Many fine, noble men lost their jobs today. Don’t worry, they’ll be fine, for they are not like you and I. They now assume their seat on the carousel, with its endless yearly spinning.
And so begins this quasi daily post during the coach hiring and firing season. Each time it surfaces we’ll recap the major happenings of the day quick style, with some items worth a paragraph or three, and then you’ll be served other even quicker but still delicious bites of information.
Everyone loves a listicle.
Jimmy Haslam made his sweeping changes
When Mike Holmgren stepped down and Randy Lerner sold the Browns to Jimmy Haslam, the entire Browns coaching staff braced for the standard house cleaning that’s expected when new ownership takes over. And here we are.
Both head coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert were the first Black Monday victims early this morning, continuing a rebuilding effort that began on the field last spring with the drafting of Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden in the first round to address needs at two core offensive positions. There was ever so faint hope that Shurmur could survive since this young Browns team had started to show promise, winning three straight games in the second half of the season. But the need for change won.
At a press conference this afternoon Haslam and CEO Joe Banner said a new head coach will be their first priority, and Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter will reportedly be among the first candidates to be interviewed.
Chiefs fire Crennel, but Pioli remains in place…for now
When Todd Haley was hired to be the Chiefs’ head coach in 2009, it was widely assumed that if he surrounded himself with quality coordinating talent, he would be successful. He needed to learn the coaching part of coaching, and focus less on play calling.
Two years later both Haley and now Romeo Crennel — his former defensive coordinator turned head coach — are gone. It’s another new start for a franchise that starts anew nearly every other year.
It’s puzzling that general manager Scott Pioli survived the day, although that firing may be yet to come shortly. Similar to Ken Whisenhunt, Crennel’s fate was tied to a gaggle of quarterbacks who hadn’t yet mastered the throwing part of being a quarterback. Maintaining gainful employment as a head coach is difficult in the NFL when you’re leaning on Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn.
Koetter is a name you’ll hear often in the coming days, as he’ll be hotly pursued. Before interviewing with the Browns he’s reportedly already scheduled a sit down with the Chiefs tomorrow.
Rex Ryan stays, but Mike Tannenbaum goes
Ryan will be given another opportunity to fail next year, but this season is Tannenbaum’s burden to bear. And what a fuming dumpster fire it was.
It began with the decision last spring to sign Mark Sanchez to a five-year contract worth $58.5 million. Sanchez then went about the business of being benched in favor of Greg McElroy. The hiring of Tony Sparano contributed to Sanchez’s downfall, as he was utterly clueless and lost as he attempted to implement the wildcat, which was the very reason he was brought aboard.
Then there was the Tim Tebow trade, a quarterback who has no future at the position in the NFL. The move proved to be useless, as Ryan saw through Tebow and identified immediately that he has no place near his team, while Sparano attempted to work a system that utilized both quarterbacks. It was far more divisive than it was successful.
More firings and speculation…
- Gene Smith saw the end of his employment as the general manager in Jacksonville. Drafting Blaine Gabbert has that effect.
- Still no word on Mike Mularkey. He still has a job…for now.
- Mike Munchak has been spared too.
- Ron Rivera will reportedly be meeting with Panthers owner Jerry Richardson to learn his fate.
- The other fired head coaches are Norv Turner, Chan Gailey, Ken Whisenhunt, Andy Reid, and Lovie Smith.
- So here’s the Black Monday tally as of this writing: seven head coaches fired, and four general managers.