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Bruce Arians: Female coaches could be in NFL's future

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The NFL broke new ground this week by making Sarah Thomas the first full-time female official in league history. Could a female coach be next?

Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians sees it as a true possibility.

"Someone asked me yesterday, 'When are we going to have female coaches?'" said Arians, per ESPN.com's Josh Weinfuss. "The minute they can prove they can make a player better, they'll be hired."

The NFL can look to the NBA for inspiration after the forward-thinking San Antonio Spurs hired former WNBA star Becky Hammon as an assistant. Meanwhile, more than a few high school football teams have already made the leap to hire females to their coaching staff.

"It's pretty cool that (Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich) thought enough of my mind to hire me and didn't care what gender I was," Hammon told the New York Post in March. "It was that I was the right person for the job. At the end of the day that's all anybody wants is an opportunity that's fair."

Said Popovich: "It doesn't matter if you're a man or woman. It's the same position, it's the same pick-and-roll, it's the same defenses and all that sort of thing. She's very confident in the knowledge that she has and the way she approaches the game from a point-guard position. It's been good to have her. It's another perspective that we didn't have before."

Why not the NFL? It boils down to team owners, general managers and head coaches opening the door to a new approach.

As more and more females work their way into high school and NCAA coaching circles, there's growing hope that the NFL will someday shatter its own glass ceiling into a billion pieces.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast breaks down the latest moves and debates if Michael Bennett should change his tune on Jimmy Graham. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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