FENNO: Minority candidates need more from NFL

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Caldwell didn’t. Neither did Winston Moss, the Green Bay Packers’ well-regarded assistant head coach who also mentored inside linebackers.

Caldwell’s run to the Super Bowl isn’t an excuse, either, since both Seattle Seahawks coordinators, including new Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley, interviewed while their team remained alive in the postseason.

Think about this. Caldwell, three years removed from leading the Indianapolis Colts to a 14-2 season, who transformed the Ravens’ erratic offense and quarterback Joe Flacco to propel the late-season surge, wasn’t deemed worthy of one interview.

Not one.

“When you do what those guys did at the level they did it and they don’t get an interview, then something’s wrong,” Wooten said.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance promotes minority hiring in the NFL and wants to transform the Rooney Rule from a box to check off to satisfy a requirement to something that creates a lasting pipeline of qualified minority candidates for positions on sidelines and in front offices. The first decade of the rule produced 13 minority head coaches (four were interim) compared to six minorities in the previous decades.

Last month, the group proposed expanding the rule to include coordinators, assistant head coaches and several front office positions, including team presidents and vice presidents of player personnel. The plan, which includes offseason symposia to better develop future coaches and front office staffers, has been favorably received by the NFL.

“What we’ve done is challenge the league,” Wooten said. “Let’s move forward in certain areas.”

That’s a worthy start for the NFL to address a problem that should be more clear-cut than head injuries or Bountygate.

No one is looking for a handout or for less-qualified applicants to be hired.

They simply want a chance.

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