The day after the last day of an NFL season is known as Black Monday because of the massive amount of firings taking place. New Year’s Eve 2012 has already seen some big names being relived of their jobs and not only coaches, but general managers are being clipped off an an amazing rate.
Arizona Cardinals - A fast start and a lot of hope has ended badly for the entire Cardinals’ organization. Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt and general manager Rod Graves have been fired. Since Kurt Warner retired the team has yet to find an identity on offense and Kevin Kolb is another example of betting on a backup to be a franchise quarterback. The person you feel for the most is Larry Fitzgerald who was putting up Hall of Fame numbers with Kurt Warner throwing to him, and now seems to be an afterthought when talking about top tier receivers.
Buffalo Bills – The Bills have fired Chain Gailey after another losing season. The team went out and spent big money on the defensive side of the ball and they were still one of the worst in football. The offense was inconsistent and the long term signing of Ryan Fitzpatrick has proven to be a big mistake. The Bills extended their league leading playoff drought which dates back to 1999.
Chicago Bears – Lovie Smith is coming of a 10-6 season and that was not enough to save his job. A new GM gave Lovie a season to show what he can do, but a 7-2 start followed by a 3-5 start that finds them on the outside looking in at the playoffs. Offensive inconsistency over the years has been a big problem the last few years, but a new coach will have Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall to build around to fix things up.
Cleveland Browns – The Brown will continue their usual round of rebuilding and re-tooling as they part way with Pat Schurmur and his 9-23 two season record. The Browns have some good talent on the defensive side of the ball, a top tier rookie running back in Trent Richardson, but need help at the QB position and the organization can’t be putting their hopes in a nearly 30 year old rookie.
Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jaguars have issues all over the place – talent level, quarterback, ticket sales, and they started the change by firing GM Gene Smith today. Head coach Mike Mularkey is currently safe, but I wouldn’t send him any New Year’s gifts to his team address just yet. Look for the Jags to bring in Tim Tebow to at least create some excitement around the team for next season. If nothing else he will sell some tickets while they see what else they can do at QB.
Kansas City Chiefs – Romeo Crennel is still hoping to find the same success he had as a coordinator in New England as a head coach, but he will have to find it someplace other than Kansas City. The team appeared to quit at certain times this year and Matt Cassel has proven to be the poster child for over paying a backup QB to be your franchise QB. Chiefs general manager, Scott Pioli, is rumored to be on the fence and his future might be decided by the coach that is hired.
New York Jets – Their will be a lot of changes in New York, but Rex Ryan will be back as head coach. However, General Manager Mike Tannembaum has been relived of his duties. The team has struggled since back to back AFC Championship game appearances and seen the skill positions on the offensive side of the ball basically vanish. Offensive Coordinator Tony Sparano will also be leaving the teams which should signal a complete overhaul of the offensive coaching staff.
Philadelphia Eagles – Andy Reid’s 14 year run with the Eagles has ended after yet another disappointing season. The coach has been a staple with the Eagles through numerous winning seasons, but what stands out most is going to be his failure to win the big game in the playoffs. Being the best team in the NFC several years saw the team come up flat in NFC Championship games and in their lone Super Bowl appearance under the coach. Michael Vick will most likely be gone in a few months, and a new coach will have some work to do with some bloated contracts and under performing players.
San Diego Chargers – Norv Turner and A.J. Smith have both been fired from their jobs in San Diego. Their run was characterized by some great teams, great players, great seasons, and lousy playoff runs. Norv Turner has always been able to coach an offense, but as a head coach he just seems to struggle. Expect him to be looked out around the league to fix an offense – anyone see the Jets calling him today?