Chargers’ Anthony Lynn Says New Rooney Rule Was Created ‘Out Of Desperation’

Anthony Lynn of the Los Angeles Chargers shouts instructions to his team
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Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn believes a proposed change to the NFL’s Rooney Rule might have been created for the right reasons, but thinks it’s a situation where the league is doing “the wrong thing while trying to do the right thing.” Lynn told CBS Sports Radio host Zach Gelb, in an interview posted on Twitter, he also believed the proposal was “thrown out there” out of desperation.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk pointed out the proposal Flynn was referencing would transform a requirement of NFL teams to interview minority coaching candidates to one that rewards hiring minorities. Lynn was interviewed by Gelb as one of the four active minority head coaches in the league.

Florio agreed with Lynn in saying the idea was something that had some good behind it but would likely lead to additional problems down the road. The analyst said this new hiring practice goes too far and incentivizes hiring people based on their race, in order to move up in the draft, or gain additional draft picks.

Anthony Lynn of the Los Angeles Chargers walks on the field during warm ups
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“I think that there are a lot of qualified African-American coaches that could be a head coach in this league, and I just pray that we do our due diligence and give these guys an opportunity,” Lynn said in the interview. “There are some qualified applicants and they need an opportunity, and I think this is — out of desperation this is something that has been thrown out there.”

Lynn added he believes the league is in a position where it feels it has to make these kinds of rule changes because owners and general managers tend to hire people they feel they have something in common with. He said he also thought the people doing the hiring tend to select people with whom they share a background.

Lynn also mentioned other hiring preconceptions that have nothing to do with race need to be done away with. Specifically, the Chargers head coach said he thinks teams need to stop looking at coordinators as the obvious choice for head coaching hires. He said there are plenty of other coaches, including assistant head coaches, who would often be better choices than the people hired over them.

“There are a lot of brilliant guys that can call plays but can’t lead a damn team,” Lynn said.

The amendment to the Rooney Rule was announced earlier this week and hasn’t become official yet. NFL owners are reportedly due to take up the proposition next month.