When the Philadelphia Eagles interviewed running back coach Duce Staley over the weekend, many were quick to point out how the interview satisfied the Rooney Rule requirement. According to NFL insider Jason Cole, the league took notice and is concerned with Philadelphia's decision:
"As the Philadelphia Eagles go through their coaching search, one of the concerns that came up over the weekend was the disappointment by the NFL over the interview of Duce Staley. The league felt that, in interviewing Staley, the running back coach for the Eagles, that this was a way for the Eagles to manipulate the Rooney Rule and get around the rule quickly so they could hire whoever they want to right away and not give a legitimate interview to a minority candidate.
The league office was especially disappointed because of the interview of Staley because of the support the Eagles got in the aftermath of the Riley Cooper incident from two years ago. So all of that put together put the Eagles in a bad light.
However, what the Eagles explained to the league office, and to other that were concerned with this, is that Staley, in fact, requested this interview, said that he was one of the best candidates, and they felt obliged to give one of their own assistants, one of their own people, a chance to interview for that job.
This is one of the continuing problems that comes up with team as they deal with the Rooney Rule."
Assuming this report is true, it seems silly to me that the NFL is concerned. The Eagles are reportedly set to interview Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin this week, so that alone would seem to debunk the theory that interviewing Staley was about bending the rules.
If anything, it's offensive that the NFL doesn't see Staley as a legitimate candidate. Sure, Staley isn't necessarily the favorite by any means, but the organization clearly likes him. He was one of two coaches to survive the house cleaning that took place when Andy Reid got fired.
This isn't the first time the Eagles have been wrongly accused of skirting the Rooney Rule. Some questioned the team's decision to interview Falcons special teams coach Keith Armstrong in 2013. Shortly after that, Philadelphia hosted Lovie Smith for a visit.