynch was hired in 2017 as GM. In 2020 his team was in the SuperBowl. I'm not sure he can be pointed to as a bad hire. He can be pointed to as a non-minority hire without experience, but clearly something stuck out to the 49ers to make such an atypical move. It would appear to be justified. It seems weird to criticize the hiring of 2 GMs that have collectively brought a Superbowl win and a couple of Superbowl appearances to their franchizes. I understand the context of your statement - but how does one hold them up as bad examples of minority hiring, when they are good examples of football hiring?
Take Matt Millen then.

Every case (*maybe* you could argue Sashi Brown) where a guy just gets to cut in line and get a GM job without traditional requirements for the job, it's a white guy. Hell, Louis Riddick is a media guy who actually has traditional credentials for a GM position, and he can't get hired.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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You’re citing 2 top 3 picks and a second rounder versus Hoyer, an UDFA. Obviously, this isn’t the whole universe of black or white QBs, but Glennon, Schaub, Drew Stanton we’re still in the mix long after Young and Jackson were out.
Troy Smith (7 years); Charlie Batch (8 years as backup); Geno Smith; Bret Hundley; Kizer; Brissett; there are and have been guys out there and those are off top of my head. Not picking a horse in this race, but this also doesn't need to turn into a V&N battle because we're bored.
 

djbayko

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Can we all agree that even if we may not fully know what the NFL means by "minority", that THEY must know - or at least OUGHT to know - what THEY mean by the term, if they're going to make rules that require teams to bring X number of minorities into the hiring process, and reward teams for hiring minorities?
I can agree that their policy, if pressed on it, would amount to "I know it when I see it". But they would find a way to not answer that question instead.

I agree with those above who have said we're never going to come up against any edge case where this matters, so the discussion is futile. No team in their right mind is going to apply for an improved draft pick with a coach who looks white and has a fraction of something else in their blood.
 

tims4wins

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You’re citing 2 top 3 picks and a second rounder versus Hoyer, an UDFA. Obviously, this isn’t the whole universe of black or white QBs, but Glennon, Schaub, Drew Stanton we’re still in the mix long after Young and Jackson were out.
Admittedly I was quickly posting while on the elliptical this morning. But since my post there have been like 10-15 more guys listed. It seems like - anecdotally - there have been a similar % of backup black QBs as starting black QBs.
 

BaseballJones

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I can agree that their policy, if pressed on it, would amount to "I know it when I see it". But they would find a way to not answer that question instead.

I agree with those above who have said we're never going to come up against any edge case where this matters, so the discussion is futile. No team in their right mind is going to apply for an improved draft pick with a coach who looks white and has a fraction of something else in their blood.
You have more trust in the integrity of the owners than I do. Remember, they literally disregarded the laws of physics to make sure the Patriots got punished. The *laws of physics*.
 

Super Nomario

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Admittedly I was quickly posting while on the elliptical this morning. But since my post there have been like 10-15 more guys listed. It seems like - anecdotally - there have been a similar % of backup black QBs as starting black QBs.
FWIW, I took a quick look at this (using only the universe of QBs who appeared in a game, and using games started >= 5 as a quick-and-dirty delineation between starters and backups), and it's very close from 2010-2019 (19% vs 17%), less close from 2015-2019 (21% vs 16%), and much more dramatic in just 2019 (26% vs 12%, though a small sample size).

EDIT: Overall, I would describe this as "inconclusive."

Anecdotally, it does appear to me that the same organizations - Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Seattle, Philadelphia - have a tendency to employ black backup QBs, and most of the others do not.
 
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djbayko

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You have more trust in the integrity of the owners than I do. Remember, they literally disregarded the laws of physics to make sure the Patriots got punished. The *laws of physics*.
They had all of America rooting alongside with them in that case. The opposite would not be true here. Seventy % of NFL players are black, and they have a whole lot of black fans and fans who would not look kindly upon this sort of shenanigans. It would be bad for business.
 
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BaseballJones

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They had all of America rooting alongside with them in that case. The opposite would not be true here. Seventy % of NFL players are black, and they have a whole lot of black fans and fans who would not look kindly upon this sort of shenanigans. It would be bad for business.
If your team argued that a guy they sign as HC or GM that has 1/8 minority heritage is a minority, and that enabled them to improve their draft position, do you think your team's fans would really be upset about that? I don't see it.

But maybe, I guess.
 

djbayko

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If your team argued that a guy they sign as HC or GM that has 1/8 minority heritage is a minority, and that enabled them to improve their draft position, do you think your team's fans would really be upset about that? I don't see it.

But maybe, I guess.
"Your team's fans" are obviously not the problem I was referring to, but instead, the whole of America. But, yeah, some of your team's fans would be against it too.
 

Marciano490

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Let’s also not forget that these potential coaches are human beings who may not be comfortable having their race debated or considered a tangible factor in being hired.
 

tims4wins

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Let’s also not forget that these potential coaches are human beings who may not be comfortable having their race debated or considered a tangible factor in being hired.
Good point. Does the NFL really want Screamin A and Kellerman going back and forth over whether (insert team) only hired (insert coordinator) as their new HC because he is a minority? I know for the NFL any press is good press but that may be a bridge too far.
 

E5 Yaz

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Louis Riddick, talking to Peter King:

“I understand what the diversity committee is trying to do,” Riddick said. “Their intention is honest and real. I know they spent a lot of time trying to think of how to get people into these positions. But the bottom line remains the same: Owners can hire who they want to hire. When I interviewed with the New York Giants, I felt it was a fair process. But if these policies are implemented, the first day I walk into the building, I know people with that organization would wonder: Did he get this job because he’s the best man for the job, or did he get it at least in part because it gives us a big break in the draft? On the first day of the job, that team would be undermining its own hire by injecting doubt in the minds of the people who work in the building. Is that how you really want a GM to start off his career?

“Owners need to answer the questions about why the numbers are the way they are. Nobody wants to get a job they didn’t earn. But of all the minority scouts who have risen up to be pro or college scouting directors, you cannot tell me some of them are not qualified to be GMs. If it’s not racism or they’re qualified, then what is it? We tend to surround ourselves with people who we’re comfortable with, people we have shared experiences with. How do you then branch out and get different people in your circle. You have to spend time with them, learn them. If the very first time minorities are meeting these owners is in an interview for the GM job, how are you going to get a fair shot?

“How can we set up more networking opportunities, so scouts and directors can mingle with and get to know owners—maybe at Super Bowls, at the combine, at owners meetings? But it truly has to have 100 percent buy-in from the owners.”

 

Super Nomario

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“Owners need to answer the questions about why the numbers are the way they are. Nobody wants to get a job they didn’t earn. But of all the minority scouts who have risen up to be pro or college scouting directors, you cannot tell me some of them are not qualified to be GMs. If it’s not racism or they’re qualified, then what is it? We tend to surround ourselves with people who we’re comfortable with, people we have shared experiences with. How do you then branch out and get different people in your circle. You have to spend time with them, learn them. If the very first time minorities are meeting these owners is in an interview for the GM job, how are you going to get a fair shot?"
This is why letting teams poach positional coaches as OCs / DCs is the most interesting of the new proposals. Any opportunity to put someone in front of decision-makers in other organizations is going help. Maybe they don't hire a guy as OC. But there's a relationship established that might bear fruit when they're looking to hire a head coach down the line.

This is probably doubly the case for GM hires. There have only been 11 minority GMs hired in the history of the NFL. Most of them (7) were internal promotions and the ones that weren't had pre-existing relationships with a key decision-maker. Most of the proposed initiatives seem focused on head coach hires, however.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
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Dec 16, 2010
40,829
Per this story, the NFL could lose $5.5 billion if there are no fans. The Patriots could lose 50% of their revenue.

 

RIrooter09

Alvin
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Jul 31, 2008
5,109
Per this story, the NFL could lose $5.5 billion if there are no fans. The Patriots could lose 50% of their revenue.

So that’s where the fall wave will come from.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
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Oct 1, 2015
8,790
If they re-open, guys are going to get covid19. If that happens, they're going to need to be quarantined for 14 days. And I'm sorry, but they're going to need a LOT more guys available on each team's practice squad to handle that kind of roster movement, and new rules at least for this year to handle all that. Within a couple of weeks you could easily have 1/3 of your team with covid19, and you're gonna need a lot more players available in your franchise (53-man plus practice squad).
 

queenb

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Jan 6, 2016
236
I get that some people will consider this beside the point, but underrespresentation of black coaches relative to black players seems to assume that playing ability and coaching ability are strongly linked, and what is the evidence for that? The plot points are all over the place.

The best coaches right now -- BB, Andy Reid, Mike Tomlin, Doug Pederson -- never played in the NFL. Vrabel shows promise and there have been NFL players who were great coaches (Mike Ditka) or at least decent ones (Art Shell). But surely there are many counterexamples -- Mike Munchak was a nine-time Pro Bowler and, though not as decorated, I get the sense Herm Edwards was a really good NFL player. Both bad coaches. I would be curious to see a list of former NFL players turned HCs and how they fared. My guess is not only no better but likely much worse than coaches who never played professionally because they require different skill sets, and a player who never played professionally typically gets a head start on coaching and learning to coach. Just look at the most accomplished black coaches of all-time. Tomlin, Denny Green, Marvin Lewis didn't play in the NFL. Tony Dungy had a very brief career and switched over to coaching pretty early.

Even if the very best NFL players would make the best NFL coaches, perhaps they have all been paid too well during their playing days to want that kind of grind when they retire, so perhaps your best bet for a good HC -- among people who want the job -- is still someone whose entire post-college career has been spent coaching. Brian Flores is another one.

I don't know this because I don't have the data to see if there's any correlation between player and coach success, but if there isn't one, that means two things: (1) black men aren't necessarily underrepresented as HCs, and (2) if you want more more good black HC candidates, you have to find good black HC candidates. You can't just bring on former beloved players who want to get into coaching and happen to be black by putting them in a position coach role with a hard ceiling while secretly believing your best internal HC prospects to be former film room and scout types who've been working with coaches (or were raised by coaches) for 10-20 years and have been developing what you believe to be a HC skill set. Instead, you have to hire more black men right out of college who are interested in coaching so they can benefit from the years of exposure to coaches' meetings that BB, Reid, Flores, Tomlin, McVey, Shanahan, etc., clearly benefited from.

Also, while I know the strong support for some kind of intervention comes from a good place, a policy to incentivize represenation that's as highly-visible as the NFL's draft pick proposal could very well undermine the much more worthy goal of reducing racial disparities in health, wealth, and economic opportunity nationwide. The egalitarian impulse is good but applying it selectively can be counterproductive. Increasing the number of black HCs from 3 to 25 would improve the material conditions of a microscopic share of black people in this country, while possibly even increasing the popularity and profitability of the NFL. The problem with that is NFL owners drive and profit from (and on and on) many of the broader political and economic trends that create and sustain those disparities in the first place. Beyond owners, political groups that generally oppose measures to reduce inequality tend to do so on the grounds that opportunity has been equal. Most of us agree this is not true, opportunity broadly defined is most certainly not equal, but the obstructionism becomes politically effective the more examples obstructionists have of favoritism, and awarding an extra NFL draft pick is a perfect example.
 

Super Nomario

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I get that some people will consider this beside the point, but underrespresentation of black coaches relative to black players seems to assume that playing ability and coaching ability are strongly linked, and what is the evidence for that? The plot points are all over the place.
Black coaches are underrepresented even relative to college players; since most coaches played in college at least, this would seem to be the relative comparison.

The best coaches right now -- BB, Andy Reid, Mike Tomlin, Doug Pederson -- never played in the NFL.
Pederson did play; he was famously Brett Favre's backup for years.

You can't just bring on former beloved players who want to get into coaching and happen to be black by putting them in a position coach role with a hard ceiling while secretly believing your best internal HC prospects to be former film room and scout types who've been working with coaches (or were raised by coaches) for 10-20 years and have been developing what you believe to be a HC skill set. Instead, you have to hire more black men right out of college who are interested in coaching so they can benefit from the years of exposure to coaches' meetings that BB, Reid, Flores, Tomlin, McVey, Shanahan, etc., clearly benefited from.
I haven't seen a study of this, but I suspect you're right - a lot of ex-players (many black, of course) get pigeonholed as positional coaches for their positions and have trouble moving beyond that. I think it depends on the position. A former linebacker like Vrabel or Mayo has a better chance because that's considered a cerebral position with complex responsibilities and a logical stepping-stone to DC. Ditto former quarterbacks like Pederson or Frank Reich. It's probably harder for a former running back, wide receiver, nose tackle, or cornerback.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
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It’s interesting that BB never promoted Pepper Johnson, which is why he left. Clearly BB is only interested in hiring the best man for the job - he has had Flo and Rac as DCs. Kind of shows that he just didn’t believe Pepper has the chops.

I’m curious to see how Troy Brown’s coaching career develops.

Also worth noting that Eric Bienenamy was a RB and is now a “hot” OC. Not sure how much position means honestly. Weren’t Dungy and Herm DBs?
 

queenb

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Jan 6, 2016
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Black coaches are underrepresented even relative to college players; since most coaches played in college at least, this would seem to be the relative comparison.


Pederson did play; he was famously Brett Favre's backup for years.


I haven't seen a study of this, but I suspect you're right - a lot of ex-players (many black, of course) get pigeonholed as positional coaches for their positions and have trouble moving beyond that. I think it depends on the position. A former linebacker like Vrabel or Mayo has a better chance because that's considered a cerebral position with complex responsibilities and a logical stepping-stone to DC. Ditto former quarterbacks like Pederson or Frank Reich. It's probably harder for a former running back, wide receiver, nose tackle, or cornerback.
My mistake on Pederson - thanks to you and others. Forgot that was him.

And yeah, the proportion of black college players is why I think post-grad is probably the best point of intervention for this, and why hiring Brian Coxes and Joey Porters to coach LBs (to cherry pick some hot heads who I've seen hold clipboards) isn't nearly the salve that building up the pipeline would be - from entry level film guy to coordinator and up.
 

Super Nomario

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Also worth noting that Eric Bienenamy was a RB and is now a “hot” OC. Not sure how much position means honestly. Weren’t Dungy and Herm DBs?
Dungy was a safety, which I put more in the "cerebral" bucket. Herm was a CB, but he was also an unusual hire in that he was never a coordinator first. Dick LeBeau was another ex-player CB (a great one, actually) who became a DC and head coach.

I think Bienemy has already made the difficult leap, from RB coach to OC. There are two coaches I can think of recently who went from RB coach to head coach, Anthony Lynn and Freddie Kitchens, and both of them I see as exceptions that prove the rule. They weren't necessarily on OC tracks but then got named interim OC and used that as a stepping stone to HC (disastrously in Kitchens' case). Note also that Bienemy has been with Reid in KC since 2013 and got passed over for OC once when Doug Pederson left. Also worth noting that QB coach Mike Kafka has added "Passing Game Coordinator" to his title this offseason; it won't surprise me if he gets hired before Bienemy, but we'll see.

Duce Staley is a guy who's interviewed for bigger posts but seems to have stalled out as a RB coach (he also has an Assistant Head Coach title). It's a challenging path.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
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Jul 15, 2005
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Hingham, MA
Dungy was a safety, which I put more in the "cerebral" bucket. Herm was a CB, but he was also an unusual hire in that he was never a coordinator first. Dick LeBeau was another ex-player CB (a great one, actually) who became a DC and head coach.

I think Bienemy has already made the difficult leap, from RB coach to OC. There are two coaches I can think of recently who went from RB coach to head coach, Anthony Lynn and Freddie Kitchens, and both of them I see as exceptions that prove the rule. They weren't necessarily on OC tracks but then got named interim OC and used that as a stepping stone to HC (disastrously in Kitchens' case). Note also that Bienemy has been with Reid in KC since 2013 and got passed over for OC once when Doug Pederson left. Also worth noting that QB coach Mike Kafka has added "Passing Game Coordinator" to his title this offseason; it won't surprise me if he gets hired before Bienemy, but we'll see.

Duce Staley is a guy who's interviewed for bigger posts but seems to have stalled out as a RB coach (he also has an Assistant Head Coach title). It's a challenging path.
What I take from all this is that there is no perfect “mold” or path. It’s hard regardless to get one of those jobs.
 

Section30

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Rudy's Curve

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Jul 4, 2006
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Hope this helps the Pats be on more in NY. If Giants are on at 1 on fox and jets aren’t in the 1 pm window that may be an opening.
View: https://twitter.com/benfischersbj/status/1266088794383699977?s=21
Looking at the pic in the schedule thread, the only time this would make a difference is Week 5 where the Jets are home at 1 on FOX but CBS has the doubleheader. The 1:00 games on CBS that week are BUF-TEN, DEN-NE, OAK-KC, JAC-HOU and CIN-BAL.

Edit: I suppose this also makes a difference in Week 7 where they could show a 1:00 FOX game opposite a Jet home game on CBS instead of having to show SEA-ARI at 4. But Week 5 is the only week where we could get an additional game, if I'm reading this correctly.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Congratulations, "no racism at all" in the NFL. If only the country could model itself after the NFL. Glad Fangio could whitesplain it.

 

PC Drunken Friar

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Sep 12, 2003
10,822
South Boston
In regards to the hiring of minorities as HC, I went through (quickly, but did a double check) that currently there are 28 white HC in the NFL. 22 of them have 0 experience as a player in the NFL.

In its history, the NFL has had 26 minority HC. 14 had NFL player experience, while 12 did not. Now, I am sure that it is probably easier for even a white HC to get into the game with no playing experience, but I thought this was interesting. Minority Non-NFL players have a much tougher time getting a shot to prove themselves.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

Homeland Security
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Dec 4, 2005
19,124
Portsmouth, NH
In regards to the hiring of minorities as HC, I went through (quickly, but did a double check) that currently there are 28 white HC in the NFL. 22 of them have 0 experience as a player in the NFL.

In its history, the NFL has had 26 minority HC. 14 had NFL player experience, while 12 did not. Now, I am sure that it is probably easier for even a white HC to get into the game with no playing experience, but I thought this was interesting. Minority Non-NFL players have a much tougher time getting a shot to prove themselves.
In regards to the hiring of minorities as HC, I went through (quickly, but did a double check) that currently there are 28 white HC in the NFL. 22 of them have 0 experience as a player in the NFL.

In its history, the NFL has had 26 minority HC. 14 had NFL player experience, while 12 did not. Now, I am sure that it is probably easier for even a white HC to get into the game with no playing experience, but I thought this was interesting. Minority Non-NFL players have a much tougher time getting a shot to prove themselves.
I';m not sure why NFL experience as a player means much, but I'd be interested to see a comparison to other professional leagues in the US with all these factors.