Dan Rooney also was the driving force of a rule that opened the NFL door for minorities to be hired as head coaches and general managers. Fittingly, it was dubbed, “The Rooney Rule.” He practiced what he was preaching, hiring Mike Tomlin 2007.
Football teams played only 10 home games while baseball teams played 77 home games – so for decades NFL teams were essentially playing in stadiums built for baseball. Lots of bad seats with bad site lines. But there was a nostalgic vent to some of those old ballparks.
Neil Smith became one of the best pass rushers of the 1990 decade. He collected 95 ½ of his 104 ½ career sacks from 1990-99 and went to six Pro Bowls. He led the NFL with 15 sacks in 1993 and earned first-team All-Pro honors. His teams won 105 games in the decade and went to the playoffs nine times.
Miami ranks fourth among NFL suppliers with 64 first-round selections. Eight of those first-rounders have been running backs, and the Hurricanes have four backs who rank among the Top 30 rushers in NFL history.
Blocking also was a problem for the Detroit Lions a year ago when they finished 30th in the NFL rushing. So Detroit spent $76 million for a couple of new offensive linemen this offseason in free agency.
Alabama has had 17 players drafted this decade, six more than any other school. Alabama has had at least one first-round pick in eight consecutive drafts. That’s twice as long a streak as the next best schools (Florida and Florida State).