Colts' Jim Caldwell proof the Rooney Rule has a purpose
Marcus Henry | 4/12/2011, 5:24 p.m.
INDIANAPOLIS - It's a shame to see teams ruin the spirit of the NFL's Rooney Rule.
The Washington Redskins blatantly side stepped the rule by interviewing assistant coach Jerry Gray even though they allegedly had contacted Mike Shanahan about the job. With Shanahan's name floating about, Gray had no shot at the job. Gray was interviewed before Jim Zorn was fired, which sent up red flags.
The Seattle Seahawks were also in question as they interviewed Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. But several reports allege that the Seahawks already had their eye on Pete Carroll, who they eventually hired.
Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Caldwell is precisely the reason why the Rooney Rule must continue to flourish. Caldwell is the third Black coach to lead his team to the Super Bowl.
Former Colts coach Tony Dungy and Chicago's Lovie Smith made history when they squared off against each other in the Super Bowl following the 2006 season. Caldwell was under fire after his decision to pull his starters with a little more than five minutes left in the third quarter during a Week 16 loss to the Jets.
The Colts, who were 14-0 at the time, had a chance to complete a perfect regular season. Caldwell took a lot of heat even though Colts personnel man Bill Polian was the man behind the decision. Caldwell took the criticism in stride and shrugged off the questions like a wise veteran coach would."No sir," he replied when asked if he'd silenced his critics about the issue. "All we are concerned about is trying to the best job for our team, plain and simple. And not everyone is going to agree."
Spoken like a man on a mission.