Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will not be interviewing for the Cleveland Browns vacant head coaching position, despite ESPN’s report to the contrary Sunday morning.
Adam Schefter’s stunning report indicated Rice would soon become the first woman in NFL history to interview to become a head coach. But both the Browns and Rice shot down that report later Sunday.
“I’m not ready to coach but I would like to call a play or two next season if the Browns need ideas!” Rice said on a Facebook post. “And at no time will I call for a “prevent defense.”
ESPN indicated Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and general manager John Dorsey were open to outside-the-box ideas for replacing recently fired head coach Hue Jackson. But Dorsey told the Associated Press Sunday the team has not discussed the idea of Rice, currently a faculty member at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, as a head coach candidate.
Although it seemed a longshot Rice would be considered, it wouldn’t be the first time the Browns went the unconventional route to fill an important role.
Two years ago, Cleveland hired former A’s executive Paul DePosta as their Chief Strategy Officer two years ago, despite him spending the previous 20 years in Major League Baseball. DePodesta also had zero experience working in the NFL.
Rice, though, has some experience in the game. She served on the College Football Playoff committee from 2013-16. She’s also a long-time Browns fan who has often talked about her obsession with the game and its strategic intricacies.
But her as a head coach? That’s apparently too much of a leap for Rice and the Browns.
“I love my Browns — and I know they will hire an experienced coach to take us to the next level,” Rice said on Facebook. “On a more serious note, I do hope that the NFL will start to bring women into the coaching profession as position coaches and eventually coordinators and head coaches. One doesn’t have to play the game to understand it and motivate players. But experience counts — and it is time to develop a pool of experienced women coaches.”
While the 64-year-old Rice won’t be donning a headset any time soon, perhaps it’s possible the Browns could bring her aboard in an advisory role? She certainly wouldn’t be the first woman to have a job in the NFL.
Both the Raiders and 49ers currently have female coaches on their staffs. Katie Sowers is an offensive assistant on Kyle Shanahan’s staff, while Kelsey Martinez is the Raiders’ strength and conditioning coach.
Also, the Bills have Kathryn Smith on their staff as a quality control assistant, and the Arizona Cardinals employed Jennifer Welker as a summer assistant for linebackers coach Bob Sanders.
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