The Orlando Sentinel’s Jemele Hill suggests despite recent successes by black head coaches, it’s still businesss as usual for the Old (White) Boy Network that is the NFL.
Three black coaches were in the playoffs — Tony Dungy, Marvin Lewis and Lovie Smith — and Smith was NFL coach of the year. Dungy finished second.
So why then have NFL general managers and owners stuck to the NFL’s copycat nature and hired more minorities as head coaches?
Owners and GMs are on the verge of pitching a shutout. If it weren’t for Herman Edwards leaving the Jets for the Kansas City Chiefs, virtually all of the NFL’s open head coaching positions would have gone to white men.
As it is, seven of the 10 coaching vacancies went to white guys. Nothing would be wrong with that if they were the most qualified candidates.
Problem is, they aren’t.
Eric Mangini replaced Edwards in New York. At 35, he’s the youngest head coach in the NFL and has been coaching in the league 11 years. After one season as Bill Belichick’s defensive coordinator, he became a head coach.
I understand Belichick’s acumen is so highly regarded, his gardener probably could get a head coaching job.
But minorities rarely are rewarded as quickly as Mangini. It took Romeo Crennel, who is black, three Super Bowl rings, two stints as a defensive coordinator — including three years under Belichick — and almost 25 years of NFL experience before the Browns gave him his first head coaching job last February.
And while we’re on the subject, how can the Green Bay Packers justify giving their head coaching job to a man who was the brains behind the NFL’s worst offense?
Mike McCarthy, who is white, was the 49ers’ offensive coordinator this season. The same 49ers who finished 4-12. Under McCarthy, rookie quarterback Alex Smith was no better than Krusty the Clown. Yet McCarthy was put in charge of one of the most storied franchises in NFL history.
NFL teams have sent the message that if you’re a minority, you must be twice as good just to get the same opportunity as someone who is white.
And don’t tell me there weren’t enough qualified minorities out there for NFL teams to consider.
What about UCLA Coach Karl Dorrell (above), a former player and position coach with the Denver Broncos who took the Bruins to a 9-2 record in his third season?
What about Norm Chow, the Titans’ offensive coordinator who has 32 years of coaching experience and helped USC become a national power?
If fresh blood was what the NFL wanted, there was 49ers assistant and Chicago Bears legend Mike Singletary and Browns offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon. Their resumes are just as good, if not better, than McCarthy’s and Mangini’s.