Pittsburgh Steelers head man in charge has noticed something around the NFL, and he doesn’t like what he sees.
According to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Tomlin felt the league was light on minority hires this offseason: “I think the numbers speak for themselves in that regard. It was a disappointing hiring cycle for someone who watches it like I do, knowing some of the deserving men I do who I thought should have gotten an opportunity and didn’t. But we’ll continue to work and fight for equality and opportunity.” New Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores was the only minority hire this offseason, and he is one of only three black head coaches in the NFL along with Tomlin and Anthony Lynn of the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Rooney Rule, which requires NFL teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching vacancies, was instituted in 2003 at the behest of late Steelers owner Dan Rooney. Since it was adopted, 15 minority head coaches have been hired, but only two have been hired since Rooney’s death in 2017.
Tomlin noted he switched from being an offensive coach to being a defensive coach in order to increase his chances of getting a head coaching opportunity. He noted that minority coaches may now be getting the opposite advice due to the emphasis on offense in the NFL currently:
“If offensive coaches are in vogue in this hiring cycle, and guys in my age group, particularly those of color, have been advised in that way, then obviously there might be a void of offensive coaching talent. I just think in the mid- to late-1990s young minority coaches were ascending faster on that [defensive] side of the ball. So I think it was appropriate advice for me at that time. I know that I took that advice and I don’t look back.”
With the Bengals’ firing of Lewis, Tomlin is now by far the longest-tenured minority head coach in the NFL as he prepares to enter his 13th season with the Steelers.
If Tomlin doesn’t start doing a better job coaching, he’ll be looking for a job soon enough.
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