Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is open to a proposed Rooney Rule revision that uses draft picks to encourage minority hires, though not necessarily to the extreme that has been discussed.
"We're making some adjustments because we're acknowledging right now that the system is broken, that minorities are not getting enough opportunity, and we're trying to just figure out how to stimulate that," he told John Calipari on "Coffee With Cal."
"I agree it's debatable about the value placed on the incentivized plan, but I just generally like discussion."
At a recent conference call, NFL owners tabled a proposal that would have rewarded teams with better or new draft picks for hiring or developing minority coaches or lead executives. Owners approved an amendment that will require teams to interview at least two external minority candidates for head coaching jobs, one minority candidate for coordinator jobs, and one external minority candidate for general manager or comparable jobs.
Previously, the Rooney Rule only mandated teams to interview one minority candidate before hiring a head coach or general manager.
"We've always taken it from the approach of punitive if you don't interview minority candidates or things of that nature," Tomlin said. "I just like the different approach in terms of spinning it 180 and talking about maybe incentivizing those that develop the talent and those that hire the talent."
Tomlin is one of four minority head coaches in the NFL. Only two general managers or top front-office executives qualify as minorities.
The Rooney Rule was implemented in 2003, named in honor of former Steelers owner and diversity committee chairman Dan Rooney.