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NFL revamps Rooney Rule to include quarterbacks coaches

5/25/2022 12:16:30 PM
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The NFL has expanded the Rooney Rule again, this time to include quarterbacks coaches in a further effort to diversify the coaching ranks, The Associated Press reports.

The change was announced Tuesday at the owners meeting in Atlanta by Jonathan Beane, the NFL’s senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer. The oft-criticized Rooney Rule, adopted in 2003 to enhance opportunities for minorities to gain head coaching jobs and enhanced several times to include front office positions, now will requires one minority or female candidate from another team to be interviewed for quarterbacks coach. Previously, the rule covered head coach, general manager and all coordinator jobs.

Such current head coaches as Zac Taylor of the Bengals, Kyle Shanahan of the 49ers, and Brian Daboll of the Giants have advanced from QB coach to the top spot.

In March, the owners approved for this season that all 32 clubs must employ a female or a member of an ethnic or racial minority to serve as an offensive assistant coach. The person will receive a one-year contract and work closely with the head coach and offensive staff to gain experience.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said at the end of the meetings that the league's investigation into accusations of sexual misconduct by now-Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson is close to a conclusion. He did not provide a timeline on any decision or potential discipline for Watson, who is facing civil lawsuit from 22 women.

An additional change made Tuesday forbids teams from hiring a new head coach until after the wild-card playoff round, Goodell said. Teams can't conduct head coach interviews with candidates from other NFL teams until the third day after the season ends — if the candidate's team is not in the playoffs. For potential hires who are in wild-card round games, there will be a two-day hiatus following their game before interviews.

Significantly, teams can't hold in-person head coach interviews with anyone working for another team until after all wild-card games. But interviews with in-house candidates or those not working in the NFL are allowed before the wild-card round.

The idea is to provide more preparation time for interviews.

Goodell said he was not aware of an upsurge in ownership discontent with Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder despite reports that several teams are in favor of a suspension if recent claims of financial improprieties by the franchise are accurate. The Commanders are being investigated.

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