After the dust has settled from BLACK MONDAY in the NFL, there were seven coaches and five general managers who were handed pink slips and are out of a job. There were more head coaches fired this year than in the past three years combined.
Andy Reid has the most wins as a head coach in the history of the Philadelphia Eagles, Lovie Smith led the Chicago Bears to the 2007 Super Bowl and Ken Whisenhunt led the Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl after the 2008 season. Also gone are Norv Turner in San Diego, Romeo Crennel in Kansas City, Chan Gailey in Buffalo and Pat Shurmur in Cleveland.
Three general managers also left with their head coaches, San Diego’s A.J. Smith, Arizona’s Rod Graves and Cleveland’s Tom Heckert Jr.; other GMs that were relieved of their duties were the NY Jets’ Mike Tannenbaum (head coach Rex Ryan stays) and Jacksonville’s Gene Smith (head coach Mike Mularkey stays…for now).
Now we have seven openings and we can believe Andy Reid and Lovie Smith will find head coaching jobs soon, but here are other candidates that might be on the hot list.
It seems like college coaches are the “flavor of the month” because of the success of 49ers’ Jim Harbaugh (from Stanford), Seahawks’ Pete Carroll (from USC) and Buccaneers’ Greg Schiano (Rutgers), but let’s not forget the past failures like Steve Spurrier at Washington Redskins and Nick Saban at Miami Dolphins.
Hiring coordinators aren’t bad either, but coordinators only deal with X’s and O’s…head coaches have to deal with players, the head office and the media. Most coordinators don’t have people skills and that hurts them in the long run because they will lose the players in that locker room and will lose games as a result.
This offseason will be very interesting to see what candidates will match up with an NFL team. Who do you think will go where?
Written by – Arnold Glass II – AFC West Writer