Tony Dungy was an up-and-coming NFL assistant in his early 30s when he met with the Green Bay Packers about their openin

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Tony Dungy was an up-and-coming NFL assistant in his early 30s when he met with the Green Bay Packers about their opening for a head coach in 1988.When I finished the interview, Dungy said, I asked them, What are you looking for? And they said, Well, were really looking for a person that has head-coaching experience and an offensive-minded person. I was a defensive coach who had never been head coach.So he didnt get that job, and wound up waiting eight years for his first shot at being a head coach. Still, Dungy is convinced that the unsuccessful sit-down with the Packers ultimately helped send him on the path toward becoming the first black coach to win the Super Bowl — and so he thinks the Rooney Rule, which wasnt around in his day, serves an important purpose, even if he also thinks teams sometimes violate its spirit.That (Packers) general manager said, Hey, he wasnt what we were looking for, but he was really a sharp guy ... and if youre looking for a defensive coach, you ought to talk to this guy. Word spreads, Dungy explained. When people hear that — Hey, Tony Dungy was interviewed by the Green Bay Packers, and did well — that does something. Puts you in a different category.For a dozen years, the Rooney Rule has required NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate for any vacant coaching or GM post. The man for whom it was named, Steelers co-owner Dan Rooney, is open to seeing whether it could be improved.When it was first implemented in 2003, the Rooney Rule set parameters to provide opportunities for minority coaches and front office personnel a chance to interview for high-level positions throughout the league, Rooney said in a statement issued by the Steelers. It has been successful, but also I believe we should look into the rule in order to continue to help advance the opportunities of minorities to succeed at the highest levels in the NFL.An AP tally of this off-seasons coaching searches — as of Sunday night, six of seven openings were filled, with the Atlanta Falcons still looking — shows that of 27 men known to have been interviewed for those jobs, seven were minorities.There should be more, Dungy said, but thatll come.Todd Bowles was hired this week by the New York Jets, becoming the fifth black head coach currently in the 32-club NFL. The others are Pittsburghs Mike Tomlin, Cincinnatis Marvin Lewis, Tampa Bays Lovie Smith, and Detroits Jim Caldwell.John Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation, which gives the league a list of suggested minority candidates, said: Were there other guys I wish had gotten interviews? Yes. But overall, Im very satisfied with the numbers that were there.Dungy and Wooten are wary of those occasions when teams meet with a minority candidate simply to conform to the rule — but with no intention of seriously considering hiring him.We have to be alert to the courtesy or the sham interview. We have to be alert to it. We have to know it when we see it, Wooten said.Dungy said its clear that sometimes clubs know who they want to hire before they even begin the search process.I dont think (the Rooney Rule is) always being followed the right way and in the spirit of it, Dungy said. When its, OK, the first day I have an opening, Im going to hurry up and interview a minority so I can go ahead and hire the person I really wanted to hire, and that I had my mind made up to hire maybe even before I had my opening, thats when people look at it and say, Gee, whats going on here?Still, he is not so sure there is any way around it.You cant really legislate that. You cant tell people how to do the search, said Dungy, who like Wooten does not believe the rule should be expanded to include co-ordinator jobs. I think this rule was put in place to just get people to try to broaden their outlook a little bit. And if it does that, then its successful. You can get around any kind of rule. You can circumvent it. And that has been done. But I think, overall, the rule has probably helped people.___Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at NFL website: and AP NFL Twitter feed: Jeremy Roenick Jersey . 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Tristan Jackson returned a missed field goal 129 yards early in the fourth quarter as the Roughriders beat the B.C.Denver, CO ( - Ryan OReilly scored with just 19.9 seconds left in overtime to give the Colorado Avalanche a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Tyson Barrie and OReilly worked the puck back-and-forth in the Flyers end before Barrie sent a pass from the left side to the right and OReilly snapped it in for the win. I wanted to win the draw and then get the puck back, said OReilly. It was a good pass from Tyson and I just wanted to get it on net. It was a great game tonight and this win is a team effort. Nate Guenin, Jarome Iginla and Borna Rendulic all scored for the Avalanche, who snapped a two-game slide. Semyon Varlamov stopped 26 shots in the win. Claude Giroux, Vincent Lecavalier and Jakub Voracek all scored for the Flyers, who have dropped three straight after opening their eight-game road trip with three consecutive wins. Steve Mason allowed four goals on 33 shots. Any time you lose in overtime, youre obviously disappointed, said Grioux. It was a weird game and we just tried to be patient. But when you go into overtime, you should be getting these points. Trailing by a goal, the Flyers tied the game at 2:52 of the third as Lecavalliers big blast from the top of the right circle beat a screened Varlamov.dddddddddddd Giroux then gave Philly the lead halfway through the final period on the power play, as he skated up the middle and through the defense before smacking a shot into the left side for his 13th of the season. Colorado, though, was awarded a power play when Braydon Coburn was called for tripping at 11:37, and Iginla scored just over a minute later on a one-timer from the low left circle to tie the game. Voracek finished off a crisp passing play on the power play with a one-timer from the right circle halfway through the first period. Colorado, though, tied the game just past the midway mark of the second after Guenins shot from the left point deflected twice on its way past Mason. Rendulic scored on a one-timer from the high slot that hit off a Flyer and beat Mason high at 14:17 of the second. Game Notes Colorado hosts Edmonton on Friday ... Philly plays in Carolina on Friday ... The Avs were 1-for-4 on the power play, while the Flyers went 2-for-5 ... The Flyers have lost seven in a row in Colorado, last winning on Dec. 27, 2002. 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