Extra Points: Coaches, GMs, Schedule, OTAs

After the NFL expanded the Rooney Rule this offseason, it has a “ready list” of minority candidates for head coaching jobs, offensive and defensive coordinator positions and GM candidates, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. Beyond some of the big names — Eric Bieniemy, Marvin Lewis, Todd Bowles, Leslie Frazier among them — coaches like Clemson OC Tony Elliott, Penn State HC James Franklin and Michigan State HC Mel Tucker appear on the HC portion of the list. On the GM side, some first-time candidates include Bills pro scouting director Malik Boyd, Raiders pro scouting director Dwayne Joseph, Ravens exec Vincent Newsome and Chargers player personnel director JoJo Wooden. Former Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson — now the franchise’s pro scouting director — also appears on the GM portion of the list. The Rooney Rule now mandates teams interview two minority HC candidates and expanded the rule to include coordinator positions. Franchises must also open their senior-level executive jobs to minority and female candidates.

Here is the latest from around the league:

  • Normal NFL offseasons feature several weeks’ worth of OTAs preceding a June minicamp, but the NFLPA would like a schedule that looks closer to this year’s virtual offseason. Union executive director DeMaurice Smith said “there is absolutely no reason” for the NFL to return to full-scale OTAs, per Sports Business Daily’s Ben Fischer (subscription required). Having seen no decline in performance after this atypical offseason, union president J.C. Tretter agrees with Smith. This would be a stretch for coaching staffs, which have steadily seen their time with players cut back. The past two CBA agreements have significantly limited offseason and padded training camp workouts, and 2020’s COVID-19-altered offseason created steeper acclimation challenges for young players.
  • The NFL has agreed to a formula for its 17th regular-season game, making it increasingly likely this season will be the last one of the 16-game era. In what will be the first shift to the league’s scheduling setup since 2002, the 17-game schedule will feature a fifth interconference game. The schedule will pit an AFC division winner against an NFC division winner, and on down the line within each division, but the extra interconference game will not feature two teams who played the previous year, Albert Breer of SI.com notes. In the event the NFL moves to the 17-game season in 2021, the Chiefs and Buccaneers could not play again next season; the earliest such a regular-season rematch would occur would be 2022.
  • Roger Goodell may well be on board with shortening the preseason slate from four games to two. The commissioner “seemed in favor” of halving the preseason schedule at last week’s owners meetings, according to ESPN.com’s Seth Wickersham, but some high-profile owners are not. Jerry Jones, Robert Kraft, John Mara and Art Rooney II dismissed the idea of going from three preseason games — the new number as of the 2020 CBA — to two, according to ESPN. No vote occurred on the matter, though Goodell discussing the idea publicly points to it remaining an issue going forward.
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8 comments on “Extra Points: Coaches, GMs, Schedule, OTAs

  1. crosseyedlemon

    It’s common knowledge that the Fritz Pollard Alliance supplies the NFL with these Rooney Rule lists. I want to know what a minority coach would have to do to NOT get an endorsement from the FPA.

    • jorge78

      It would be very useful to first see the guidelines on
      how Fritzy picks its names.
      Pass the hat anyone?

      • crosseyedlemon

        I don’t image the criteria for endorsement is too demanding. Hue Jackson even managed to get the seal of approval from the FPA.

  2. jorge78

    Should previously hired minorities be considered for the draft pick “gift pack?” They’ve already had a shot…..

  3. jorge78

    The good part of this rule is it forces owners and executives to meet candidates they normally would not. It is NOT a guarantee of a job or a “happy ending.” Kind of like forced speed dating…..

  4. kevin

    the rule is bs and not needed now . all it does is forces divide. just allow owners to hire any candidate that is a fit for their organization they are gonna pick people who they believe will win and bring in money and fans . but forcing them to interview a candidate they don’t think will bring a SB is a waste of both sides time and it makes it seem like they only interviewing the first candidate just so they can actually start the interview process of anyone they want to interview.

  5. Matt Barbarino

    I actually like the concept of a 17 game season. Just hope that they can eliminate the Pro Bowl.

  6. Ak185

    The NFLPA saw no visible change in play from a virtual offseason? Really? Injuries are occurring at a normal too, I suppose.

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