Blog Entry

Fewell concerned about being token Rooney Ruler

Posted on: January 6, 2011 6:27 pm
Posted by Will Brinson

Perry Fewell's a pretty hot name in coaching searches right now -- the Panthers, Browns, 49ers and Broncos have all requested interviews with the Giants defensive coordinator (and former Bills' interim coach) to fill their head coaching vacancies.

However, some of those teams are in hot pursuit of another candidate in Jim Harbaugh. If either Denver or San Fran could land Harbaugh, they would sign him, regardless of how Fewell interviewed. They haven't said this, obviously, but I mean, come on .

Which is probably why, according to Ralph Vacchiaano of the New York Daily News , Fewell's being a touch cautious about being a token Rooney Rule interview.

This, obviously, would be a situation where Fewell, because he's an African-American, is interviewed simply to satisfy the league's requirement that teams look at minority candidates.

In 2009, the Seahawks did something similar with Leslie Frazier before hiring Pete Carroll; Frazier even left the interview a little perturbed because it was patently obvious why he was brought in to meet with the front office.

There's a whole lot more that could be said about whether the Rooney Rule is still a necessary thing (and there's probably a question that could be asked as to whether the Niners need to follow it if they just ended the tenure of a minority coach two weeks ago), but the token interview is a legitimate concern and it's why the rule won't be going anywhere.

Fewell is a stud defensive coordinator, and there's a 100-percent chance that at least one team (the Panthers) are NOT utilizing his interview as an excuse to move through a minority candidate. We don't know how he'll do as a head coach (unless you really want to judge an interim stint with the Bills), but until teams are afforded the opportunity to meet with him and interview, he won't ever get a chance.

The Rooney Rule, for now, at the very least forces some owners who might be stuck in re-tread (anyone looking at Dungy, Cowher, etc) or hot college coach (anyone looking at Harbaugh) mode to think outside the box.

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Since: Jan 27, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2011 7:20 pm

Fewell concerned about being token Rooney Ruler

When MIKE TOMLIN was interviewed by the Steelers, I assumed, because he had been a coordinator for only 1 year, that he would not get the job.  When I saw him on TV, he really impressed me; I told my wife that someone is going to get a good coach when they hire him.  I expected either WHISENHUNT or GRIMM would get the job.  So far, I like the hire.  Seeing them win a SB against the team coached by their former OC, who had brought in former Steelers, just showed what judges of FB talent the Rooneys are.  If FEWELL is unknown to many folks, I think he should take the interviews.  I don't know that the ROONEY family went into the interviews with the idea of either satisfying the rule named after them or of hiring a minority candidate. Despite the poor showing by the Cardinals this season, I think the process worked out for both teams.

Since: Mar 14, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2011 7:10 pm

Fewell concerned about being token Rooney Ruler

I would rather have Fewell than Norv Turner.

Since: Nov 20, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2011 7:03 pm

Fewell concerned about being token Rooney Ruler

It would just suck to sit through an interview knowing that the team is not interested in you. He will however get some needed experience on how the process is done. Good luck Perry. We will miss you on the sidelines if you go elsewhere.

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: January 6, 2011 6:59 pm

Fewell concerned about being token Rooney Ruler

I have never heard of Perry Fewell until about a month ago. If he is concerned about being the token minority to justify the Rooney Rule then he should not go on interviews. But you know what? He could use this opportunity to prepare for the time when owners are serious in hiring him. He can use these interviews to gauge how ready he is to lead a team and work to make improvements in areas where he is deficient. At the very least he will get used to the interview process and be comfortable with interviewing. Many good coaches fail to get the job because they "hem and haw" their way through an interview. Usually people who get hired are the ones who can talk a good game and are not shy. Seems to me Fewell knows that he won't be hired this season and is using the race card to justify why he is not hired. The dude should know that if he isn't taken seriously this time at the very least he will get his name out into the mix. Perry Fewell should bide his time and be patient. There is no need to use the race card. By the way, I think the Rooney Rule is stupid. The reason is that you can bypass the Rooney Rule by promoting an interim head coach without having to interview a minority. I also don't like the name.. They should change it to something that's more catchy. Having said that I think the 49ers really should consider giving Fewell a legit shot at head coaching. He can't be worse than Mike Singletary. In fact, no one will ever be as worse than Singletary...except maybe for Matt Millen. I'm guessing that as head coach he would throw the ball every down. We know he loves wide receivers. 
Does the writer of the article know that Tony Dungy is black? Why does Will hate hiring successful head coaches? Was he ever bypassed for a job when they hired a retread or a hot college coach?

Since: Oct 20, 2010
Posted on: January 6, 2011 6:46 pm

Fewell concerned about being token Rooney Ruler

This Rooney Rule is a joke. I know it does give minority coaches interviewing experience and exposure, but when it's all said and done, it's becoming one person being interviewed just to satisfy this rule. Half of these teams know damn well they are not going to hire him; they are just using him to satisfy the commish. The intentions of this rule are right in heart, but it actually highlights the problem more.
How would you feel if you are walking into an interview, knowing you're not even in "real" consideration for the job? Rather, just a mere stepping-stone an organization must go through, in order to fill their real desires....

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2011 6:46 pm

Fewell concerned about being token Rooney Ruler

I can see his concern but if you look at this from a job stand point. He should interview with at least one of the "fake interviews" just so he knows what to expect and get some experience interviewing for a head coaching job so when a real one comes along he would be ready. From everything i hear these are pretty grueling interviews that last hours.

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