Saints to interview Chiefs’ Bieniemy on Sunday, as Goodell calls NFL’s lack of head coach diversity ‘unacceptable’
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Saints’ interview with head coach candidate Eric Bieniemy has been pushed to Sunday, according to a report, while NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told teams in a memo Saturday (Feb. 5) that the lack of diversity among the league’s top coaches is “unacceptable.”
“Racism and any form of discrimination is contrary to the NFL’s values,” Goodell wrote in the memo to team owners and presidents. “We have made significant efforts to promote diversity and adopted numerous policies and programs which have produced positive change in many areas.
“However, we must acknowledge that particularly with respect to head coaches, the results have been unacceptable.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell just sent this memo to clubs, saying the league is retaining outside experts to help reevaluate its DEI policies and matters regarding integrity of the game will be “reviewed thoroughly and independently” in light of allegations from Brian Flores. pic.twitter.com/VUK2dm0MMe— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 5, 2022
At present, Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin is the only Black head coach among the NFL’s 32 teams. Of the nine head coaching opportunities that opened near or after the end of the regular season, the first six jobs already have been filled by white candidates. Only the Saints, Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans still have head coaching vacancies to fill.
“We will reevaluate and examine all policies, guidelines and initiatives relating to diversity, equity and inclusion, including as they relate to gender,” Goodell continued in his memo. “We are retaining outside experts to assist in this review and will also solicit input from current and former players and coaches, advocates and other authorities in this area.
“Our goal is simple: Make our efforts and those of the clubs more effective, so that real and tangible results will be achieved.”
Defensive coordinator Dennis Allen still is considered the favorite to succeed the retired Sean Payton in New Orleans, given his prior head coaching experience with the Raiders, his success and familiarity leading the Saints’ defense, his established relationship with the team’s front office, and his engineering of an impressive 9-0 shutout of Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers when Payton was sidelined by COVID-19 on Dec. 19.
Bieniemy would join former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores and Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn as the third minority candidate interviewed as a potential Payton replacement. The Saints also have interviewed Allen, Saints special teams coach Darren Rizzi and former Super Bowl winner Doug Pederson, who has since been hired as Jacksonville’s head coach (and yes, it’s Pederson, not Peterson).
Bieniemy’s interview, first believed scheduled for Saturday, has been pushed to Sunday in New Orleans, according to NFL insider Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy is interviewing Sunday in New Orleans for the Saints’ head coaching job.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 5, 2022
Bieniemy is believed to be the last candidate the Saints intend to interview, and an announcement of their coaching hire could come Sunday or early next week.
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