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Whitlock: ‘Vincent Rule’ Is Stupid, And Will Keep Eric Bieniemy From Taking Best Available NFL Coaching Job

The NFL’s newly adopted “Vincent Rule” will likely prevent Eric Bieniemy from replacing Anthony Lynn. 

Bieniemy is the Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator. Some football experts believe he’s the most qualified head-coaching candidate this offseason. Bieniemy is black.

Anthony Lynn is the Los Angeles Chargers head coach. Some football experts believe Lynn is the worst head coach in football not named Adam Gase. Many football experts argued that Lynn’s coaching performance in Buffalo last weekend demonstrates why he must be fired. Lynn is black.   

Most people reading the tea leaves believe the Los Angeles Chargers job is the best opening in football. The Chargers have their quarterback of the future — Justin Herbert. They have a go-to receiver — Keenan Allen. And they have potentially the best defensive player in the league — pass rusher Joey Bosa. 

With the right head coach, the Chargers can win immediately.

The “Vincent Rule” is the biggest obstacle standing between Eric Bieniemy and the best head-coaching opening in football. 

The Vincent Rule is the half-baked, counterproductive idea of Roger Goodell flack Troy Vincent. The rule, passed a month ago, grants two compensatory third-round draft picks to the team that has a black assistant coach hired by an opponent to become a head coach.

You follow? If the Chargers hire Bieniemy, the NFL is going to give the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs two third-round picks. The Chargers, Kansas City’s AFC West rival, would strengthen the Chiefs’ draft by hiring Bieniemy. 

The Vincent Rule is really stupid. I pointed this out in an earlier column. The potential scenario with the Chargers highlights the utter stupidity of the Vincent Rule. It harms Bieniemy. That’s why several black NFL assistant coaches complained about the rule to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The coaches told Schefter they were blindsided by the rule. They were bothered that they were not consulted about the new rule. 

The rule serves one person — Troy Vincent.  

Vincent wears the title of Executive Vice President of Football Operations. It’s a big title with lots of responsibilities. His main area of alleged “expertise” is helping the league manage the racial division promoted by the mainstream media and social-media influencers such as Colin Kaepernick.

For lack of better description, Vincent is a Negro wrangler/overseer. His job is to manage the black players’ relationship with white ownership. He’s football’s Al Sharpton. Vincent is the architect of the NFL’s Black Lives Matter sloganeering. 

Bottom line: Vincent is in charge of the NFL committee to “End Racism.”

Who could be against ending racism? No one. Can it be accomplished? No. Especially not now when racism is simply an opinion. Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy impersonated the comedian Gallagher and smashed watermelons in front of his team. Shannon Sharpe had the opinion McCarthy was racist. Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend shot a police officer, and the police responded by firing back, killing Taylor. The mainstream media and Twitter influencers have expressed the opinion that the police were motivated by racism.

What’s the saying? Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one.

You’d have to end opinions to end racism. It’s not going to happen. Which means Troy Vincent is always going to have a high-paying job as the chairman of the NFL’s End Racism campaign. 

Vincent prepared for and earned the job of NFL overseer by serving as the president of the NFLPA under executive director Gene Upshaw. When Upshaw passed away in 2008, Vincent was unable to ascend to the executive director position because he was dogged by allegations that he undermined Upshaw by secretly working with Goodell. 

A year after the NFLPA launched an investigation into Vincent’s activities, Roger Goodell and the NFL named Vincent senior vice president of player engagement.

The Vincent Rule is his grandest accomplishment. It’s his attempt to fix the diversity-in-coaching problem the mainstream media have defined as proof of the NFL’s pervasive racism. The mainstream media argue that any problem facing black people is rooted in white racism. The media believe the improvement of white people is the key to the improvement of black people. 

I reject that. It’s as stupid as the Vincent Rule. 

Troy Vincent, like a lot of liberals, wants to fix the finish line and ignore the starting line. You fix the finish line by improving the starting line. If you want more black NFL head coaches, you have to push more black football players to become graduate assistants at the collegiate level. That’s the starting line, the main pipeline for college and NFL head coaches. 

The reality is black athletes are less likely to pursue a graduate assistant job. The pay is horrible. Many of us are the first members of our family to graduate college. We did not attend college to earn $18,000 a year for two years. Also, unfortunately, another handful of us leave college with a child. We simply cannot afford to become graduate assistants. 

Let’s add the biggest obstacle impeding us from joining the coaching starting line — our unique, and quite honestly, unhealthy relationships with our mothers. Many black athletes grow up in single-mama households where they are raised to be the man of the house and the provider as soon as possible. How many times have you read or seen a story of a black athlete who grew up dreaming about buying his mama a house and a car? It is celebrated as the greatest goal a black athlete can have. It’s a burden that limits opportunities and career paths. 

I get the motivation. I had a terrific mother who made tremendous sacrifices for me and my brother. Thank God she also loved taking care of herself. She never put that pressure on me, not until she was old and had to retire from work to take care of her mother, who was suffering from dementia.  

For the first 10 years after I graduated from college, my parents provided me with financial support. I was able to take a $5-an-hour job at the Bloomington Herald-Times when I graduated because my parents helped me. My second job at the Charlotte Observer was for $403 a week. My parents and my older brother supported me. 

I was able to do entry-level work and move up in my industry because no one — not a child or my parents — needed me to provide for them.

The starting line is the key to solving the coaching dilemma in the NFL. The owners don’t care who coaches their teams, same as they don’t care who the quarterback is. 

Did the NFL need to give away third-round picks to produce Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, etc.? No. You know what happened? Black kids started playing quarterback in Pee Wee football, high school football and college football.   

There’s no instant gratification for taking a long-term approach to a problem. Troy Vincent is looking for power. He wanted to replace Gene Upshaw. He wants to replace Roger Goodell. Vincent operates like a politician promising quick and easy solutions to complex problems. 

The Vincent Rule is welfare. Building a system that attracts 22-year-olds to take entry-level coaching positions is the equivalent of investing in the nuclear black family. It might take 20 or 30 years to see the full return on that investment. The politician might be dead or out of office before anyone realizes the brilliance of his solution.

Fortunately, we can see the stupidity of the Vincent Rule right now. It’s probably going to prevent Eric Bieniemy from landing the best job available. 

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Written by Jason Whitlock

Jason Whitlock is a longtime sports writer, TV personality, radio host, podcaster and the newest member of the Outkick family.
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41 Comments

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  1. “And they say it’s the white man I should fear/but it’s my own kind doing all the killing here.” – 2pac

    Everything about “The Vincent Rule” serves two masters: 1) To keep the black community in the NFL dependent & weak due to these “handouts” and 2) To stroke the ego of Troy Vincent as the “savior” and “hero” and earn that pat on the head by Roger. How does penalizing the team who would hire a head coach who just so happens to be black by MAKING them give up prime draft picks to the team that previously employed said coach solve ANYTHING!? I absolutely HATE special rights…such a joke!

    Props to Jason for the Al Sharpton comparison as that’s EXACTLY who Troy is NFL-wise.

  2. The owners do a terrible job hiring coaches. There are 5-7 openings every year and very few make it a decade with the same team. Black, white, offense, or defense the league cycles through coaches very quickly. The Lions are looking for a new coach again, Caldwell got just two season and they were in the play-offs one of them! I don’t think he was fired because he was black; he was fired because the ownership has run the team poorly forever.

    • Who was this rule designed to help, outside of the team losing a qualified assistant? It certainly limits opportunities, why would any team decide to give up that kind of compensation. So it perpetuates holding back some of the best and brightest. You would think they would reward the team making the minority hire, that was the old liberal type of thinking.

      I disagree that Lynn is the worst coach outside of Adam Gasse. McCarthy had a lot of really questionable decisions, and isn’t a good fit in Dallas to start with. Nagy is awful. Arians doesn’t seem to have the awareness to read the room. And with the Chargers it doesn’t matter who the coach is, they will find a way to lose.

  3. As a Chargers fan, I would love to see Bieniemy named HC. I liked him as a player. As a Chargers GM & Owner before this rule – absolutely I would hire him. Now? No way would I hire him if it meant giving 3rd round gifts to the Chiefs, Raiders, or Broncos. I’d want him as far away as possible in the NFC East.

    • Couldn’t agree more. Everyone can identify the poorly run franchises, and it all comes back to the ultimate decision making process. It’s why the usual suspects are on the treadmill of mediocrity or outright failure.

  4. Who was this rule designed to help, outside of the team losing a qualified assistant? It certainly limits opportunities, why would any team decide to give up that kind of compensation. So it perpetuates holding back some of the best and brightest. You would think they would reward the team making the minority hire, that was the old liberal type of thinking.

    I disagree that Lynn is the worst coach outside of Adam Gasse. McCarthy had a lot of really questionable decisions, and isn’t a good fit in Dallas to start with. Nagy is awful. Arians doesn’t seem to have the awareness to read the room. And with the Chargers it doesn’t matter who the coach is, they will find a way to lose.

  5. There race baiters can’t exist without promoting division, hate and racism. Troy Vincent is hate spewing racist enriching and empowering himself while hurting and belittling the people he claims to help.
    Eric Bieniemy needs no help to get the Chargers job, and as a Chargers fan, I hope he does get it. Making asinine racist rules like this may very well prevent him getting the best job.

  6. Jason give the NFL market place some more time it will work it self out .NFL teams want to win .At one time they though black quarterbacks could not win in the NFL . Look at it now there are so many great black quarterback and the best quarterback in the NFL is a black man . The free market place will work remember the cream always makes it to the top . Making dumb rules almost always hurt more then they help .This is rule was put in to appease the social justice warriors and the twitter mob. Not to help black Coaches or they would have been ask to way in on making a rule like this .

  7. Another great article Jason! I hope you’re wrong about Bienemy not ending up with the Chargers because of the Vincent rule but I’m afraid you’re going to be right. Bienemy grew up in the LA area and was a Southern California football legend in the late 80’s. He’s had success everywhere he’s gone both as a 5’7” RB and an assistant coach coming up through the ranks. He would be perfect for the job. But as you’ve pointed out now the Chargers have to weigh out if giving an already great team in your own division two third round draft picks worth the trade off for a hopefully/possibly good coach. Who are our leaders who can’t see this coming? WTF. You called it right when the rule was implemented. Now how long will we have to wait for the league to do something about it? Based on the racial nature of the rule it might be a while. Meanwhile the Chargers are probably going to miss out on the perfect fit.

  8. Going off topic a bit here but why is Patrick Mahomes considered black when he has a white mother? Same with Obama, Kapernick ( and many others of mixed race). But Megan Markle is always referred to as bi- racial as she has a white father.
    In addition, I agree. The Vincent Rule is stupid. Whatever happened to a meritocracy. It’s all about identity now and will get worse under a Biden administration. By the way Jason, a professional player who wants to coach and start at the ground level ($18,000) for a couple of years should easily be able to if he has taken care of the immense amount of money he has made in his playing career.

  9. Well, JW is referring to, e.g., a backup safety at a not-so-successful football program taking the $18k/year gig rather than taking, e.g., a sales job that will pay quite a bit more to start but doesn’t get you started climbing the coaching ladder. A former player, if they’re interested in coaching in the NFL, essentially gets to skip those steps and moves right into a minor coaching slot, like a Linebackers coach or something similar. A lot of the guys you see coaching in the NFL have no NFL playing experience, but they ground it out at the college level and made their way up, via merit.

    However, you should know, ‘meritocracy’ is something concocted by white supremacists. This is what the D&I folks at my office told me.

  10. It sounds like the NASDAQ folks love the Vincent Rule judging by their illegal edict yesterday about “diversity” on corporate boards. Putting a finger on the scale of meritocracy will always be bad; two wrongs can never make a right.

    It’s tempting to just mute the TV when this crap comes on, but there are real victims here. Like Eric Bieniemy, perhaps, given that he’s OC of one of the best offenses in all football.

  11. As a Chiefs’ fan (since ’71) who’s heard EVERY Bieniemy press conference and seen him looking lost on the sidelines when Patrick is 15 seconds ahead of him and ready for the play call, I’d be THRILLED to get a couple draft picks for him!

    The color component now plays into it all of course, but Andy is why E.B. is considered a hot commodity. Andy credits and touts him all the time…when things go well. When things go wrong, It’s Andy’s own fault as usual. Is it surprising players and coaches like being part of his programs? He did the same with Pederson and Nagy. Unfortunately the Vincent rule might hurt Bieniemy to be next up.

    Let’s not be naïve. Andy designs it all specifically for Patrick and his skill players, just as he did more limitedly with Alex or Donovan or even Jeff Garcia! E.B. won’t have that luxurious protection wherever he lands; just ask Josh McDaniel how well it works on the outside.

  12. Logic, reason, merit, and truth are now deemed racist and white supremacy. It doesn’t matter if it’s the white liberals who give out their traitor money or the black men who put on their dress…Marxism kills and destroys.

  13. You got to the jist of WHY the Troy Vincent’s of the world get power. He’s part of the cabal that LIKES the African American community NOT having nuclear families. Actions, whatever they may be, the diminish the role of the father in the household causes that household to become dependent upon government.

    Welfare is EVIL. Helping people is good, but encouraging bad behaviors that expand payouts is evil.

  14. So the NFL is giving 2 3rd round draft picks to the team that loses a minority coach? Am I reading this right? It seems like they should be giving the draft picks to the team hiring the minority candidate. This could be the most moronic thing I have ever seen.

  15. The Vincent rule should delete any reference to minority or black. This perpetuates racism. Goodell should be fired for approving such a rule. As to other comments here about racial mix, I am a Texas Tech lifer and now cheer for the Chiefs because of Mahomes, but I only care about what a great QB he was & fine young man he is – not about this sort of side issues which divide us..

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