The most dreadful day of the year for NFL Coaches is Black Monday, the day after the regular season ends. For many coaches in the league, this day is utter hell, or for some, it has to be a sigh of relief. Due to the fact that the NFL is a complete media circus, job scrutiny for many coaches is the top conversation in question for many losing teams from anywhere between 2-4 months of the season. If you can’t maintain a winning record in the league, your name usually comes into question. This unfortunately happens when there is so much pressure to “win now” in the league. Most GM’s (general managers) are tied to their coaches, and their life span usually hangs around 3-4 years to make their team competitive and a winner. But with the parody of the league, things change with the quickness. Injuries happen. Teams over and under perform. And that pressure to win just mounts up. More importantly, the pressure to improve throughout the season becomes more important. Owners are paying GM’s and coaches tons of money to be successful, so when the team underperforms, someone has to take the axe, and usually those pink slips fall on days like yesterday.
Let’s go through the list of teams that have made coaching changes , teams that should make a coaching change, and see what coaches may live to see another day.
Here who has been canned. Peace c-ya later!
HOUSTON TEXANS (2-14)
Head Coach Gary Kubiak, FIRED.
Sad situation in Houston. This team was dominant last year, winning 13 games. They brought back the same exact team this year and were supposed to compete for a Super Bowl. Negative. The team won their first two games and then went on to lose…14 straight games. I almost thought the team at some point started to lose to ensure that they received the number one pick in the draft. Yeah this team has seen it’s share of injuries this year, Arian Foster missed the second half of the season. Ben Tate, his talented back up, missed a bunch of games. But their major problem was the ineffectiveness of the QB position. The team put a lot of money into Matt Schaub, and that decision sucked. Schaub was benched by week 8. He lost his job to Case Keenum, who had moments of shine, but ultimately came back to life to be an unreliable QB option. Long time coach Gary Kubiak was fired before the season ended, and Wade Phillips (who has worked for more teams in the NFL than Madonna has had lovers) coached the last three games of the season. Three loses. Houston is in talks with Penn State coach, BIll O’Brien to become their new coach, which would be a great move for the franchise. O’Brien has NFL ties, with the Patriots, and has done an excellent job at Happy Valley.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS (3-13)
Head Coach Mike Shanahan, FIRED.
This one was definitely coming. You could see it from a mile away. The Redskins have been a complete mess all season long. They have been a MAJOR disappointment this year. This team made the playoffs last season after going 10-6. They had a future star at QB, media whore Robert Griffin the 3rd, who for some weird reason was benched by his coach when healthy for the last 3 games of the season, to preserve his health? That’s just weird. Dude was healthy. Shanahan had four years to turn this ship around. He failed to do so. Way too many loses in the nation’s capital that owner Dan Snyder, HAD to make a change. The ugly situation in Washington became way too public over the past month. Word leaked that Shanahan had almost quit after the teams only successful year in the Shanahan era because the coach didn’t like the close relationship between RG3 and Snyder. Snyder was caught off guard by this and then tons of gossip seemed to flow daily about this complex situation. But bottom line is, Washington just isn’t good. Their defense is atrocious and their offensive line needs work, and Shanahan just didn’t get the job done. He couldn’t have been surprised. This firing was a sure thing.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS (5-10-1)
Head Coach Leslie Frazier, FIRED.
Last place in the very winnable NFC Central, got HC Leslie Frazier canned today. The Vikings were another team that underperformed in 2013, after making the playoffs last season. Frazier’s problems were most liked tied to a horrendous QB situation. Former first round pick Christian Ponder has failed to develop, and back up Matt Cassell has also been inconsistent. In Frazier’s tenure he has failed to have a strong QB under center leading his team, and ultimately that has led to his demise. Frazier’s teams have had to many double digit loss seasons to ensure he played out the final year of his contract. Frazier is a good football mind, and will most likely land a new coordinator position somewhere but another change is needed in the Twin Cities, and maybe, another new quarterback as well.
CLEVELAND BROWNS (4-12)
Head Coach Rob Chudzinski, FIRED.
This one is the most painful, and it came as a complete blindside. Rob Chudzinski was fired last night after Cleveland’s loss to Pittsburgh yesterday. Chudzinski was just finishing the first year of a four year contract. Fired after the first year? Yeah, that’s dirty. It’s just not fair. Especially when you are coaching the Browns. Chud, which Chudzinski is called by many, was an offensive coordinator with the Carolina Panthers prior to his hiring in Cleveland. Chud has a great offensive mind. But look at what he had to work with this season. First their was the revolving door of quarterbacks, Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer, and Jason Campbell, three decent to below average quarterbacks, who just couldn’t get anything going under center. Second, the team traded former first round draft pick, running back Trent Richardson, who was supposed to be the face of the offense, to Indianapolis in the middle of the season. Richardson heavily underperformed in Cleveland and in Indianapolis, so it looks like Cleveland made out on that deal, but with Richardson gone, Chud didn’t have any reliable running game to lean on. Chud was a life long Cleveland fan who had finally got his shot as a head coach. The team jumped out to a 3-2 start but injuries and inconsistent QB play saw the team jump on a seven game losing streak to end the season. I just feel bad for the guy. No one should lose their job after year one on a four year deal. The league is just too unpredictable and sometimes things happen that are beyond one’s control. I felt like this is what happened to Chudzinski. Rumor has it that the team is interested in New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and former head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, Ken Wisenhunt.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (4-12)
Head Coach Greg Schiano, FIRED.
Tampa Bay is a mess. They have too much talent to be a bad team. They also belong to an ultra competitive division (NFC South) and have a major issue at QB. They got rid of former QB Josh Freeman in the middle of the season without a proven replacement to take over. Next up was rookie Mike Glennon, who played decently, but isn’t the long term answer at all. They lost RB Doug Martin for the year to a major leg injury, but have talent at the skill positions. Rumor had it that Schiano had lost the locker room after the team’s terrible start, but a couple of wins in the mid-late part of the season seemed to suggest otherwise. But the team has not looked good over it’s past 3 games and that spelled doomsday for Schiano. GM Mark Dominik got canned too. Schiano has been linked to the Penn State job, so maybe he already saw the writing on the wall.
DETROIT LIONS (7-9)
Head Coach Jim Schwartz, FIRED.
I’m sorry Detroit fans, but Schwartz had to go. He has way too much talent on that team for the Lions to be so bad. The Lions are consistently one of the most penalized teams in the league. They play undisciplined constantly, and that is a reflection of their head coach. They have a strong quarterback in Matthew Stafford, who needs a coach that will help him minimize his mistakes. He has an All-Pro wide receiver in Calvin Johnson who is amazing in every way. They have a strong running back tandem in Reggie Bush and Joique Bell. Their front four is lethal. But Schwartz has too many losses on his resume and the team should cut ties with him now while they can. The Detroit brass apparently agreed with my thoughts and got rid of Schwartz today.
Coaches on the bubble.
TENNESSEE TITANS (7-9)
Head Coach Mike Munchak.
Mike Munchak seems like a guy who doesn’t love his job. Tennessee had another disappointing year under Munchak, and I’m sure he is wondering where he is going wrong. Munchak and the organization went all in on Jake Locker to the QB of this team and again he got hurt and had his season end abruptly. I think Titans brass have to be questioning that decision now. Ryan Fitzpatrick filled in admirably, but he is what he is, a back up QB. Chris Johnson remains a poster boy for not giving a RB a huge contract. He just doesn’t have it anymore. The team has drafted a good young wideout with Kendall Wright and has a star in the making with Delonte Walker at the tight end position. The defense has some young talent on it. The team isn’t that far away, but they can’t keep swimming around .500. I am sure that will be the meeting Munchak has with his owner this week. Time could be up.
OAKLAND RAIDERS (4-12)
Head Coach Dennis Allen
Who knows what is going on in Oakland? The team continues to perform poorly. There just isn’t talent there on both sides of the ball to compete with other teams in the AFC, better yet their own division. The teams QB situation is incomplete influx. They may have to address that situation again, seeing that the free agency route they went on last year (ie. Matt Flynn) didn’t work out. Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin, made the position look worse as the season went on. Maybe the Raiders shouldn’t have pulled the plug so quick on Flynn. Did you see his last four games? He is one of the main reasons the Packers are making the post season. What do they do with Darren McFadden? Pretty sure his tenure in Oakland is done. Dennis Allen didn’t have much to work with when the season started but he didn’t do anything good with the roster that he had. So due to contractual obligations, Allen may get one more crack at it. But things need to change for Oakland fast. The franchise has too much value to the league to be a bad team.
Coaches living to see another day.
NEW YORK JETS (8-8)
Head Coach Rex Ryan, SAFE.
Rex Ryan is getting the opportunity to play out the final year of his contract. Whether or not he gets an extension, is yet to be determined, but owner Woody Johnson guaranteed Ryan’s coming back not only to the team themselves but to the media on Sunday. Ryan has done a pretty decent job in his five years with the Jets. He is 42-38 over that time. But the team has failed to reach the playoffs for the past three years, and have yet to record a winning season since the Jets back to back trips to the AFC Championship game. Rex probably deserves to be back. They started a rookie quarterback, Geno Smith, with zero help on offense. The fact that this team got to 8-8 is a major accomplishment. The players love playing for Rex. If the team goes out this offense and brings in some quality offensive free agents and has a decent draft, things could be on the up and up for the Jets.
NEW YORK GIANTS (7-9)
Head Coach Tom Coughlin, SAFE.
The Giants finished 7-3 in their last 10 games, which should ensure Coughlin’s return to coaching Big Blue. The Giants overall had an awful year. They lost their first 6 games and put themselves in a hole that was too big to dig out of. The Giants have a ton of free agents to deal with and one of the best organizations in football. They will be fine. The bigger issue is whether Eli Manning can get back to being an “elite” quarterback. I personally feel like those days are gone. But the Gmen need to improve the offensive line and retool that defense. They play in the NFC East. That division is always winnable. They will be back.
Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12)
Head Coach Gus Bradley, SAFE.
Unlike the Cleveland Browns, the Jags are letting their first year coach stick around. This was definitely the right move. The Jags have some of the least amount of talent in the league and their players fought hard for first time head coach Gus Bradley and scraped up 4 wins this year. Jacksonville knows they have a lot of work to do in so many areas, but I think they are headed in the right direction with Bradley. They need to have a big draft and a good offseason in free agency, although they are probably losing Maurice Jones Drew. The team is finally ready to move on from the Blaine Gabbert debacle, however they need a sure fire quarterback under center. Maybe Mark Sanchez?