Herman Edwards on NFL’s diversity proposal: ‘No one wants that’

As soon as Herman Edwards heard the news, he shook his head knowingly. If you know Edwards, one of the most passionate souls in the football coaching business, he shook his head demonstratively.

When word emerged about the NFL’s plan to modify the “Rooney Rule,’’ which was instituted in 2003 to increase opportunities for minorities to become head coaches, Edwards knew right away it was an idea with good intentions but came with a bad look.

With the “Rooney Rule’’ having become increasingly less effective in recent years — there are just three black head coaches among the 32 in the league currently and, of the past 20 head-coaching hires, only three have been minorities — the NFL’s initial plan was to create a weighted incentive for teams with vacancies to hire a minority head coach or general manager.

That incentive to teams that hired a minority head coach or GM was an improvement in its third-round draft picks by six or 10 spots.

“The first thing that came to my mind was, ‘What does that look like?’ ” Edwards, the former Jets head coach and current Arizona State coach, told The Post this week. “What does that even sound like? This is the National Football League. This is supposed to be the standard bearer of how things are done. And to incentivize people for not only interviewing guys but hiring guys? No one wants that.

“I don’t blame any owner for hiring whoever he wants to hire. But to incentivize it, it just makes it awkward, man. You don’t want to get hired under that cloud. It’s bad for the league, it’s bad for the coach, it’s just bad for football.’’

Fortunately, soon after that proposed plan surfaced league owners opted to hold off on it for later discussion, perhaps recognizing the very flaws that Edwards cited.

“I understand what they were trying to do, but I’m glad they tabled it,’’ Edwards said. “That would have been a bad look.’’

Edwards was hired by Jets owner Woody Johnson in 2001, before the “Rooney Rule’’ was born, but he said the league was in a different place back then with its head-coach hiring practices.

“That was a defensive era, and a lot of defensive guys got hired,’’ Edwards recalled, citing Tony Dungy in Tampa Bay, Marvin Lewis in Cincinnati, Lovie Smith in Chicago and Mike Tomlin to Pittsburgh — all coaches with defensive backgrounds. “Now the era has flipped for the most part to an era of offense. Well, guess what? Who coaches the quarterbacks and who are the offensive coordinators? They’re not many guys of color that coach those positions.’’

Indeed, there are just two offensive coordinators in the league who are minorities — Kansas City’s Eric Bieniemy and Tampa Bay’s Byron Leftwich.

“So, if you’re an owner and you’re thinking, ‘I’ve got to help the quarterback so I need an offensive head coach,’ who are you going to interview?’’ Edwards said. “If you look at the guys who are getting hired now, they’re all coming off that offensive coordinator/quarterback coach tree. And that’s not their fault. They just coach the position.’’

A further — and perhaps deeper — problem is there’s only one minority general manager in the NFL right now, Chris Grier in Miami. And it’s the GMs, for the most part, who are in charge of hiring the head coaches. Grier, it should be noted, hired one of the three current black head coaches in the league in Brian Flores.

Edwards recalled when the “Rooney Rule’’ came in, “its intentions were good’’ but too often now teams simply are interviewing a minority candidate to check the box before moving onto the candidates they’re truly interested in.

“Here’s the problem with that: If you’re one of those guys and in three years you’ve had 10 interviews and [aren’t hired], then the owners are saying, ‘This guy’s had eight interviews and no one’s hired him, so why should I hire him?’ ’’ Edwards said. “That backfires on you.’’

Edwards said he’s had assistant coaches seek his advice when they’ve been called to interview for NFL head-coaching positions they know they don’t have a chance of landing.

What if they turn the interview down?

“That puts you in a bad spot,’’ Edwards said. “If you don’t do it, then they’re going to say, ‘Well, we tried to give him the opportunity.’ If you do it, keep doing these deals and don’t get hired, how does that look on your rèsumè? You’re kind of caught in this bad situation.

“I’ve always said you’ve got to look at it like we look at players. It’s a competitive environment. That should be also the same way when you hire a coach. The playing field should be level.’’

Those days, unfortunately, seemingly remain as far off as the next Jets trip to a Super Bowl.

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CRAIG BROWN: Is Huw Edwards just the chap to star in YOUR bad novel?

CRAIG BROWN: Is Huw Edwards just the chap to star in YOUR bad novel?

These are strange times and many people who are otherwise perfectly healthy have started to feel the tell-tale symptoms stirring inside them.

They experience the sudden need to get words down on paper. Medical researchers have identified this condition as novo malo, or bad novel.

Doctors estimate that bad novels can lie dormant in human beings for anything up to 50 or 60 years. These novels wait for the perfect storm of atmospheric conditions — boredom, fidgetiness, existential angst, hours of time to fill — before they begin to emerge.

Have you got a bad novel in you? At one time or another, most people suffer the onset of this sort of malady. ‘If ever I get the time, I’m going to write a really bad novel,’ they tell themselves. Their families look away in distress, hoping that the feeling will pass.

Change his name to Hugh Edwards, so no one will mistake the one for the other

During this current crisis, publishers have been worrying about how to deal with the unstoppable flow of thick buff envelopes that could appear on their desks in six to nine months’ time. Their fear is that the worldwide lockdown of spring 2020 may have given rise to a pandemic of bad novels.

How best to protect yourself from the urge to put pen to paper? As a lifelong self-isolator, here are my top tips for ways of delaying novo malo:

1: Spend at least a year struggling to think up a good title. Once a year has passed, write it down. After staring at it for a few months, admit to yourself that it is a) pretentious or b) not pretentious enough — and then cross it out.

2: Once you have come to the end of the first paragraph, ask yourself: ‘Does the rest of the story really need that sort of build-up?’ Answer ‘Yes’, then cross it out.

3: Now ask yourself what the rest of the story consists of. Draw a blank and go to the fridge.

4: Two of every three minutes spent on any book should be devoted to walking to the fridge, opening the fridge door, looking for something, then deciding for or against. This will leave only one out of every three minutes to devote to the hard work of staring at a blank screen.

5: Everyone imagines themselves to be life-long students of character, therefore suited to becoming novelists.

Before embarking on your novel, jot down everything you’ve ever noticed about other people’s little idiosyncracies, eg, ‘X always puts on a jersey when the weather turns chilly,’ ‘Y wears glasses — probably because her eyes are not what they were.’

After you have assembled a hundred or so of these aperçus, ask yourself whether you are the next Jane Austen.

6: The kettle in the far corner of the kitchen is crying out to be switched on. It is beseeching you to make a cup of coffee, even if you don’t want one. Who are you to ignore its plea?

7: You have persevered. Fair enough. But towards the end of your first sentence, you hit a block. What on earth are you going to call your main character?

Thomas Miller? Too normal. Tomasz Millanovich? Too foreign. Try again. Thomas McIntyre? Too manly. Emma McIntyre? But that’s a woman’s name, and he’s meant to be a man. What about Michael McIntyre? But it rings a faint bell — isn’t there a TV celebrity called that? Cross out the first sentence and start again.

8: Until now, you have successfully resisted the call of the kettle. But now well into your second paragraph, your main character, whom you have successfully renamed Huw Edwards, has begun to cry out for a cup of coffee.

You fantasise about telling a Radio 4 inteviewer on the eve of publication of your novel: ‘My characters have an awful habit of running away with me! I just can’t stop them doing what they want to do!’

9: Pursue this fantasy for an hour or two before suddenly remembering that Huw Edwards is the name of a newscaster. You are left with three possible actions:

a) Change his name to Hugh Edwards, so no one will mistake the one for the other.

b) Wonder if you can get away with it — after all, the real Huw Edwards is hardly likely to be remembered in a couple of decades’ time or . . .

c) Decide against, cross out your two opening paragraphs, return to the fridge, and count yourself lucky to have avoided a debilitating bout of novo malo.


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Perrie Edwards says it’s ‘nice to have breathing space’ from Little Mix amid coronavirus lockdown – The Sun

PERRIE Edwards has admitted it is "nice to have breathing space" from her Little Mix pals.

The pop star and her bandmates Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jesy Nelson, and Jade Thirlwall have been best friends since they were put together to form Little Mix on the 2011 series of The X Factor but speaking on Friday, as she self-isolated amid the coronavirus pandemic, Perrie admitted that getting time off was "nice".

"Our group chat on WhatsApp is always popping off, we are so used to being together 24/7 we live in each other's pockets so when we are not together it feels really weird," she told Lorraine Kelly.

"But it is also nice to get breathing space as we don't normally get time off."

The band dropped their new single Break Up Song on Friday and the 26-year-old admitted that the girls were unsure at first about releasing music during these trying times.

"I think it's just such a weird time for everybody but luckily for us, the single was already sorted, we had everything ready to go," she said, "and we were going to hold off on releasing but it is a nice positive uplifting song, it will make people feel good, it's something to do in isolation, we wanted to go with it and raise people's spirits."

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The girls have however postponed the release of their new album amid the coronavirus lockdown.

Perrie joined Heart Breakfast hosts Jamie Theakston and Amanda Holden this morning via videolink as the group dropped new single Break Up Song and she explained: "Well I think with that the single, I think we didn’t want to push it back because we just wanted the world to hear it so that’s why we’ve released it now.

"Because we love it so much and I feel like it’s such a good upbeat positive uplifting song and that’s just what people need right now, but with the album, I think we are going to have to postpone it, yeah."

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