NFL's Black Monday Now Features 4 Coach Openings With More to Come
((Add Jim Caldwell to the list))
The NFL does their "Coaching Carousel" a little different than College Football if for no other reason than most firings happen AFTER the season ends.
Not all---(see NY Giants/Ben McAdoo), but most.
The 2017 was no different as Sunday and Monday have brought several Head Coaches their termination papers with more likely to follow.
Monday morning saw John Fox of the Chicago Bears let go after an abysmal 14-34 record and months of the same question I had when he got hired---"How and why was this guy ever hired?"
Monday also saw the Detroit Lions move on from Jim Caldwell, a very nice man and decent coach who had some---but not a lot of success in the Motor City. Four seasons with 36 wins and 28 losses made the Lions feel as though the team had plateaued??
Meanwhile---Sunday brought the termination of Jack Del Rio of the Raiders and Chuck Pagano of the Indianapolis Colts shortly after the end of their games.
It's almost a foregone conclusion at this point the Raiders will replace Del Rio with current ESPN talking head Jon Gruden. Considering the injuries Del Rio had to deal with this season--he didn't do a bad job. And owner Mark Davis just gave the guy a 4-year extension. But Davis is also fascinated by the idea of Gruden which is why this move is happening.
It's early on Monday as this is being written---there are several other jobs likely or expected to come open over the course of the day:
Open or Likely Open Jobs(In Alphabetical Order):
Arizona: Bruce Arians has vehemently denied he's retiring but then qualified it by saying he'll decide after the season ends. The season ended for the Cardinals at 8-8 after a surprising win over Seattle. Arians has some health issues and is in his 60's. The Cardinals have a major rebuild ahead as most of their best players are getting up in age and outside star RB David Johnson who missed most of 2017, they don't have much young talent.
Cincinnati: Marvin Lewis is almost certainly gone although reports of his retirement have quieted after they leaked out. This is a team long overdue for a change though it is frightening they are looking at mostly internal candidates to replace Lewis. Like residents of the city---Cincinnati seems reluctant to adapt and bring in new blood---without it, the Bengals will never be relevant.
Denver: Vance Joseph had a train wreck of a 2017 but I don't think it was all his fault. That being said--most of the blame should lie on GM/President John Elway--but Elway will never take the blame for the horrific QB choices he made for his team. The defense wasn't what it was either---but this is a team in desperate need for a good talent evaluator.
New York Giants: Los Gigantes parted ways with the way over his head Ben McAdoo during the season and Steve Spagnulo finished the season. Spags did get the Giants to a better place as they were at least competitive as the season wrapped up. For reasons we do not understand--Philadelphia Eagles Defensive Coordinator and previous Head Coaching flop Jim Schwartz is expected to be the full-time replacement here.
Jobs that SHOULD come open (but may not):
Baltimore: The Ravens are just kind of meh. And they've been that way for a couple seasons. Joe Flacco is a "Meh" QB and there's nothing on this squad that screams "Champions" including the coach. John Harbaugh is not taking this squad any further than they've gone. Time to move on....
Dallas: See above. Jason Garrett is not an awful Head Coach. But he's not a great one either. Jerruh is growing impatient and isn't getting any younger as he waits for a potential championship. He's not getting one with the group currently operating his team.
Houston: Bill O'Brien apparently is not loved by the front office. But he's a good coach for rising star QB Deshaun Watson. I question if he's as good a coach as a lot of "Experts" claim he is---O'Brien has little to show for his time with the Texans. If he goes---they will have to hire an "Offensive" Head Coach--the question is will that happen.
Miami---I'm an unabashed Dolphins fan who thought Adam Gase was the right guy to get the Dolphins over the hurdles in front of them. I no longer think that. Yes, losing his starting QB damaged the season--but Jay Cutler was AWFUL as a a replacement and the team showed little to NO discipline as the season wore on.
This was embarrassing on Sunday during their pathetic performance vs. Buffalo:
Jobs that SHOULD HAVE come open (But aren't):
Cleveland: Hue Jackson got the blessing of team owner and poor talent evaluator Jimmy Haslam. And at the end of the day I guess that's all that matters. It would take Jackson a decade of success to get his coaching record to .500 as he's won 1 game in two years.
New York Jets: Todd Bowles got a well deserved extension. Bowles made a team expected to be awful respectable in 2017 and earned another shot.
Tampa Bay: I have no idea how Dirk Koetter is an NFL Head Coach. He's a nice man and decent offensive coordinator. But he wasn't a good College Coach and he's done little to show he's any better in the pros. Maybe the Glazer family settled when they realized Jon Gruden wasn't going to come back?? Koetter gets another season--but if he doesn't win in 2018---he's done.
Stay tuned kids---the day is early and there's likely to be at least one surprise before the day ends. Though unlike College---Coaches won't swap teams. Still the NFL Carousel is just as interesting for somewhat different reasons....