Redskins

FPA proposes revisions to Rooney Rule

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FPA proposes revisions to Rooney Rule

After minority candidates were recently shut out by NFL teams for 15 top jobs, the Fritz Pollard Alliance wants the Rooney Rule to include coordinators, assistant head coaches and club president positions.

The proposal sent Tuesday to league executives came a week after no minorities were hired for eight coaching vacancies and seven general manager openings. There are only four minority head coaches going into the 2013 season, the fewest since 2003.

``I think the league recognizes that these are the challenges we are dealing with when it relates to diversity and this is a plan of action that they can accept and be willing to work with,'' John Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation said. ``I feel very comfortable that this will be extended into the Rooney Rule.''

Robert Gulliver, the NFL's executive vice president of human resources, said in a statement last week the hiring results were ``disappointing'' and anticipated making revisions.

In a letter to Gulliver and Jeff Pash, the NFL's executive vice president and general counsel, the alliance said: ``We believe pipeline issues are a part of the reason we've seen a reduction in head coaches of color over the past few years, and this expansion will diversify the head coaching pipeline.''

With teams trending toward hiring coaches with offensive backgrounds, it's important for minorities to hold coordinator positions. Baltimore's Jim Caldwell and Pep Hamilton, hired last week by Indianapolis, are the only minority offensive coordinators in the NFL.

Caldwell, who led the Colts to a Super Bowl appearance in his first season in 2009, didn't even get an interview for a coaching vacancy this offseason.

``In this quarterback-dominated era, it seems clubs are increasingly looking for offensive coaches to fill head coaching positions in particular, and far too few minority coaches have been given offensive coordinator and play-calling responsibilities,'' said Cyrus Mehri, co-founder and counsel of the FPA. ``We want to see a special focus on offensive coordinator and play calling duties going forward. We have many experienced wide receiver and running back position coaches ready to be coordinators now.''

Wooten said the Rooney Rule for coordinators wouldn't apply to just-hired coaches because ``it wouldn't be fair to them'' going into their interviews.

``We made a differential in that the rule extends to a sitting coach when he starts to hire coordinators and assistant head coaches,'' Wooten said. ``It wouldn't be fair to a coach coming in because that's one of the real positives of a new coach when he's sitting in that interview is to be able to tell them exactly who his staff will be and who has committed to coming with him.''

The alliance also proposed a reinstatement of the league's front office and coaching symposia to train coaches and front office personnel for future opportunities.

There's never been a minority team president.

``That's very important now because the president is very much involved in the selection process,'' Wooten said.

The Rooney Rule was implemented in 2003 and named after Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney, who pushed for it. Before the diversity rule, there had only been six minority head coaches in the NFL in more than 80 years. Since then, 12 have been hired.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance is a group of minority coaches, front office and scouting personnel established 10 years ago.

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For seven seasons, London Fletcher delivered every single time he played for the Redskins

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AP Images

For seven seasons, London Fletcher delivered every single time he played for the Redskins

The Redskins have largely been a mystery in the 2000s. From season to season, game to game and sometimes even quarter to quarter, it's never quite clear which Washington will show up.

There was no mystery when it came to the relentless, spectacular London Fletcher, though.

On Monday night, the defender who played seven seasons for the Burgundy and Gold will be inducted into the team's Ring of Fame. He'll be the 50th player to have his name placed there, a distinction he absolutely deserves.

Fletcher signed with the Redskins in 2007, during an era in which many of their free agent acquisitions inked big contracts and produced small results. His production, however, was unmatched.

There was his consistency. He started all 112 regular season contests on defense in D.C., a remarkable number for any position but especially remarkable for an NFL middle linebacker. That run was a part of his overall 256-game streak, a truly preposterous accomplishment. 

Then, of course, there were his contributions. He didn't just play every week; he starred every week.

From 2007-2013, Fletcher was the sport's leader in total tackles and ranked third in solo tackles. His 12 interceptions were the most by a linebacker and his 53 passes defensed were tied for the most by anyone at that spot. He was a four-time Pro Bowler, yet still probably underappreciated for all he did.

And finally, there was his leadership. No. 59 was a captain, a role that sometimes can be overblown but one that certainly wasn't overblown when he held it. His effort and energy and dedication were all palpable, qualities that spread from his post in the center of the unit to everyone around him.

"It is a tremendous honor to be going into the Ring of Fame," Fletcher said recently. "I grew up watching a lot of the old Redskins players whether it was Darrell Green, John Riggins and some of the old guys that wore the Burgundy and Gold, so for me to be joining them in the Ring of Fame is something."

Now, Fletcher will join the collection of legends he once watched, a permanent reminder of what he meant to the organization. So, in a fitting way, he'll be there every Sunday, Monday and Thursday the Redskins take the field — just like how it was back when he played.

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Baltimore Orioles Roundup: Ryan Mountcastle earns Orioles’ top prospect award

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Baltimore Orioles Roundup: Ryan Mountcastle earns Orioles’ top prospect award

The Mariners claimed their second-ever win against the Orioles in a game of 13 innings or longer (September 5, 2003). Check out the latest news and notes from the  Baltimore Orioles' clubhouse. 

Player Updates:

RP John Means will start Sunday against the Mariners. Over 143.0 innings Means sits at a 10-11 mark so far, with a 3.65 ERA, 112 Ks, and 35 BBs. 

1B Ryan Mountcastle earned the Orioles’ top prospect award which he received before Saturday's first pitch. The 22-year-old hit .312 for Norfolk with an OPS of .871. Mountcastle hit 25 home runs and had 83 RBIs.

Injuries

OF Mason Williams, knee, out indefinitely

RP Hunter Harvey, biceps, sidelined, day-to-day

RP Josh Rogers, elbow, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely 

SP Alex Cobb, back, 60-Day IL, 2020

Coming Up:

Sunday, 9/22: Mariners at Orioles, 1:05 p.m., Camden Yards

Monday 9/23: Orioles at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. Rogers Centre

Tuesday 9/24: Orioles at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. Rogers Centre

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