Brandy Flores and James Dockery sat down with 4-time Super Bowl champion and HOF head coach Tom Flores about the lack of diversity for head coaches in the NFL.
Brandy: “We are honored to be in the home of four-time Super Bowl champion and Hall of Fame head coach, Tom Flores. Coach, thanks so much for welcoming us into your home. How’s it going these days?
Coach Flores: “Well, alright, you shouldn’t play football as long as I did, and if you did you should have played when they protected the quarterbacks.”
Brandy: “Yeah, things have definitely changed from then to now, but one thing I do want to talk about is — you led two Super Bowl teams, you were an assistant coach for a Super Bowl team and then you were a player for a Super Bowl team. What does it take for these teams to make it to this stage in the NFL?”
Coach Flores: “Well, I think the Rams built their team, they knew what they were doing. They went out and got players and they spent a lot of money. Having known Cincinnati and their background, in the way that they draft through the years, they kind of stumbled into their team a little bit. Somebody knew what they were doing and they finally got a quarterback. You can’t do it without a quarterback, and that kid gets really, really good.”
Brandy: “Coach, you were the first Latino head coach of an NFL team, you were the first minority head coach to win a Super Bowl, and you’re a pioneer for diversity in the NFL. We salute you, and thank you for all that you’ve done. Right now, Brian Flores is suing the NFL. Even with the Rooney rule in place, there’s still this issue that there’s only one black head coach in the NFL, from your perspective, what do you make of this entire situation?”
Coach Flores: “It’s out of balance. It’s broken, the system is broken. I don’t know what the right system would be, but it’s broken the way it is right now. Not just the hiring of head coaches, the internal system, but you have to do a better job, I think of getting them ready sooner. You don’t just say, ‘Well, okay, you’ve been coaching for 10-20 years, you’re ready to be a head coach.’ No, you don’t say that you got to earn that, right, that respect, and develop the ability to make those decisions.”
Brandy: So what do you think of his lawsuit?
Coach Flores: The problem is that, unfortunately, everyone’s gonna remember this part of his career.”
James: “In one way, he’s gonna be looked at as like a pioneer, you know, for a young African American head coach I’m excited. I’m happy that he’s speaking out. But also I know that you know, jumping out on the forefront, may cost him his opportunity, because people don’t forget that.”
Coach Flores: “Does he have the time? That’s the problem, it doesn’t happen overnight. I didn’t become a head coach, I didn’t become a quarterback, I didn’t become an assistant coach because I was a Mexican American. I became somebody that I can do the job. And Al Davis when he hired me as the head coach, said, ‘I hired you to win’ and that’s what I tried to do for him in whatever it took, and I did I was able to win. Don’t be in for the glamour. There are too many guys that have become head coaches that think they have all the answers and it’s sad to watch them fail.”