Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC West [Print without images]

Friday, January 8, 2010
Seahawks and Rooney Rule compliance

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

News that the Seahawks are pursuing Pete Carroll as their head coach broke not long after the team fired Jim Mora.

In between, word came out that Seattle was interested in interviewing Vikings assistant Leslie Frazier.

If Carroll had been the choice all along, Frazier's candidacy would have done little beyond satisfying the Rooney Rule requiring teams to interview a minority candidate.

It's tough to imagine a minority coach agreeing to an interview just to satisfy a process.

The Rooney Rule did not apply to the Seahawks when they signed Mora to a five-year deal while Mike Holmgren was still head coach, just as the Rams were allowed to name Mike Martz as Dick Vermeil's successor years ago. The NFL backed the Redskins' quick hiring of Mike Shanahan amid questions about Rooney Rule compliance.

Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke has expressed sensitivity to process and compliance over the years while others, including Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, have said the Rooney Rule has outlived its usefulness.

Also on the Carroll front: ESPN Pac-10 blogger Ted Miller's take on why the timing might be right for Carroll to rejoin the NFL.