It’s no surprise that the Rooney Rule has been highly contested over the last few years. The rule, put in place to allow ethnic-minority candidates to interview for head coaching and senior football operation jobs, has been under tremendous scrutiny over the last decade. Currently there are only four minority head coaches (Mike Tomlin, Ron Rivera, Brian Flores, and Anthony Lynn), and two minority General Managers (Chris Grier and Andrew Berry). The quest to improve diversity when it comes to organizational leadership is something the NFL has looked to solve this year.
What has normally happened when it comes to the Rooney Rule is that most Owners or General Managers will either pick a candidate that is friends with the decision-makers or just interview a minority candidate to satisfy the rule and actually not consider that person for the position at all.
The NFL came out with an original proposal that would give a team an extra draft pick in the third round for hiring a minority candidate for a top leadership position. That was met with criticism around the country.
The NFL ended up tabling the updated Rooney Rule that allows draft incentives but moved forward with a new set of rules.
With the league now no longer allowing teams to block assistant coaches and executives, this means that many of the top assistants that have been forced to stay with their teams will have a chance to interview for some of the top positions in the game. One of those top assistants just so happens to be Philadelphia Eagles’ Assistant HC and RB Coach, Duce Staley.
Staley has been the Running-backs coach since 2013. Here’s how the team has ranked rushing the football since Staley took over.
Year: Rushing Rank: 2013 1st 2014 9th 2015 14th 2016 11th 2017 3rd 2018 28th 2019 11th
Staley wasn’t interviewed for the team’s open Offensive Coordinator position a few months ago and was interviewed for the Head Coaching position in 2016 although many people questioned if that interview was just to satisfy the Rooney Rule and made Staley an improper candidate.
With the latest updates to the Rooney Rule, the Eagles will no longer be allowed to block Staley if he wished to interview for a true offensive coordinator position in the future. If Staley were to leave, major questions would turn to the RB position. Staley helped LeSean McCoy reach new heights as the league’s leading rusher in 2013 and has shown a master-class for how to manage a running-back by committee in 2017 and 2019.
The NFL will absolutely be better for the latest rule changes to the Rooney Rule. The Eagles, themselves could very well lose their best position coach they have had over the last few years.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports