The NFL Reminds Black Head Coaches They Can Clean Up But Not Lead

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On Thursday afternoon, the number of Black NFL head coaches stood at one.

One.

That’s because the Texans unfairly fired David Culley yesterday and Miami shockingly and ridiculously fired Brian Flores on Monday.

Those moves left Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin as the lone brother in the 32 man VIP room.

As the NFL heads into the first week of the playoffs, the dearth of Black head coaches is a glaring and massive weight dangling over the entire NFL. It’s a grave and embarrassing issue magnified at the start of 2021 and replicated at the start of 2022.

At the end of the 2020 season, there were seven head coaching vacancies. Only the Texans hired a Black coach, the aforementioned David Culley.

Culley had four decades of coaching experience and was the first Black quarterback at Vanderbilt in the 1970s. He understood the game and also understood THE game.

I wrote in August that Culley was hired to navigate the team through the disaster left behind by Bill O’Brien. That added his name to the NFL’s unofficial, yet very apparent, Black head coach leasing program.

Despite Houston’s talent-depleted roster, Culley led the Texans to a 4-13 record. They played hard and, most importantly, remained drama free, something they failed to do in O’Brien’s final two seasons.

How significant was Culley’s performance? Ask Shad Khan and the Jaguars, whose Urban Meyer experiment imploded and made the Jaguars the laughing stock of the league.

Meanwhile, in Miami, Brian Flores had the same job as Culley.

Continue reading over at First and Pen.

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