The 2020 NFL season began with just three Black head coaches; Mike Tomlin (Steelers), Brian Flores (Dolphins), and Anthony Lynn (Chargers).
Lynn was a typical quick hook and relieved of his duties following a couple down years with the franchise. Enter new Houston Texans head coach David Culley to keep us at that magical and systemically oppressive number of three out of 32 teams with a Black head coach in a league where roughly 70% of the players are African-American.
If you add Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera and Robert Saleh (the new leader of men for the New York Jets) that gives you five head coaches in the entire NFL that aren’t Caucasian.
A problem for sure.
1. Mike Tomlin
Tomlin is the best and arguably the greatest Black head coach in NFL history, with only his mentee Tony Dungy being in the same stratosphere as him.
With a career record of 145-78 (.650) and no losing seasons in his career, Tomlin is a model of consistency. He’s led the Steelers to two Super Bowl appearances winning one and losing one.
He did break a three-year playoff drought last season, and the long-term success he’s had in the “Burgh” continues to be a hallmark of his tenure. With this being his last run with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, many are wondering if Tomlin can make one more run to the top.
The AFC North has really stiffened with the Ravens always solid, plus the steadily-rising Cleveland Browns. And even the Cincinnati Bengals don’t look as bad as they have in the past and the return of Broadway Joe Burrow makes the Begnals a potentially dangerous team.
2. Brian Flores
Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores is a Bill Belichick disciple, and usually that means he’ll be unsuccessful as former coaches of Dollar Bill haven’t had much success in the top spot once leaving him.
Flores looks to be different, as he increased the Dolphins win total by five in his second season, pushing them to the brink of the AFC postseason picture.
Brian Flores is so young, he and Matt Ryan were teammates at Boston College in 2003 pic.twitter.com/y0wsi0Wql0
— The Slumpbuster (@SlumpBusterPod) August 26, 2021
With Miami coming off an impressive draft and Tua Tagovailoa expected to make a huge leap this season, now’s a great time to buy in down in South Beach. If rumors of Desaun Watson coming to Miami prove to be true, then Miami is definitely on the rise.
Brian Flores: "I'm very confident in Tua."
— Mike Cugno (@MikeCugnoCBS4) August 29, 2021
3. David Culley
The Houston Texans are a debacle, and the fact that they hired Culley over Eric Bieniemy shows me they aren’t looking to right the ship in “HTown” anytime soon.
— Kim Davis (@kimydavis) August 23, 2021
Culley is 66 and has been an assistant in the league since 1994. He lands his first head-coaching job for a franchise that bottomed out at 4-12 in a season complete with many mind-boggling front-office decisions — his hiring being the biggest one.
Many thought he’d have the services of all-world quarterback Deshaun Watson but that looks less and less likely.
Point blank, this is a tough job to have.