PFHOF Profile: Tony Dungy

6608The NFL is one of the biggest cultural sections in North America and because of that, they are looked to as an example.

That example is not always a good example of what to do though as the NFL has had plenty of issues over the last few years.

Because they are seen as a massive part of the culture though they have been watched closely when they respond to those issues.

If they don’t act quickly enough they can receive plenty of pressure to make a change and more often than not they make that change.

They haven’t always been forced though as they were a league that threatened different states when so-called “Religious Freedom” acts were becoming more popular.

They threatened to move the Super Bowl multiple times if the state passed such bills and in every case, the bill was vetoed and the Super Bowl remained.

It hasn’t been the same in the case of the domestic violence though as they have repeatedly dropped the ball but were one of the first leagues to create a domestic violence policy.

The latest outcry though has been on the sidelines and in the offices where the diversity does not reflect the diversity on the field.

There is a lack of minority team executives and head coaches in the league and it is not a new problem for the league.

It is a problem that they have had for years and is the entire reason why the Rooney Rule was established in 2003.

The Rooney Rule requires that all NFL teams interview at least one minority candidate for every coaching and executive opening.

It is an attempt to give minorities the opportunities that they hadn’t received for years and hopefully, it could lead to more minority hiring in the league.

The rule had an effect as more minority candidates are being hired but for many it is not enough as the rule has become something that teams just need to do with reports surfacing that many teams just bring in a minority candidate without having any possibility of hiring them.

Still, the rule has made a change and African American coaches are becoming more common and they have some heroes to look up to that came before.

Tony Dungy is one of those heroes as he is one of the few that was able to break through the issues of minorities as head coaches.

After spending seven years as a serviceable, but not great safety, in the league Dungy got a job with the team he broke into the league as a part of, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

He quickly moved up the ranks from defensive backs coach to the defensive coordinator before serving in the same role at Kansas City and Minnesota.tony-dungy-jpg

Then he finally got his wish as he was hired as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the extremely tough role of trying to make them a competitive team.

The Bucs had put together two winning seasons in the two decades as a franchise when Dungy was hired as the head coach.

That began to change with Dungy at the helm as he brought in aspects of the defences he knew to create the Tampa 2 defence.

That new system became almost unbeatable as Tampa became a team that could really begin challenging the best in the league.

Eventually, that defence brought the Bucs to the Super Bowl and the team became known as one of the greatest defences in the history of the league.

The Super Bowl win was also a massive step in equality throughout the league as Dungy became the first African-American head coach to win a Super Bowl.

He will always be the shining example of just what someone can do if given the opportunity.

Many of teams, even some to this day, never thought that an African American had the ability to create a great system.

Dungy is proof that the colour of your skin means nothing when it comes to football and he is the perfect example.

After his time in Tampa Bay Dungy moved on to Indianapolis where he once again established a good defence but also had the services of Peyton Manning.

Although he never got another Super Bowl with the Colts they were a constant competitor throughout the league while he was at the helm.

Dungy is forever in the record books but his induction into the Hall of Fame is much more than just the colour of his skin.

He established the now infamous Tampa 2 defence and forever put his stamp on the game as one of the great defensive coaches to take aspects from other defences and create his own that then went down as one of the best.

As a result of all that he has done for the league, Dungy will enter Canton alongside the best coaches in the game as he forever will be listed among the greats.


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