It’s Black Monday in the NFL and jobs are opening up left and right. Here is the rundown of who is out, as of this post… only covering head coaches & GMs. Completely random order.
Philly: Reid is gone, which everyone knew was going to happen back several weeks ago. He won a ton of games, but not the big one. Suffered lately as he’s gone away from dominant line players and put all his chips into the skill positions. Word is the Eagles want to bring in an experienced head coach to turn around the existing roster. Sounds like a bad move, as they are making the assumption that they currently have a winning roster.
Cleveland: Holmgren is on his way out and it looks like it’s just in time. Seems his entire model failed as the coach & GM are out. The Browns competed all year, but had one of the worst QBs in the game and a general lack of talent on offense.
Chicago: Lovie is probably in the category of overqualified coordinators. They excel at every aspect of coaching their respective side of the ball, but can’t handle being a head coach (or aren’t ready). There are plenty of them out there, Dom Capers, Josh McDaniels, Wade Philips, etc. Good chance you’ll see Lovie at the helm of a top 5 defense in the next few years. That should earn him another head coaching job, and that opportunity may prove whether he wasn’t ready or isn’t qualified. No idea where the Bears will go, but I’d put my money on it being an offensive minded coach.
Arizona: With a 65 year old Kurt Warner at QB, this team was one of the best in the league. With the cast of high school caliber QBs they’ve had since, they’ve been horrible. Can you blame the coach for this? Tough to say, but somebody has to take the fall and it’s probably fair that the GM is gone as well.
KC: Pioli still has his job, today. Crennel, probably the worst coach in the NFL, is gone. Surprise? Nah. People who know how things really work in New England are still laughing that Scott Pioli is employed, but I would guess that won’t be for long. If he survives to the start of the 2013 season, that may be his last chance. I hope, for the fans sake, that he is gone before that time. Chiefs fans won’t be able to take another unqualified Patriots cast-off being named head coach. “And the next coach of the Kansas Chiefs is, Charlie Weis.” Ouch.
San Diego: It’s about time! Not necessarily for Norv (although, if you were fed up with Marty, how do you think of Norv as a suitable replacement?), but for AJ Smith. This guy continued to put out a worse and worse roster each year. It almost seemed as though the Chargers never had draft picks, because you rarely heard about young players developing into stars (at least in the past 4+ seasons). Yet, they weren’t exactly making a splash via trades or free agency. Complete patchwork team. Whoever comes in, will have to tear the whole thing apart and will have a very tough decision to make with Rivers (he could be part of a trade that would really accelerate rebuilding, assuming there’s a desirable QB in the next 2 drafts).
Buffalo: Is this really a surprise? Not sure what to make of the situation, as I don’t think Gailey is a logical choice for a head coach in any era. However, I’m not sure what else anyone expected. Buffalo needs to seriously build via draft, not waste time with record free agent contracts, hopefully contend in 3-4 years.
Carolina: They’ve been mediocre at best. Despite all the fantasy hype of Cam Newton, Carolina just always feels like a team going nowhere. Like, they’ll always be a 4 to 6 win team, that might sniff .500 now and again. And they are in a division where Atlanta & New Orleans should at least be tough for several years to come. Tampa is no Kansas City, either.
New York Jets: There have been several great articles about what went wrong with the Jets. But, they are another lesson that you can’t win by trying to game the salary cap. The next GM needs to stockpile draft picks. What’s curious is they have made no move on Rex Ryan. This means either A) The new GM will have the task of firing him. or B) They will have to find a GM that wants to work with Ryan. Rex may very well be a capable head coach, but if they are going to handcuff the new GM before they even interview, that’s a bad sign. Hopefully it’s option A (or at least the new person will have the choice).
Who is next?
There may very well be more firings… Oakland has been dumping coordinators/assistants and there’s plenty of talk they may be looking for a new head coach. Detroit has to be at least considering their options. You never know if Jerry will change his mind about Jason Garrett. And there’s the Jacksonville job.
All this could mean up to 11 head coach openings, maybe more (there could be a surprise or two out there). The pool of desirable candidates includes, Chip Kelly, Bill O’Brien, Bruce Ariens and then all the old guys that are on TV. That means plenty of teams will be taking risks, like on coordinators from the various playoff teams. And more than likely 7 or 8 of these teams will be in the same position 1-3 seasons from now.