Interview season is in full swing. Over the approaching weeks, six franchises are going to fill head teaching vacancies. Questions will abound concerning every rent and the candidates involved.
One of many greatest throughout many cycles: Why aren’t extra minorities elevated? There have been eight head coaches of shade within the NFL simply two years in the past. However with the Chargers’ firing of Anthony Lynn this week, there at the moment are simply three.
Corridor of Famer Tony Dungy, the primary Black coach to win a Tremendous Bowl, mentioned that is partly a product of householders overlooking an important trait, one that does not favor a sure demographic however may be simply recognized in probably the most profitable coaches of the previous and current — management.
“I believe we had a cycle the place we employed some good individuals, we employed a variety of defensive coaches, after which for some purpose everybody thought that as a way to achieve success you needed to have a younger, offensive coach,” Dungy instructed NFL Community’s Steve Wyche and Jim Totter on the most recent episode of the Huddle & Flow podcast. “You needed to have a quarterbacks coach, even though Invoice Belichick and Pete Carroll are successful Tremendous Bowls 12 months after 12 months. And since the general public who coach quarterbacks and offensive coordinators are white, that is what led to that. Now we bought a state of affairs the place we do have some younger minority offensive coaches, however we bought to get the homeowners to grasp that they have to be searching for leaders. Management is what wins for you.
“Sean McVay is a good offensive coach, however Sean McVay is a frontrunner. Invoice Belichick is a frontrunner. He is a terrific coach. He does not have to educate quarterbacks however he can win Tremendous Bowls, and that is what we bought to get individuals to grasp.”
Dungy’s steering, after all, as soon as turned the Buccaneers into contenders and the Colts into champions. His success absolutely opened doorways for coaches of shade, however not all of them. Ten groups nonetheless have by no means had a minority head coach within the Tremendous Bowl period. With work nonetheless to do, Dungy stays an unofficial ambassador for the league 12 years after retiring as a coach.
A Tremendous Bowl winner as a participant and coach, he usually cites the knowledge he gleaned about 40 years in the past in Pittsburgh — the place he briefly performed earlier than turning into the youngest assistant in NFL historical past and shortly after the youngest coordinator — because it nonetheless holds up.
“I all the time return to Dan Rooney, who was my mentor in Pittsburgh, I believe he employed three coaches in 50 years as a result of he had a system,” Dungy mentioned. “He mentioned Pittsburgh is a blue-collar city with chilly climate, we’ll be tough and tumble. So I am searching for defensive-minded coaches, and I need a younger man as a result of I need any person that is going to be right here 15 or 20 years and any person who understands Pittsburgh. That was his system.”
That philosophy is what led Rooney to rent a 34-year-old Mike Tomlin, as soon as an assistant underneath Dungy, in 2007. Solely Belichick has coached his present workforce longer than Tomlin amongst lively coaches, and solely Belichick and McVay have gained at the next clip.
The Steelers’ mannequin, constructed by the Rooney household and answerable for eight Tremendous Bowl appearances and 6 titles, may be specific to Pittsburgh. However it additionally leans on a quite simple premise, and it is relevant to the Falcons, Lions, Texans, Jaguars, Chargers and Jets amid their present teaching searches: What are you searching for?
That is a query Dungy believes each NFL proprietor ought to know the reply to earlier than hiring a head coach.
“I have been annoyed within the occasions Commissioner [Roger} Goodell has had me talk to someone, or people just call me and say, I’d like some recommendations,” Dungy shared. “And my first question is, what are you looking for? And you’d be surprised that 80 percent of the time they can’t tell you.
“Many of these owners cannot tell you that, they don’t know what they’re looking for, so they don’t end up hiring the right person, and then when they do end up hiring someone they don’t stick behind them because they really weren’t their guy. They were the media’s guy or they were some search firm’s guy, and then when you hit a little bump in the road, they don’t want to stand behind them. So, it’s a two-way street. But I think the first step is really defining what you’re looking for.”