SR’s Fab 5 column is exclusively serviced by Discount Garage Doors – the official garage door company of PewterReport.com. If you are in need of a new look for your garage doors or if you are in need of repairs, turn to Discount Garage Doors. Whether it’s a broken cable or springs or a crooked door, Discount Garage Doors can help you out. Click here for a list of locations as Discount Garage Doors services 17 Florida counties and The Villages.
Spring is around the corner, so now is the time to invest in motorized garage door screens for your home. Call 866-420-DOOR or visit DGDoors.com to view Discount Garage Doors list of services and garage doors that can be installed to improve the look of your home. And remember, Discount Garage Doors offers FREE service calls. Don’t wait – call today!
Mention PewterReport.com and SAVE 10% OFF your order or service call at Discount Garage Doors!
SR’s Fab 5 is a collection of inside scoop, analysis and insight from yours truly, PewterReport.com publisher and Bucs beat writer Scott Reynolds. Here are a few things that caught my attention this week at One Buc Place and around the NFL.
FAB 1. Bucs Are Trailblazers For Black Head Coaches, QBs
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr. in his historic speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963
As America celebrates Black History Month in February, it seems like the perfect time to honor the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for being trailblazers in the NFL when it comes to hiring African-Americans for the two most important roles in football – head coach and quarterback.
That’s right. No other NFL team has done more for the advancement of African-Americans when it comes to coaches and quarterbacks – faces of the franchise – than the Bucs, especially with the Glazer family at the helm. King dreamed of a colorblind society in America, and in the realm of professional football, no team has been more colorblind or done more to advance towards that goal than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Glazer family, and that should make Bucs fans feel proud of their team.
Let’s start by recognizing the franchise as a whole, and the part played by prior owner Hugh Culverhouse, who spent the team’s first-round pick in 1978 on Grambling quarterback Doug Williams, who was just the second black quarterback to be selected in the first round in the NFL since Oakland drafted Eldridge Dickey in the first round in 1968.
When Williams played for the Bucs from 1978-82, he was the only black starting quarterback in the NFL at that time until Chicago’s Vince Evans began to start for the Bears at the end of the 1979 season. While Williams made history as the first African-American quarterback to play in and win a Super Bowl in 1987 with the Washington Redskins, his NFL roots were grown in Tampa Bay.
The Bucs also became one of the first NFL franchises to hire an African-American in the personnel department of the front office as former general manager Bruce Allen and head coach Jon Gruden tabbed Williams to be the team’s personnel executive in 2004. Williams served in that capacity through the 2008 season before becoming Tampa Bay’s director of pro scouting for two years (2009-10) under former general manager Mark Dominik.
Williams went on to become the general manager of the Virginia Destroyers in the now defunct United Football League (UFL) for the 2011 season before returning to his alma mater to be the head coach at Grambling State University from 2011-13. Williams had previously coached the Tigers from 1998-2003 prior to joining the Bucs in a personnel role. When Allen surfaced in Washington as the general manager in 2009 and the team’s president in 2014, Williams resumed his role as a personnel executive from 2014-16 for the Redskins before being promoted to the role of senior vice president of player personnel in 2017.
Williams has had rare success as both a player and a front executive in a personnel role for an NFL franchise – and both of those career paths began in Tampa Bay. The drafting of Williams in 1978 started the Bucs down the path for doing the most for black quarterbacks in the modern day NFL.
With Williams, Josh Freeman (2009) and Jameis Winston (2015), Tampa Bay is the only NFL franchise that has spent three first-round picks on African-American quarterbacks. Washington, Houston/Tennessee and Minnesota are the only teams that have drafted two, and there are a host of NFL franchises that have yet to spend a first-round pick on a black quarterback.
Winston became only the fourth black quarterback to be selected with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft, which happened in 2015. The first was Michael Vick in 2001 by Atlanta, followed by Oakland’s JaMarcus Russell and Carolina’s Cam Newton (2011).
Here are some more interesting and important Bucs statistics as it relates to African-American quarterbacks:
Starts By African-American Quarterbacks In Tampa Bay
Doug Williams – 67 (71 including playoffs)
Josh Freeman – 56
Jameis Winston – 45
Shaun King – 22 (25 including playoffs)
Josh Johnson – 5
Byron Leftwich – 3
Parnell Dickinson – 1
• Three of Tampa Bay’s top five leaders in QB starts are African-American.
• Four of the Bucs’ top nine leaders in QB starts (including postseason) are African-American.
• Tampa Bay has had four African-American quarterbacks start at least 25 games (including postseason).
• The Bucs have had three African-American quarterbacks start at least 45 games, joining Houston/Tennessee for that distinction.
• Tampa Bay has had an African-American quarterback start 206 games of the team’s 675 games (30.5 percent), including postseason.
• Under Glazer ownership, the Bucs have had an African-American quarterback start 131 of 368 games (35.6 percent).
• Since 2009, Tampa Bay has had four African-American quarterbacks combine to start 112 of 144 games (77.8 percent).
• In 2009, the Bucs are believed to be the only NFL franchise to have three African-American quarterbacks – Byron Leftwich, Josh Freeman, Josh Johnson – on the depth chart at the position at one time, and are the only NFL team that had three African-American QBs start at least three games and all 16 games in the same season.
• Tampa Bay is the only team in NFL history to have drafted an African-American quarterback in the first round three times (total of 19 in NFL history).
• Under Glazer ownership, the Buccaneers are one of four teams to have drafted two African-American quarterbacks in the first round (Washington, Houston/Tennessee, Minnesota). Minnesota did so under two different owners.
Not only have the Glazers and the Buccaneers done the most for African-American quarterbacks – outside of the Houston/Tennessee franchise which saw Warren Moon start 148 games, Steve McNair start 140 games and Vince Young start 51 games – Tampa Bay was also the first and only franchise to hire three black head coaches with Tony Dungy (1995-2001), Raheem Morris (2009-11) and Lovie Smith (2014-15).
When Malcolm Glazer hired Dungy as Tampa Bay’s head coach in 1996, he became just the fourth African-American head coach in modern day NFL history, following Oakland’s Art Shell (1989-94, 2006) and Dennis Green, who coached in Minnesota (1992-2001) and Arizona (2004-06), and Ray Rhodes, who coached in Philadelphia (1995-98) and in Green Bay (1999). The first black head coach in league history was Fritz Pollard in the original NFL back in 1921. Pollard was one of the first African-American professional football players in 1920 for the Akron Pros, and became a running back and a co-head coach at the same time with the Pros in 1921.
Dungy’s hiring helped blaze a trail for other black head coaches that he originally hired and coached with in Tampa Bay, such as Herman Edwards (New York Jets, Kansas City), Lovie Smith (Chicago, Tampa Bay) and Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh). Today there are only 10 NFL franchises that have never hired an African-American head coach in any capacity, either as a full-time coach or an interim coach. Those teams that have not employed a black head coach in any capacity include the Cowboys, Giants, Rams, Seahawks, Panthers, Saints, Texans, Titans, Ravens and Patriots.
Then there are five more franchises that have only had African-Americans as interim head coaches, including the Redskins (Terry Robiskie, 2000), Falcons (Emmitt Thomas, 2007), Bills (Perry Fewell, 2009), Dolphins (Todd Bowles, 2011) and Jaguars (Mel Tucker, 2011).
That’s 15 NFL franchises – almost half the league – that have yet to hire an African-American as a head coach. Meanwhile, the Bucs lead the way with three. Here is a list of the 17 teams that have hired an African-American as a head coach:
Buccaneers – Tony Dungy, Raheem Morris and Lovie Smith
Raiders – Art Shell and Hue Jackson
Chiefs – Herman Edwards and Romeo Crennel
Vikings – Dennis Green and Leslie Frazier
Colts – Tony Dungy and Jim Caldwell
Jets – Edwards and Todd Bowles
Eagles – Ray Rhodes
Packers – Ray Rhodes
Bengals – Marvin Lewis
Steelers – Mike Tomlin
Cardinals – Dennis Green
Bears – Lovie Smith
Lions – Jim Caldwell
49ers – Mike Singletary
Browns – Hue Jackson
Broncos – Vance Joseph
Chargers – Anthony Lynn
Dungy is in rare company as there are just three black head coaches that have been fired and gone on to become a head coach again with a different team, joining Rhodes, Green, Edwards, Caldwell and Jackson in that distinction. In Tampa Bay, of the six head coaches the Glazers have hired, 50 percent of them have been African-American, which is the highest percentage in the league among owners that have owned a team longer than a decade.
Here’s a look at the progress that the league has made – partly due to the Rooney Rule in 2002, which states that teams must interview at least one minority candidate before hiring a head coach. Between 1989 when the Raiders hired Shell and 1995 when Dungy was hired by the Bucs, there were a total of 31 coaches hired. Only four were African-American head coaches – Shell (Raiders, 1989), Green (Vikings, 1992), Rhodes (Eagles, 1995) and Dungy (Bucs, 1996).
Over the following 31 hires, only two African-Americans were hired in Edwards (2001) and Lewis (2003), but the over the next 31 head coaching hires the league saw five more black men assume those roles – Smith (Bears, 2004) Tomlin (Steelers, 2007) Singletary (49ers, 2008), Caldwell (Lions, 2009) and Morris (Bucs, 2009).
In 2010, the number of black head coaches increased to a record six with Frazier (Vikings), Lewis (Bengals), Tomlin (Steelers), Smith (Bears), Singletary (49ers) and Morris (Bucs). That number shrank temporarily when Frazier, Smith, Singletary and Morris were fired in the ensuing years, but it’s currently back to six with Tomlin (Steelers), Lewis (Bengals), Jackson (Browns), Vance Joseph (Broncos), Anthony Lynn (Chargers) and Todd Bowles (Jets) in head-coaching roles.
While it may seem like progress has stalled, NFL owners are showing more patience with African-American head coaches than Rhodes got, lasting just one season in Green Bay. After a 10-6 finish in 2015, Bowles has survived back-to-back 5-11 seasons and will get the 2018 campaign to turn the Jets around.
Joseph finished 5-11 in his first season in Denver, but kept his job this offseason, while Lewis has yet to win a playoff game (0-7) in his 15 years in Cincinnati, but just signed a contract extension. And Jackson has been given the most grace, as he followed up his initial 1-15 season in Cleveland in 2016 with a 0-16 record last year.
It’s certainly not equitable yet, but strides have being made in the black coaching community evidenced by the number of African-American men in position coach and coordinator positions now waiting their turns to become head coaches as compared to 10 years ago. Perhaps if more NFL owners would look to Tampa Bay and follow the Glazers’ lead, even more deserving minorities could receive the opportunity to become head coaches and increase that number around the league.