Before Tuesday, teams were allowed to block requests to interview assistant coaches on staff for head coaching positions. Now, that’s not the case.
BREAKING: NFL owners have voted to approve the resolution that would prevent teams from blocking assistant coaches from interviewing for coordinator positions, per sources. This is an important step.— Jim Trotter (@JimTrotter_NFL) May 19, 2020
Should assistant coaches have a bonafide chance at being hired for a coordinator or assistant general manager job with another organization, their current organization will be unable to stop them.
The Ravens allowed defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale and offensive coordinator Greg Roman to interview for head coaching positions after the conclusion of the 2019 regular season. They’ll likely be in a similar situation next season, if both sides of the ball perform as expected.
Baltimore extended Martindale to a three-year contract in the offseason.
“They'll be very prepared,” coach John Harbaugh said at the time. “Both of those guys would be great head coaches in the National Football League. I put (assistant head coach/passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach) Dave Culley in the same category. It's just a matter of the fit, whatever coach that the team sees as the best fit for their team and organization.”
While the move doesn’t affect the Ravens’ likely top targets for next offseason, it could have collateral impacts.
Clearly, the Ravens’ top targets for head coaching jobs won’t be impacted by this next offseason. But if Roman or Martindale, or both, leave for head coaching jobs, the Ravens will be able to pluck whomever they wish off the interview pile next season.
Additionally, if they’re able to retain their offensive coaching staff after the 2020 season, there’s nothing they could do to stop quarterbacks coach James Urban from interviewing elsewhere.
The NFL is hopeful this will promote a bigger net of candidates to interview for high-level jobs. That, to the NFL, means the potential for more minority candidates being hired across the league.
"The NFL is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, which I believe is critical to our continued success," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "While we have seen positive strides in our coaching ranks over the years aided by the Rooney Rule, we recognize, after the last two seasons, that we can and must do more. The policy changes made today are bold and demonstrate the commitment of our ownership to increase diversity in leadership positions throughout the league."
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