The NFL regular season ended yesterday, Dec 30, which means that Monday morning will see a lot of coaches and GMs joining the unemployment line.
The biggest name fired Monday morning, as expected, was Philadelphia’s Andy Reid. The longest tenured coach in the NFL at 14 seasons, Reid was done after his team finished 4-12 finish this season. Philly came into the season with high expectations (QB Michael Vick anointed them a dynasty before they ever won anything), but after winning three of four to start the year, the Eagles won just once more the rest of the year.
Many of the problems with the Eagles could be contributed to injuries, but the good teams overcome them. The Eagles weren’t able to do so. Reid finished 130-93-1 overall and took the team to the Super Bowl in 2004. The dismissal ends a terrible year for Reid, who lost his son Garrett to a heroin overdose in August.
The first announced firing on Monday was the New York Jets letting go of GM Mike Tannenbaum whose poor draft choices and free agent signings was part of the Jets’ disappointing 6-10 season and a second straight season without reaching the playoffs. Coach Rex Ryan will be back, though he will need a new quarterback to replace Mark Sanchez. Owner Woody Johnson might want to fire himself too for the Tim Tebow debacle.
Cleveland has already given the axe to head coach Pat Schurmer after two years and a combined 9-23 record. GM Tom Heckert was also shown the door.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have canned GM Gene Smith after the team’s worst season – 2-14 – on the heels of a 5-11 season in 2011. Head coach Mike Mularkey is safe for the moment, but that could all change when a new GM is hired.
San Diego’s Norv Turner saw the chopping block as well. Turner has been long recognized as a great offensive mind, but a poor head coach. Turner’s teams, perennially underachievers, won 113 and lost 122 in his 14 years as a head coach with Washington, Oakland, and San Diego. General Manager A.J. Smith was llet go as well. He’s held the position since 2003.
Kansas City fired head coach Romeo Crennel after the Chiefs 2-14 season. Crennel was hired as interim coach for the final three games in 2011 after Todd Haley was fired as the top man. GM Scott Pioli survived the day.
Dallas head coach Jason Garrett could be a victim of the Dallas Cowboys’ inconsistency and two straight non-playoff 8-8 seasons. Dallas owner Jerry Jones is extremely unpredictable, so a decision could go either way.
Lovie Smith won 10 games this year in Chicago, but rumors proved to be correct when the Bears fired Smith. The biggest reason being the Bears started 7-1, but then lost five of their last eight games to miss the playoffs. The Bears were 8-8 last season, but 11-5 in 2010, which is the last time they made the playoffs. Smith also led the Bears to the Super Bowl in 2006, where they lost to the Indianapolis Colts. His removal would be an injustice and a mistake.
No surprise that the Buffalo Bills handed a pink slip to coach Chan Gailey, who compiled a 34-46 mark in three seasons in Buffalo. GM Buddy Nix could be in trouble too since expectations were high for Buffalo this season, especially after signing free agent defensive end Mario Williams. Whether Gailey and/or Nix stay put, the Bills need to rid themselves of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Ever since Fitzpatrick got a six-year, $59MM extension in October, 2011 he has not been the same quarterback and the Bills have not won football games.
The Arizona Cardinals’ Ken Whisenhunt will be looking for work after the Cardinals 5-11 season led to his dismissal. Arizona somehow won their first four games before losing 10 straight. Whisenhunt was hired by the Cards before the 2007 season and took Arizona to their only Super Bowl appearance a year later. The Cardinals followed that up with a 10-6 record and another playoff appearance in 2009, but they’ve gone just 18-30 the last three years.
Other coaches and GMs could also be let go whether there have been rumors or not. Plenty of assistant coaches will be looking for new jobs as well.