Jim Caldwell: NFL needs to give Rooney Rule a look


NEW ORLEANS -- Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell is back at the Super Bowl, only three years removed from leading the Indianapolis Colts to the big game as a head coach.

He knows he won't necessarily be a hot coaching name for long, and that these moments can be "fleeting." He also knows that he's in a rare position as a minority-coach play-caller.

"Fact of the matter is, there's just not many minority play-callers and minority coordinators," Caldwell said on Wednesday when asked about the Rooney Rule.

Caldwell said there are plenty of guys "in the pipeline" right now that are deserving of opportunities. It's a hot topic because of the potential changes that are coming to the Rooney Rule after a NFL hiring cycle this month that didn't include one minority hire for a head-coaching job or a general manager job.

Caldwell said that there are a lot of running-back coaches who would make great candidates because they have to know the running game and the protection schemes well in the passing game. It sounds like Caldwell supports a possible change to the Rooney Rule that would require minority interviews for coordinator positions.

"Right now, because of the fact that I think everybody is a bit up in arms about what occurred this past year, that you have to look at every aspect. That's one of the issues," Caldwell said.

I asked Caldwell what changes he's seen in terms of hiring minorities during his career. He expressed surprise at how little things have changed.

"There are some similarities (to 10 to 20 years ago)," Caldwell said. "I was the first African-American head football coach in the ACC. That was 1993. That wasn't 1956. That wasn't 1965. That was 1993. That wasn't long ago. ... Here's another instance that it's come full-circle again and something needs to be done, needs to be talked about, and needs to be implemented."

We'd be surprised if something isn't changed after the season.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.