Browns VP Glenn Cook, defensive coordinator Joe Woods to participate in NFL’s inaugural accelerator program

CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Browns vice president of player personnel Glenn Cook and defensive coordinator Joe Woods will represent the team at the NFL’s inaugural coach and front office accelerator program next week in Atlanta.

Each of the league’s 32 teams nominated a member of their front office and assistant coach to participate in the program which will provide women and minority prospects with leadership sessions as well as networking opportunities with ownership from all member clubs.

“The NFL is committed to diversity and inclusion, and this program is the latest in a series of steps designed to improve our hiring practices and create opportunities for advancement,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “The program helps ensure that clubs receive exposure to high-performing, up-and-coming NFL talent and candidates get a chance to learn the business on a working level from team owners and executives.”

Cook interviewed with the Vikings and Bears this offseason for their general manager openings while Woods aspires to be a head coach.

Minnesota hired former vice president of football operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah from Cleveland’s front office as their general manager which saw the Browns receive compensatory third-round draft picks in 2022 and 2023 under a 2020 amendment to the NFL's collective bargaining agreement “to promote equal employment opportunities and an inclusive workforce within NFL clubs.”

Included in the two-day accelerator program, which takes place ahead of the league’s meetings, will be “candid discussions on how to take the next step in becoming a coach or front office executive” the league said.

“I think the Accelerator is some of the most important work the League and our committee will do all year because the potential of the program is exponential,” Falcons owner and chairman, Blank Family of Businesses, Arthur Blank said. "It's an unprecedented opportunity for emerging leaders, owners and team leadership to get to know each other better over these two days, and the relationships formed in this setting will be integral to future hiring cycles.”

The accelerator program is part of the NFL’s efforts in the wake of Brian Flores’ discrimination lawsuit to go beyond the Rooney Rule to assist minority candidates in developing professionally to aid in their candidacy for future football executive and head coaching opportunities.

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