NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Of 85 offensive coordinators, quarterback coaches and offensive quality control coaches in the NFL, 80 are white.
The Tennessee Titans have an African-American as their offensive coordinator in Terry Robiskie.
Robiskie is 61, and no matter how successful the Titans become under his leadership, he seems unlikely to be in the pipeline to become a head coach. He has previously served as interim head coach in Washington and Cleveland.
The Titans, a franchise that has a had a significant role in giving African-American quarterbacks opportunity, hardly rate as cutting edge on minority coaching hires. Details of those are spelled out in this extensive report by ESPN.com’s Mike Sando.
In a league heavily populated by African-American players, lack of opportunities for African-American head coaches has long been an issue.
Sando's report shows that minority coaches in the assistant positions that tend to produce head coaches and influence quarterbacks are rare. It also showed that the recycling of white head coaches is common.
Per Sando: “Second-, third- and fourth-time white head coaches outnumber all minority hires by a 40-21 margin” in the last two decades.
Since 2011, the Titans have hired Mike Munchak (a first-time head coach), Ken Whisenhunt (a second-time head coach) and Mike Mularkey (a third-time head coach). All are white.
Tennessee fulfilled the Rooney Rule by interviewing Teryl Austin and Ray Horton for its open job. Mularkey and Doug Marrone were the two other candidates. The Titans hired Mularkey, who was their interim coach for the final nine games of last season, on Jan. 16 in a move that was widely presumed to be a foregone conclusion.
Horton then moved on from his post as Titans defensive coordinator to Cleveland, where he has the same title.
Currently under Mularkey the Titans have Robiskie as their highest-ranking minority coach.
On Mularkey’s 21-man assistant coaching staff there are eight African-Americans: Robiskie, running backs coach Sylvester Croom, defensive line coach Nick Eason and secondary coach Deshea Townsend are position coaches. Four others serve in smaller capacities: assistant secondary coach Steve Jackson, assistant wide receivers coach Jason Tucker, assistant defensive line coach Keith Willis and assistant strength and conditioning coach Taylor Porter.