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Teams can no longer block assistants from interviewing for coordinator jobs

The latest Rooney rule changes will have an impact on the 49ers moving forward

Pittsburgh Steelers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

NFL Network’s Jim Trotter reported Tuesday morning that NFL owners have voted to approve the resolution that would prevent teams from blocking assistant coaches from interviewing for coordinator positions. Trotter also reported owners tabled the resolution to incentivize the hiring of minority coaches and general managers. That idea was never a good one.

Under the new plan, teams must interview at least two minorities for head coaching jobs, and can’t block assistant coaches from coordinator jobs. This will be the first time assistants have mobility without allowing their contracts to lapse. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on the recent Rooney rule changes: “We’re not satisfied with where we are, we know we can and should do better. That’s why this package of 7 initiatives is very significant. Our work here is not done.”

NFL executive Troy Vincent said, “facts are, we have a broken system. It’s been going south, and the goal is to turn it around. The fight continues.”

This is big news for the San Francisco 49ers, as both run and pass game coordinators are highly regarded both inside and outside the building. At the Super Bowl, there was a crowd around Mike McDaniel trying to pick his brain. Kyle Shanahan has already blocked requests in the past. That can no longer happen. Earlier on Tuesday, Kyle Juszczyk spoke about what McDaniel and Mike LaFleur do for the 49ers during the offseason and the impact they have:

They’ve been extremely involved. Both can run their own offense and probably could have years ago. Right now, LaFleur and McDaniel have been pre-recording videos for us to watch on all our pass concepts, in our run game, and they’ve done a lot of them. I’m talking about 30 15-minute videos in their living room in front of their projector, going over how we install everything and just installing the offense for Kyle. When we go in the skill meetings, Kyle elaborates on what they’ve installed. It’s going to be a bummer for us when we lose one of them. They’re so valuable and important to this offense and contribute so much of what we do as a team.

Because neither LaFleur or McDaniel has sole-game planning duties, the two cannot be blocked for future “bonafide” offensive coordinator positions.

The league also announced improvements to the Rooney Rule, which will include requirements to interview at least two external minority candidates for head coaching jobs, at least one minority candidate for any of the three coordinator positions, and at least one external minority candidate for the senior football operations or G.M. jobs.

The league’s also expanding the Rooney Rule to more executive positions, saying teams must include “minorities and/or female applicants for front office positions including club presidents and senior executives in communications, finance, human resources, legal, football operations, sales, marketing, sponsorship, information technology, and security positions.