NFL To Change Policy On Coordinator, Front Office Interviews

While the NFL tabled the proposed Rooney Rule changes that would connect the hiring of minority HC candidates to certain draft-slot improvements, the league approved another key rule tweak Tuesday.

Teams can no longer block position coaches from coordinator interviews, Jim Trotter of tweets. Previously, teams could nix assistants’ opportunities to become coordinators. The NFL confirmed the new rule applies only to interviews for “bona fide” OC/DC positions, meaning the opportunity must include play-calling responsibilities.

Tuesday’s changes will affect the front office level as well. Teams can no longer block scouts or executives from interviewing for promotions elsewhere, Tom Pelissero of tweets. Executives can no longer be blocked from interviewing for a job that would include assistant GM responsibilities, per the league.

While potential diversity hirings drove the league to propose these changes, the new rules will be popular with assistant coaches and executives of all colors.

Clubs annually block position coaches under contract from meeting with teams about coordinator jobs. This has led to countless coaches forced to continue in mid-level roles, thus missing out on key promotions that can lead to future HC interviews. Tuesday’s change figures to make staff continuity more difficult and could well lead to younger coaches rising to coordinator posts and, perhaps, HC positions in the near future.

This proposal surfaced on the same day as the draft-based concept, but this initiative received more support. The NFL made significant changes to its Rooney Rule on Monday, which will mandate meetings with multiple minority candidates for HC jobs and expand the 17-year-old rule to coordinator positions as well. Coupled with Tuesday’s change, the NFL’s coordinator landscape will be altered.

Lastly, the league will prevent teams from including language in execs’ contracts that prevents them from interviewing for jobs elsewhere, Albert Breer of tweets. The Patriots including such a clause in player personnel director Nick Caserio‘s contract spurred this change. Were it not for such language, Caserio may well be the Texans’ GM now. The Texans had intentions of poaching Caserio from New England last year, firing Brian Gaine. But the Pats exec’s contract prevented it, leading to Houston naming Bill O’Brien as its GM.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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11 comments on “NFL To Change Policy On Coordinator, Front Office Interviews

  1. JJB0811

    Personally, I’m excited to see how Bill B gets around these changes. He ALWAYS finds loopholes.

  2. crosseyedlemon

    I’ve never understood the logic behind owners blocking coaches from seeking career advancement with other teams. I guess the thinking is that after the coach leaves he will try to poach all the talent he can from his former team but that is hard to do in an era when most of the top talent is locked into long term contracts at a high cost. There is also a huge pool of replacement coaches available in both the pro and college ranks making the practice of blocking unnecessary.

    • JJB0811

      Its sorta screwed up that, previously, a team could ban their coaches from interviewing elsewhere; but a new HC easily fired the last regime’s staff!

      • crosseyedlemon

        Right. The NFL isn’t known for consistent application of rules anyway. Gruden was able to get his boss McKenzie fired and Gase worked the same angle to get rid of Maccagnan.

  3. hOsEbEeLiOn

    Sure this makes complete sense.

    Don’t block guys who could potentially be hired elsewhere for a better job.

    I’d even go as far to say you should let guys take better job offers from teams.

    If a guy is an assistant position coach and gets a job offer to be the main position coach elsewhere he should be allowed to take the offer, not just if it’s coordinator positions.

    If that’s not included it’s a shame. For instance, Seitu Smith of the browns is offensive quality controls coach. Is he not allowed to apply for QBs coach or RBs coach elsewhere?

    Seems like exceptions are made for more prominent positions but does not extend throughout the ranks of coaching and executive positions.

    • crosseyedlemon

      I believe the Browns had 3 quality coaches on their staff at one point. I have no idea what quality these guys are actually controlling. If you were a wanted fugitive, hiding in the lower ranks of an NFL coaching staff would be a good idea because you would probably never be noticed.

  4. Ramon Garciaparra

    If NFL would like to solve their racial make-up issues then instead of focusing on high profile gm and head coaching jobs they should encourage teams to hire more fairly compensated interns of color and develop them for advancement. Offer meaningful training and apprentice programs for players and former players interested in front office positions or in becoming coaches or scouts or even as referees or broadcasters. Work at placing graduates into positions with the league, with the teams and with media and business partners. Bring attention to success stories. Actually care about the futures of former players by action not just words. Over time the better ones will be promoted to better jobs and eventually will earn head coach and gm positions based on merit.

    • crosseyedlemon

      So your solution is to demean minorities further by having them work their way up from groundskeepers and janitors? They are fed up with false promises of that sort and are only asking for the same opportunity any white candidate would get.

      • agentx

        Whose solution are you referencing, crosseyedlemon?

        Looks to me like you’re the one who brought up anyone having to “work their way up from groundskeepers.”

    • agentx

      I don’t know how many are awarded each year and who typically gets them, but the NFLPA does offer current players NFLPA Externships both in and outside of the game.

      So one remedy of the kind Ramon describes could just be more NFLPA Externships and similar programs from the NFLPA and the league itself.

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