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David Culley: NFL reduced to one black head coach after pledging to do better with diversity

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David Culley: NFL reduced to one black head coach after pledging to do better with diversity

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“Earlier today, I met with David Culley and Tim Kelly to let them know that we will be taking a different direction as head coach and offensive coordinator,” Texans general manager Nick Caserio said.

“I came to this difficult but necessary decision after reviewing our football operation. Although a change after one season was unusual, we had philosophical differences over the long-term direction and vision of our program for the future. . “

Culley is the second black head coach to be fired this week, after the Miami Dolphins relieved Brian Flores of his duties. That leaves Mike Tomlin of Pittsburgh as the only remaining black head coach, along with two others of color – Robert Saleh of the New York Jets and Ron Rivera of Washington, according to the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport. ‘University of Central Florida.
This, in a 32-team league where a majority of players are of color, draws attention to the six vacant NFL head coach positions, as the league has for years come under public pressure to increase. diversity in his management positions.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell himself has criticized last year’s string of hires, when two minority coaches, Culley and Saleh, were hired out of seven vacancies. Goodell said last year it was “not what we expected in the future.”
“We want to diversify our NFL clubs,” Goodell said in February. “The head coach is important. We hired two minority coaches, but it was not what we expected.”
Culley’s sacking also comes two days after another senior NFL official – executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent – told the Washington Post he saw a double standard when it came to NFL or college teams firing black coaches after short terms or winning seasons.
Vincent, who is black, mentioned Tony Dungy, who the Buccaneers fired after the 2001 season with a regular-season record of 54-42 over six seasons, including winning seasons in his last three years. He also referred to Jim Caldwell, who the Lions let go in 2017 after three winning seasons in four years – for a club that had only had one winning campaign in the previous 13 years.
Vincent also mentioned Steve Wilks, who the Cardinals fired a few years ago after just one season, but with a 3-13 record.

“There is a double standard,” Vincent told The Post. “I don’t think that’s something we should be avoiding. But it’s part of some of the things we need to fix in the system.

“We want to make everyone wonder why, say, is benefiting from the doubt to be able to build or take the bumps and bruises in this process of recovering a franchise when others don’t have that leeway?… We do. let’s see it at the college level, and we’ve seen it in history at the (professional) level.

Along with the Texans and Dolphins, teams with currently vacant head coach positions are the Bears, Broncos, Giants and Vikings.

Rooney rule aims to boost candidate diversity

The NFL has said it has tried to increase diversity in its head coaching ranks after years of criticism.

In 2003, the league adopted the Rooney Rule, requiring teams to interview at least one “miscellaneous” candidate for vacant head coach positions. In 2009, the Rooney Rule was expanded to include CEO positions and equivalent front office positions. The league in 2020 extended the rule to require additional talks.
And at the end of the year, the NFL passed a resolution that would reward teams with additional draft picks for minority coach development.

Culley and Flores were two of five black head coaches hired full-time in the past five years, according to the institute. The others were Anthony Lynn (Chargers, 2017-2020); Vance Joseph (Broncos, 2017-2018); and Wilks (Cardinals, 2018).

Six others had been hired full time since 2010: Hue Jackson (Raiders, 2011, and Browns, 2016-2018); Leslie Frazier (Vikings, 2011-2013); Romeo Crennell (Chiefs, 2012-13, after coaching the Browns the previous decade); Lovie Smith (Buccaneers, 2014-2016, after coaching the Bears); Caldwell (Lions 2014-2017, after coaching the Colts); and Todd Bowles (Jets, 2015-2018).

Among the league’s players this season, 58% were black and nearly 10% identified with two or more races, while 25% were white, according to the institute.

Culley says he “loved every minute”

Culley, 66, was in his first job as a head coach, having spent more than 27 years as an NFL assistant and 16 years as a college assistant. He was hired last year from the Baltimore Ravens, where he spent two years as an assistant head coach, pass coordinator and wide receivers coach.

Culley’s job as the Texans looked like a rough journey since he was hired.

Watson had asked the team for a trade before Culley was hired, and star defensive lineman and organization pillar JJ Watt was released just weeks after.

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But despite the turmoil the team found themselves in, Culley managed to rally his players and the Texans appeared to be playing above their post.

“We appreciate Coach Culley for helping us through a difficult season, but it is my responsibility to make the decisions that I think are the best for our organization,” said Caserio. “The search for the next Houston Texans coach will begin immediately.”

In a statement issued announcing his sacking, Culley said he “enjoys every minute” of being the head coach of the Texans.

“I appreciate the players and coaches for staying the course with me through the ups and downs of our season,” he said.

“I’m disappointed that we haven’t won more games and won’t have the chance to improve on the lessons I’ve learned, but I fully understand that this is a profitable business and I haven’t done enough I want to thank the McNair family and Nick Caserio for giving me this opportunity, I am always grateful for the experience.

“I wish this team and this organization the best, they are building a special program and I really believe the future is bright for Texans fans.”

Culley is the sixth head coach to be sacked after the end of the 2021 season, after Flores was sacked from the Dolphins, Mike Zimmer from the Minnesota Dolphins, Vic Fangio from the Denver Broncos, Joe Judge from the New York Giants and Matt Nagy from the Chicago Bears.

CNN’s Leah Asmelash contributed to this report.

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