Ozzie Newsome upbeat about NFL job opportunities for minorities

The Baltimore Sun

In the latest hiring cycle for NFL head coaches, no minorities were hired.

Although NFL teams complied with the Rooney Rule requiring that at least one minority be interviewed for head coaching and general manager vacancies, none got jobs.

That has prompted the Fritz Pollard Alliance to call for the NFL to do more to ensure that there's diversity in the league as far as head coaches and general managers.

As the first African-American general manager in NFL history, Ravens executive Ozzie Newsome remains confident in the process.

"Is the opportunity there? Yes it is," Newsome said today at team headquarters. "You can look at the fact that I am the third of the GMs that have been there [Super Bowl]. [Arizona Cardinals general manager] Rod Graves had a chance to go with Arizona. [New York Giants general manager] Jerry Reese has been to two. We've had African-American coaches have the opportunity. I've had conversations among the diversity working group committee myself. Are we going work to get better?

"Yes, but all we can do is to put people in front of people. [Pittsburgh Steelers coach] Mike Tomlin got in front of the Rooneys and got that job. I think that opportunity is there. I'd like for African Americans to get an opportunity, but John Harbaugh is a good football coach. Jim Harbaugh is a good football coach. And [Cleveland Browns coach] Rod Chudzinski is a good football coach. So, they're not making bad decisions. There's just a good pool of candidates out there that people have to choose from."

Meanwhile, Newsome indicated that he got a lot of positive feedback at the Senior Bowl from fellow general managers about the job prospects of Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell.

"One of the nice things of being at the Senior Bowl is that I got the chance to be around a lot of the GMs," Newsome said. "And I have had a couple of GMs tell me, 'If it wasn't for your guys' success in the playoffs, that [Caldwell] would have been someone that we would have interviewed.' Hopefully next year we'll be in the same spot and it will be tough for him to get interviews again. But I can see him getting that opportunity a year from now."



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