2020 Offseason Questions: Would Proposals To Encourage Minority Hiring Actually Achieve Its Goal?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the offseason, following a year in which they had high hopes for Super Bowl success, but ultimately fell short of even reaching the postseason at 8-8. It was a tumultuous season, both on the field and within the roster, and the months to follow figure to have some drama as well, especially in light of the team’s failure to improve upon the year before.

The team made some bold moves over the course of the past year, and some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago, or even at the start of the regular season. Whether due to injuries or otherwise, a lot has transpired, and we’re left to wonder how much more will change prior to September.

How will Ben Roethlisberger’s rehab progress as he winds toward recovery from an elbow injury that cost him almost the entire season? What about some of the key young players, some of whom have already impressed, others still needing quite a bit of growth? Will there be changes to the coaching staff? The front office? Who will they not retain in free agency, and whom might they bring in?

These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.

Question: Would the reported proposals to encourage more minorities hires actually result in more minorities being hired?

I didn’t even read the article that I wrote in which I detailed the report about the NFL giving consideration to the idea of providing draft compensation for team to either hire or retain more minorities in head coaching or general manager roles. I’m sure I know the gist of what was said.

The question of this day is not to debate the merits of the idea itself and whether or not it’s fair and this and that. The only question I’m asking here is—will the proposals, if approved, result in more minorities becoming head coaches and general managers?

Already significant names have voiced concern over the idea, including one of the few minority head coaches currently active, Anthony Lynn. I’m skeptical as to whether or not it will actually pass. But I am interested in whether or not it would achieve the desired end.

More interesting to me is not the slight bump in draft position for teams who hire minority head coaches and general managers, but the idea of preventing teams from blocking assistant coaches from interviewing for coordinator jobs. The vast majority of head coaches came directly from coordinating roles, but there are few minorities in those roles, especially on offense.

If the league is effective in providing more opportunities for minority position coaches to advance to coordinator roles, will that result, in time, in more of them getting head coaching opportunities? And how could something similar work for executive positions?

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