The Redskins aren't the first organization to circumvent the spirit of the Rooney Rule, but they may have come up with the most ham-handed process since the rule was invoked in 2003 to ensure that at least one minority was interviewed each time a head-coaching position became available. John Feinstein blasted both the Redskins and the group that oversees the Rooney Rule in a column in the Washington Post on Thursday.
The Redskins "satisfied" the Rooney Rule by interviewing secondary coach Jerry Gray for a head-coaching position that's still not technically vacant. Then Gray brought further confusion to the process by at first denying that the interview took place. The Redskins clarified Gray's statement by saying that he meant to say "no comment," which would've been appropriately vague.
Here's how Feinstein concludes his column:
[Mike] Shanahan is going to coach the Redskins. That's all well and good. But the Rooney Rule, even in an instance where it isn't going to produce a minority hire, should not be treated as a joke. There was no way Snyder was going to hire another coach who isn't even working at the coordinator level -- whether he be black, white, green or blue -- to follow Zorn. There are plenty of guys, minority and non-minority, who could have been interviewed next Monday and Tuesday before the surprise announcement that Shanahan was the new coach
But the Redskins, as we know, always do things "the Redskins Way." The saddest part of that -- besides the on-field record and the off-field embarrassments -- is that the NFL won't do anything to stop the madness.
Well played, sir.