Critics of the racial aspects of the National Football League's hiring of coaches suggested in yesterday that Lionel Taylor, offensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams, and Willie Wood, head coach of the Toronto Argonauts, should be considered as head coaches when vacancies occur. t
The NFL was put on the spot Monday by a study released by the NFL Players Association, which pointed out that of 225 assistant coaches, only 10 are black and there are no black head coaches.
Gene Upshaw of the Oakland Raiders, president of the players' union said, "I think it's pretty astonishing that there have been only three or four black centers and 10 black quarterbacks in the history of the game."
Doug France, offensive tackle and player representatives for the Los Angeles Rams, said, "I thought the survey was amazing. We're not guessing anymore, like we did last year. The facts are proven now. They will open eyes by making people realize the clubs are not hiring black assistants."
Larry Brown, former Redskin running back who now is an investment counselor, said, "I find, based on what I've read, there's obviously some problems. Offhand, I wouldn't know what to attribute them to, or what to do, because I haven't seen the study itself."
The NFL Players Association commissioned Dr. Jomills, Henry Braddock II of Johns Hopkins University to make the study.
Asked to recommend potential candidates as head coaches, Upshaw said, "Willie Wood is definitely head coach material for the NFL; so is Lionel Taylor of the Rams."
France said, "Taylor is a very good prospect for head coach, but, of course, we (the Rams) have a head coach."
Brown said, "The obvious person is Wood. And being from the Washington area, I have to be more knowledgeable about him and Bobby Mitchell (former Cleveland running back and Redskin wide receiver, and presently assistant to Redskin President Edward Bennett Williams). Charley Taylor (former Redskin wide receiver and now a scout) probably would be a good choice, though I'm not sure about head coach yet."
Mitchell and Taylor were out of town scouting an not available for comment.
retires. "I'm going into politics. I'm going to run for Congress and then for governor (of California).
"I think the survey speaks for itself. In this industry (football) we are different from others. We have a vast source of people qualified to be assistant coaches, because we have so many veteran players with knowledge in impart. What other criteria do you need?
"It is not fair for (NFL Commissioner) Pete Rozelle to say there are not enough black coaches in the colleges and that is why we don't have enough in the pros. The first thing he has got to do is recognize that there is a problem in this area.
"I don't care how many surveys or studies we have; nothing will happen until he recognizes there is a problem. He told me sevral months ago that he told the club owners to do something about it.
"I think this survey puts everything in perspective. Never did we have such a detailed study before. It shows how few blacks there have been at the 'skill' positions."
Upshaw, an all pro guard, said he regards quarterback, the two guards, the center, and linebackers as the skill positions. "Why? Because they all (except linebackers) work with each other, at positions that require leadership and thinking. A team wouldn't function very well without them."
France said "probably a lot of things are missing from the study. Maybe blacks have not applied. If they have, and have been turn down, that is something totally different. But the statisticss are amazing.
"As to coaching, it takes a special kind of man. You have to spend a lot of time away from your family. I don't think I'd care for that. Charlie Cowan, who was an offensive tackle with the Rams, would be a good offensive line coach. I don't know about him being a head coach, though he was head coach of a minor league team out here.
"I don't know if Lionel Taylor ever applied for a head coaching job, but it's hard to imagine any assistant not wanting to be a head coach. We have other possibilities here in Los Angeles, such as former players Deacon Jones and Dick Bass."
When he was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame, Jones said he would like to coach, but would prefer to ba a general manager. That also has been the goal of Mitchell.
Brown said of coaching, "If I had an opportunity I would have to think about it," but he left the impression he prefers investment counseling. "I'm still a Redskin fan," he said, "but unfortunately I haven't been able to see a game so far this season. When you leave pro football your priorities change. You have to concentrate where your new career is."
Limiting the head coach opportunities is the fact that two big-name coaches are unemployed: George Allen, who never had a losing season in 12 years, and Hank Stram. Ted Marchibroda, who won Eastern Division titles in the American Conference in the first three of his five seasons with the Baltimore Colts, also wants to coach again.
France said, "The study about blacks has not caused much of a stir among the players out here. It's a big issue but not big news because it first came out last year. What is new now is that it is showing facts."