Steelers’ Mike Tomlin agrees changes need to be made to Rooney Rule

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Monday he was in favor of changes to the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires NFL teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and front office jobs.

Tomlin said in an interview on college basketball coach John Calipari’s Facebook series “Coffee with Cal” that incentivizing the Rooney Rule could bring out the positives.

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“We’ve always taken it from the approach of, punitive if you don’t interview minority candidates or things of that nature,” Tomlin said. “I just like the different approach in terms of spinning it 180 and talking about maybe incentivizing those that develop the talent and those that hire the talent.”

Tomlin said, however, he didn’t agree with what was reportedly being proposed. According to multiple reports, teams would receive draft picks for hiring minority candidates as head coaches and general managers. Those reported changes were tabled.

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“We’re making some adjustments because we’re acknowledging right now that the system is broken, that minorities are not getting enough opportunity,” Tomlin said. “And we’re trying to just figure out how to stimulate that. … I agree it’s debatable about the value placed on the incentivized plan, but I just generally like the discussion.”

Tomlin is one of four minority head coaches in the NFL.

The NFL announced last week changes to the Rooney Rule — minus the incentives.

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According to an original report by the NFL Network, teams will be expected to interview at least two minority candidates not associated with their own team for a potential head coaching vacancy.

Also, one minority candidate will need to be interviewed for coordinator positions, as well as high-ranking positions in the front office, including the general manager role.

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