Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Black Monday Sweeps Through the NFL

Seven coaches were fired.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Overnight, the NFL went from Xs and O's to ex-coaches and whoas.

In a head-spinning blizzard of pink slips, seven head coaches were fired Monday, leaving openings in Philadelphia, San Diego, Buffalo, Chicago, Arizona, Cleveland and Kansas City.

The dismissals included three coaches who led their teams to Super Bowls in the last eight years: Andy Reid of Philadelphia, Lovie Smith of Chicago and Ken Whisenhunt of Arizona.

Also shown the door were San Diego's Norv Turner, Buffalo's Chan Gailey, Cleveland's Pat Shurmur and Kansas City's Romeo Crennel.

Five general managers were fired: San Diego's A.J. Smith, Cleveland's Tom Heckert, Arizona's Rod Graves, Jacksonville's Gene Smith and the New York Jets' Mike Tannenbaum.

Most of the moves were long-anticipated, but the Bears raised some eyebrows by dumping Lovie Smith after a 10-win season that failed to produce a playoff berth. The Eagles parted ways with Reid, the league's longest-tenured coach, who had been there for 14 seasons. Philadelphia was 4-12 this season.

"When you have a season like that, it's embarrassing. It's personally crushing to me and it's terrible," Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a news conference.

Lurie said he didn't fire Reid after last season because the Eagles had always bounced back after a down year.

"That was the history," Lurie said. "I really believed that this season, with our talent, that we would be a strong contender and a double-digit win team. Nobody is more disappointed or crushed than myself because I fully believed that that's exactly where we were at in August as we started the season."

Although the firings came fast and furious Monday, the turnover has yet to match that of 2010, when there were 10 new coaches put in place, nearly a third of the league. The day after the season ends has come to be known as Black Monday.

"You hope that those guys that obviously were victims of Black Monday land on their feet," St. Louis Coach Jeff Fisher said. "You've got guys that have been to Super Bowls and won championship games and all of a sudden they've forgot how to coach, I guess."
More at the top.

I'm taking my boys up to Long Beach to watch the Rose Bowl with my colleagues Charlotte and Greg Joseph and their kids. I'll be back blogging tonight. I'm still reading around on the reaction to the budget deal and I'll have more on that. And don't miss lamblock on Twitter. She's a riot.