Fritz Pollard Alliance: Brian Flores, David Culley Firings a 'Disappointment'

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 14, 2022

Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores directs his team during the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

The Fritz Pollard Alliance released a statement Friday expressing its disappointment in the lack of minority NFL head coaches following the firings of ex-Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores and former Houston Texans head coach David Culley.

โ€œThe recent dismissals of Brian Flores and David Culley is a disappointment given efforts to increase the representation of Black coaches as head coaches in the NFL,โ€ Fritz Pollard Alliance executive director Rod Graves said (h/t Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk).

"The fact that we stand today with only one Black head coach makes clear that the current system does not provide a sustainable pathway for the growth in numbers of minorities as head coaches."

The Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Tomlin, the New York Jets' Robert Saleh and the Washington Football Team's Ron Rivera stand as the NFL's only three minority head coaches after the Flores and Culley dismissals.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance's stated mission is to "champion diversity in the National Football League (โ€œNFLโ€) through education and providing its membership with resources that will help them succeed at every level of the game."

The organization's efforts to do so include networking, mentoring, encouraging rules and practices to champion diversity on NFL teams, informing NFL team owners and managers of minority candidates and advocating for minority candidates' hiring and promotion.

The Dolphins, Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Las Vegas Raiders, Denver Broncos, New York Giants, Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings all currently have head coaching openings. 

There isn't a shortage of minority candidates who can fill those positions.

Flores, in particular, shouldn't wait long to find a new job after he led the Dolphins to back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2003.

Other notable candidates include (but are not limited to) Culley, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, New England Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo, Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris and former NFL head coaches Jim Caldwell and Marvin Lewis.

The NFL also has just five minority general managers/leaders in football operations: the Cleveland Browns' Andrew Berry, the Dolphins' Chris Grier, the Washington Football Team's Martin Mayhew, the Detroit Lions' Brad Holmes and the Atlanta Falcons' Terry Fontenot.

The Giants, Bears and Vikings currently have open GM spots.

Notable minority candidates include (but are not limited to) Arizona Cardinals vice president of pro personnel Adrian Wilson, Cardinals vice president of player personnel Quentin Harris, Indianapolis Colts director of college scouting Morocco Brown, Browns VP of football operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Chiefs executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles, Bucs director of football research Jacqueline Davidson, 49ers director of player personnel Ran Carthon, Bears assistant director of player personnel Champ Kelly and former Texans general manager Rick Smith.

Ultimately, it'd be fairly surprising to see the current minority head coach and GM number stay the same entering the 2022 season given the impressive candidate pools, but the league still has work to do to help create a better environment for the promotion of minority candidates into key leadership positions.