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Black former NFL coaches say league must revisit minority hiring procedures 02.01.13 at 11:15 am ET
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Black former NFL coaches are saying the league needs to revisit its minority hiring procedures after 15 top vacancies — eight head coaching jobs and seven general manager jobs — have been filled by white candidates this offseason.

Former Colts coach Tony Dungy, former Jets and Chiefs coach Herm Edwards, and current Ravens assistant coach Jim Caldwell have said recently that the 2003 Rooney Rule — under which each NFL team has to interview at least one minority candidate for a coaching or general manager opening, according to the vision of Steelers chairman Dan Rooney — isn’t working the way it should.

“When you use the Rooney Rule and not correctly, you put a little bit of a bad mark on Mr. Rooney’s name, and that is not good,” Edwards, now an ESPN analyst, said Wednesday. “If it keeps going this way, we might need to take his name off the rule. It is not being used in the right manner that Mr. Rooney meant it to be.”

Before the rule went into effect in 2003, the NFL had had six minority coaches in more than 80 years. In the years since then, 12 have been hired. But when two black coaches and one black GM — Romeo Crennel of the Chiefs, Lovie Smith of the Bears and Rod Graves of the Cardinals, respectively — were fired after this offseason, all were replaced by white candidates.

“That’s one of the reasons that the Rooney Rule was put in place, because you’re trying to avoid those situations, if possible,” Caldwell said. “We’re at that stage where guys like Lovie Smith, who didn’t get an opportunity, who had won and been very successful previously … obviously, there’s some concern there, and that’s why I think the rule is going to be revisited.”

There are now four minority coaches in the NFL: the Steelers’ Mike Tomlin, the Vikings’ Leslie Frazier, the Bengals’ Marvin Lewis and the Panthers’ Ron Rivera.

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