Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney still believes his Rooney Rule can work, but admits it could use some tweaking after no minority coaches or general managers were hired this season.
"Every team followed procedures, interviewed minority candidates. From that standpoint, we were pleased. As far as, now people saying they didn't get the job. Maybe this year, there weren't the candidates they thought there would be so they would get the jobs. On the other hand, it's up to the coach, the candidate, to show the owner that they're capable of doing the job. That's a big thing. Evidently, they weren't able to do that this year."
Eight head coaching jobs and seven general manager positions were available around the NFL after the 2012 season. None of those positions were filled by a minority, raising eyebrows and even drawing an official statement from the league office, calling it "disappointing".
Rooney believes improving the talent pipeline in the coordinator and position coaching ranks will go a long way towards more diversity in head coaching and front-office positions. He also wants the hiring process to be extended:
"With these eight coaches, now they have to build a staff. A lot of people think it's really difficult and things like that. They do it quickly. Where in times, they should look at the whole thing. Is it necessary to do it as quickly as they've done?"
It's entirely possible that this year is an anomaly, but it is a discouraging step backwards from 2009, when seven minorities were head coaches.