Black Monday saw 7 NFL Head coaches lose their jobs, general mangers, coordinators and assistant managers were also in the firing line and the rebuilding process begins. Here is the main news and rumours currently in operation around the league.
New England Patriots:
Offensive Co-Coordinator Josh McDaniels was linked with the possibility of another head coaching gig but has confirmed he will be back with the Pats in 2013. Teams looking for a new General Manager (GM) may come here like the Falcons did with Thomas Dimitroff in 2008.
New York Jets:
GM Mike Tannenbaum was fired but Head Coach Rex Ryan survived. However a new GM could mean a new HC but Ryan will likely keep his job for one more season at least. The same can surely not be said for Jets Quarterback Mark Sanchez.
No surprise that HC Chan Gailey was fired as was his entire coaching staff. The rebuilding job is still the responsibility of GM Buddy Nix who survived Black Monday, although after giving Mario Williams a huge contract he may not last the month.
GM Gene Smith was fired after 3 years at the helm; Mike Mularkey survives after only winning 2 games in his first year as the Jags head coach. A new GM often means a new HC so Mularkey is not out of the woods just yet.
HC Mike Munchack survived as the Titans confirmed he will be back for 2103. GM Ruston Webster maybe lucky to have kept his job as the Titans have one of the worst rosters for talent in the league.
Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer’s name is in the frame for a possible head coaching job in what could be a case of now or never. Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden has also been mentioned but teams will have to wait at least another week as the Bengals are in the playoffs.
The big question is will Jim Caldwell keep the Offensive Coordinators job in Baltimore and the answer is almost certainly no, unless of course the Ravens offense explodes on the way to the SuperBowl. Caldwell, who many believe was unfortunate to lose his job at Indy in 2011, could also be a HC candidate for someone.
San Diego Chargers:
No surprises here as both HC Norv Turner and GM AJ Smith were both fired on Black Monday. John Gruden’s name has been mentioned as a possible new HC as has Andy Reid. The Chargers will likley apoint a new GM before they start the search for a new HC.
HC Dennis Allen kept his job, however OC Gregg Knapp did not as Allen fired 4 coaches on Monday. Pat Shurmer who was fired by the Browns could be a contender to replace Knapp.
Kansas City Chiefs:
GM Scott Pioli’s job is safe for now but Romeo Crennell was fired and the Chiefs are now looking for their third head coach in 2 years. The Chiefs problems lie on the offense so an offensive minded coach will be the likely choice in KC. The Falcons OC Dirk Koetter, Jay Gruden and Oregon’s Chip Kelly should all be in the frame.
HC Pat Shurmer did not survive despite a decent end to the season. Again Chip Kelly is strongly linked with the Browns who will look to change their ways after so many losing seasons. Koetter and Andy Reid could also get an interview in Cleveland.
HC Andy Reid’s 14 year stay in Philly is finally over although don’t expect him to be out of work for long. The Eagles are also interested in Koetter as his replacement but John Gruden could be the perfect fit with the Eagles as could Alabama’s Nick Saban although the later seems unlikely.
Jason Garrett keeps his job despite missing the playoffs again. The rumour around Dallas is that owner Jerry Jones may hire and Offensive Coordinator to enable Garrett to be just the Head Coach and not get caught up in calling plays. Norv Turner would be the obvious choice if that scenario were to play out.
The most surprising firing of Black Monday was HC Lovie Smith, although the Bears missed the playoffs after a late season slump and injuries could not be blamed this time around. Some strange names have been linked with this post including two special teams’ coaches, Keith Armstrong (Falcons) and Joe DeCamillis (Cowboys). Denver’s Mike McCoy seems to be the early favourite here and Jim Caldwell’s name could also come up.
Despite only winning 4 games HC Jim Schwartz was not fired and is expected to be back in 2013.
Perhaps the only downside of a 13-3 season is the possibility of losing the people who helped put it together. Both OC, Dirk Koetter and DC Mike Nolan have been linked to numerous head coaching jobs this week and will both interview at least once elsewhere, (Eagles, Chiefs, Browns). Special teams coach Keith Armstrong could also interview with the Bears and Chiefs and Director of player personnel, David Caldwell has interviewed for the vacant GM job in Jacksonville.
Panthers HC Ron Rivera is still waiting to find out if he will be retained or let go in Carolina. Until the Panthers hire a new GM Rivera will just have to hold on and hope although the Panthers finished the season strongly.
New Orleans Saints:
Sean Payton will return to the Saints after been suspended by the league for the 2012 season. Payton will sign a new 5 year deal ending speculation of him going back to the Cowboys to become their new head coach.
Both HC Ken Wisenhunt and GM Rod Graves were fired on Monday and the Cardinals are the front runners in the Andy Reid stakes although several names have been linked to the Cards including Lovie Smith. They started by interviewing DC Ray Horton. Wisenhunt should get a job as an OC in the near future, possibly in Atlanta should Dirk Koetter get hired elsewhere.