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Jerry Gray may never work in the NFL again.(Rooney Rule Discussion---MET)


Touch of Class 17

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I have to say that as an african-american I am not comfortable with how the Redskins have handled this coaching situation. I think they undermined the spirit of the Rooney rule by hiring Bruce Allen and whoever the next coach will be. Unfortunately they were aided by african-americans who don't realize that they have done more damage than good. Rick Maese just tweeted this article and It sums up my feelings.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2009/12/29/gray-could-have-a-hard-time-finding-a-job-post-redskins/

Gray could have a hard time finding a job post-Redskins

Posted by Mike Florio on December 29, 2009 10:19 AM ET

Before Sunday night, multiple publications had reported that Redskins secondary coach Jerry Gray had interviewed for the head-coaching job held by Jim Zorn. (We also have reported that defensive coordinator Greg Blache interviewed for the job.) At one point, Gray awkwardly failed to deny that he had been interviewed.

On Sunday night, NBC's Andrea Kremer reported that Gray had indeed been interviewed, and she offered up intriguing details regarding the manner in which the Redskins had asked the NFL to declare that the interview constitutes compliance with the Rooney Rule's requirement that at least one minority candidate be interviewed for every head-coaching vacancy, even though there wasn't -- and still isn't -- a head-coaching vacancy in D.C.

Kremer also reported that the league deferred the question to John Wooten of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, who somehow concluded that the interview wasn't simply aimed at clearing the path for the Redskins to hire whomever they chose (i.e., Mike Shanahan), whenever they choose to do so (i.e., as soon as the plane returns from San Diego).

On Monday, Wooten confirmed in an interview with Rick Maese of the Washington Post that the Fritz Pollard Alliance believes the Redskins have complied with the Rooney Rule, even though the position for which Gray interviewed is still filled.

"They have done what we look for in an interview, therefore, they have satisfied the Rooney Rule," Wooten told Maese.

The irony here is that the Redskins' pre-compliance with a rule aimed at creating opportunities for minority coaches in part by getting their names into the discussions that arise when coaching jobs become available has possibly killed Gray's NFL career with any team other than the Redskins.

As one league insider explained it to us, no head coach will ever fully trust a man who interviews behind the head coach's back for a job that the head coach still holds.

"Gray was on the radar screen as a potential head coach about five years ago," the source said. "Then, he had to claw back to get back into the discussion as a coordinator. There was no chance he was going to be the head coach of the Redskins. If he doesn't get a lifetime contract from [Redskins owner Daniel] Snyder, he may not get another job because every head coach and coordinator will wonder what he does when he is not in the room.

"How did [Gray] get on Snyder's radar screen? Was he undermining the head coach for a while? Snyder threw Gray under the bus to execute his senseless plan to keep [Jim Zorn] in the head sets, and, in the process, he also undercut the value of the Rooney Rule."

That's our bigger concern. The Fritz Pollard Alliance, by inexplicably agreeing that an interview conducted behind the back of a sitting head coach complies with the letter and the spirit of a procedure aimed at injecting fairness and diversity into the hiring process, has irreparably damaged the Rooney Rule.

Wooten apparently gave no thought to the precedent that he has created, and the blueprint has now been established for any other owner who hopes to dispense with annoying details like interviewing a minority candidate before hiring the white guy the owner already has determined he wants to hire. (Under that approach, the team owned by the man for whom the Rooney Rule was named easily could have interviewed defensive backs coach Darren Perry for the job everyone knew Bill Cowher was going to leave after the 2006 season, and then the Steelers could have introduced Russ Grimm as the new head coach without ever casting a glance in the direction of Mike Tomlin.)

We'll leave it to the real journalists to explore whether there might be some presently unknown quid pro quo that prompted Wooten's application of a rubber stamp to an obvious sham. For now, we believe that something about this entire process stinks, and that the league office either needs to take meaningful steps to punish the Redskins for engaging in a charade -- or to scuttle completely the Rooney Rule, which under the interpretation applied by Wooten will do far more harm than good.

Besides, who made the Fritz Pollard Alliance the guardians of the Rooney Rule? In our view, the league alone is responsible for applying it, and we believe the Commissioner should not have delegated the delicate question of pre-compliance with the rule to a man who possibly isn't in the best position to realize what the Redskins were trying to pull off.

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The rooney rule itself is a joke and we all know that. I'm all for equal opportunity but the Rooney Rule has nothing to do with equal opportunity.

If anything it just makes things more divided. There are black NFL coaches now, quite a few of them doing well. A Rooney rule isn't going to work for any hire. If the coach is black and has a better resume or fits better with the team then he should be hired. If the white guy is better... no need to interview a black guy or vice versa.

I do like Gray... although as of late his players have been getting torched left and right.

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i think the rooney rule is a good idea but its so easy to get around its become a farce. they didnt even need to interview gray, they could have waited until tuesday after zorn is fired on monday, and still brought shanny in asap after that.

gray will find a job elsewhere, he seems like a strong guy and up until this year he'd coached a pretty good secondary.

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Why punish Snyder? I've heard reported that he asked the question prior to the interview, so how is that wrong, to ask for clarification? He was given the go ahead and interviewed Gray and possibly Blache (who is maintaining his silence on anything Redskins).

To obviate this problem, Goodell can just say, no the interview doesn't comply, re-interview and comply with the Rooney Rule.

Still more drama around the Redskins. It's simple to remedy and stop all the speculation, at least until after next Sunday.

I have a bigger problem with Gray/Blache, as it does look like they are going around Zorn's back, and he's not even gone yet.

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Get ready - this thread is going to go down the tubes in t-minus 5 minutes.

So throw in few thoughts early -

1) I don't know why the Redskins are going about it this way from PR standpoint. With the last coaching search being such a disaster - I would do this one as PC and as PR savvy as possible. We could use some positive PR. So why take the heat that the media is going to bring for this when you could simply just do it quietly after Zorn is fired like normal?

2) There needs to be more black head coaches in the NFL, but this rule is stupid. It is not racist (which it will be called in this thread I am sure many times), but it is very very very stupid.

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I think the rule does more harm than good.

The fact that sometimes owners have set in stone, who they want as the coach next, have to go out and interview a minority just to fufill a rule? Not only is that a waste of the interview-ee's time, it can hurt relationships.

If i was Jerry Gray, i wouldn't have interviewed because I knew i wasn't getting the job. I wouldn't sit there and waste hours upon hours just because Danny Boy (or anyone for that matter) needed to interview me because of my skin color.

And here i completely disagree with the author of this. If i'm a coach/owner/etc. I know why Gray does this. He just comply's with his boss, and now he has his name out there as a head coach possiblity to everyone paying attention to this (obviously not anyone with the same feelings as 'the source'.)

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Gray wants out of DC. Look for him to land in the college ranks as that's a move that Snyder can't block. Whereas him reuniting in New Orleans with GW would be a lateral move & thus blockable.

Nice.

I want him out of DC too.

His schemes suck.

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The Rooney rule is so openly racist it makes me sick.

This is quite possibly one of the biggest jokes in the NFL. I am all for equal opportunity, but they should just do away with this rule. My theory is that if you are qualified, then you will be hired for that position, it's not based on the color of your skin.

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I'm all for equal opportunity, but this rule is out dated. It leaves so many chances for people to call racism when someone does what Snyder does to get around the rule, and it belittles those like Gray who interviewed just to comply with the rule.

Is Snyder a racist? I highly doubt it, but there is no doubt it still exists. I am 100% against racism, I hate it, there is nothing more ugly than a racist person. I also am 100% against anyone who cries racism when it is not backed by solid facts...it is equally as ugly.

I don't know what really needs to be done, but something should be tweaked. The rule has been somewhat successful but still needs to be tweaked. I don't like the idea of people being forced to interview a minority just for the sake of doing it, what happens if the NFL becomes dominated by minority coaches? Are we gonna enforce a reverse Rooney rule? The whole thing just needs to be tweaked so everyone has a chance to show their stuff, black, white, latino, green, orange..whatever race they may be.

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Shanahan, Cowher and Dungy are the premier HC's out there and proven winners.

You can gripe all you want about the rule but it's not an owners fault that some refuse to interview with you (Cowher, Dungy).

Why should you drop to the 2nd tier of HC candidates you have no intention of hiring? The rule needs fixing.

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This is quite possibly one of the biggest jokes in the NFL. I am all for equal opportunity, but they should just do away with this rule. My theory is that if you are qualified, then you will be hired for that position, it's not based on the color of your skin.

Everything is though and is legally/socially acceptable so as long as the only one being discriminated against is a white male.

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This is all speculation by media pundits. Nobody in the media has any idea who the coach is going to be, everyone is just speculating that it will be Shanahan. If Gray is named as head coach will anybody retract their article or come out saying they were wrong? No way. These writers are in the business to sell headlines, they are rarely held accountable for all the misleading information they write. What writers had the scoop that Allen was going to be the GM? NONE. Just sit back and let's see how this plays out before we jump to conclusions. FACTS before ACTS.

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So it is White and Minority, not Majority and Minority. Could there not be a White Minority group? What if a owner interviews an Irish Jew or a gay Slav? The whole thing is just so silly. As long as things are done behind closed doors (as they should be because these are private businesses for the most part) the 'spirit' of rules can (and likely will) be circumvented while still adhering to the 'letter' of said rules.

Just silly.

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I would not say that Gray did not have a chance to become the Head Coach of the Redskins. His name was talked about previously for the Head Coaching job down in Memphis. Also, there is a precedent of Snyder not going for the big name and going for Jim Zorn.

The thing is, we do not know what the organization had intended by interviewing Jerry Gray. They could have wanted to strip Jim Zorn of his Head Coaching job mid-season and wanted to interview the current staff to see who would be best to take over.

Anyway, I wonder what the pretenses were to interview Gray. That is the part that would be very telling.

As far as the Rooney Rule, I do not believe it is effective in today's current NFL. It was previously, when there were no African-American Head Coaches, but now the League is pretty wide open, and a lot of times the person who is interviewing is just being used to fill this rule. They are not necessarily getting a fair shake.

I hope Jerry Gray does coach after this season since I do think he is a very good coach, though I do question him interviewing with Snyder.

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The Rooney Rule is a pitiful joke that has zero affect on minority hiring in the NFL. I applaud the Skins for working around the edges of the rule to expose it for the fraud that it is. The Fritz Pollard Alliance are the gate keepers of the rule and they have certified that the Skins are in compliance. Done and done.

They want Shanahan. Plain and simple. Race has nothing to do wih that desire.

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