Following the lead of this year's Super Bowl participants, the Pittsburgh Steelers have decided that the most direct path back to the top of the football heap is under the direction of a Negro head coach.
Some say it is an example of the progress that the NFL has made in minority hiring. Some are thrilled to see that the Rooney family is implementing adherence to the so called "Rooney Rule". The reality is: The NFL is NOT making progress in hiring minorities and the Rooney family could care less about rules. Winning. That is what it is about. And teams are now confronted with the reality that if you give a Negro coach the same type of situation and infrastructure to succeed that white coaches get, the results will be victories and post season accolades.
Folks will say, look at Arizona and Oakland; they had Negro coaches and had lousy teams. Yes, so true. But those jobs are symptomatic of most of the jobs that had been given to Negro coaches in the past. No win situations. Owners that were out of touch with the game and reality. Or, as in Cleveland with Romeo Crennell, a hopeless rebuilding job. Anytime a plumb job at a solid organization has been open, the Negro coach is quickly interviewed to document compliance with the rule (or in some cases they don't even bother). But in Pittsburgh, the will to win was too much.
In their own division, the Steelers watched Cincinatti give Marvin Lewis the support necessary to turn that franchise around. Give the Rooney family credit for not just watching, but learning and understanding that the key to success is going with the best man for the job. And in most cases, that is the original human.
Times are no longer what they were, and we are seeing the old white coach not be able to adjust and get the most out of his players. The ancient Marty Schottenheimer once again failed miserably in the playoffs. Bill Parcells has chosen to move to the old folks home after realizing that the energy and desire to win of the Negro athlete was something he could not match. Joe Gibbs return to the game has been an exercise in futility. Mike Holmgren just can't win the big one in Seattle. The Philadelphia Eagles are one Negro head coach away from a championship. Mark it down.
The only impediment to the Steelers' return to the top might be this: ownership is dictating who stays on the coaching staff.
So, if Mike Tomlin is not successful, we can only blame the old white coordinators that ownership chose to force on him.