That's the Rooney Rule, which mandates that NFL teams interview a minority candidate for head coaching openings. Jones announced Monday that he's planning to comply with the rule by interviewing current wide receivers coach Ray Sherman and one other candidate that is already on the staff. That means either running backs coach Skip Peete or defensive backs coach Brett Maxie.
None of those three men is going to get the job. Peete and Maxie have never even been coordinators and Sherman is 35 years into a coaching career that is at least a decade past the point where he could be considered a serious head coaching candidate. All of this should be taken as a very good sign that Garrett will be keeping the job for the long term.
If Jones weren't simply concerned with fulfilling the tenets of the rule, he'd wait to interview legitimate candidates when the season comes to an end. There are plenty of strong minority coaches around the NFL and college ranks who would interest a man looking to find a new coach. If a man is just looking to keep the guy he is using as an interim candidate, however, it makes a lot of sense to just interview guys in house who don't mind being used to comply with the rule so that they get their names in the press as head coaching candidates without jeopardizing their own spots on Garrett's staff.
That's not a big criticism of Jones. While it seems logical to beat down every door in search of the best possible coach, there's a lot to be said for keeping things stable with a coach who has shown that he gets the attention of his players while winning games without the team's starting quarterback. The Rooney Rule is a good one because it gives consideration to coaches who might not get it otherwise, but situations like this make it more of an inconvenience than a real tool to use as part of a job search.
This isn't the only sign of where Double J's head is at right now. Monday also saw him talking about how no coach has ever won a Super Bowl with two different teams, which is what we call a preemptive strike against anyone looking to get upset by the lack of Bill Cowher, Brian Billick or Jon Gruden on the sideline next season.
There's plenty of time for Jones to change his mind, of course, but every arrow is pointing in Garrett's direction right now.
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