Five teams will be looking for new head coaches and/or general managers in the coming weeks as Black Monday is upon us. Black Monday is used to describe the grim day after the regular season comes to and end where coaches and general managers get fired. Five other teams decided to bring back their current head coaches for at least another season. Two teams are still weighing the options on whether or not to bring back their head coaches, including the Indianapolis Colts with Chuck Pagano and the Detroit Lions with Jim Caldwell. It would be shocking to see the Colts let go of Pagano, as he has led this team to the AFC championship game last year. The circumstances might not be fair, but at the end of the day, the NFL is a business.
The coaches that were brought back by their respective teams are Mike McCoy (San Diego), Jeff Fisher (St. Louis), Gus Bradley (Jacksonville), Jason Garrett (Dallas) and Rex Ryan (Buffalo). There is no shock of any of these coaches coming back with the exception of Fisher, due to him not leading the Rams to a winning season in his first four at the helm. In fact, he has just six winning seasons in 21 years as an NFL head coach, which makes you wonder how he’s had a job in the league this long.
The coaches that will not be back with their respective teams next season are Tom Coughlin (New York Giants), Mike Pettine (Cleveland), Jim Tomsula (San Francisco) Chip Kelly (Philadelphia) and Dan Campbell (Miami). Coughlin resigned from his position on Monday on his own doing.
In a statement Coughlin said “I met with John Mara and Steve Tisch this afternoon, and I informed them that it is in the best interest of the organization that I step down as head coach. I strongly believe the time is right for me and my family, and as I said, the Giants organization.”
In 12 seasons under Coughlin, the Giants went 102-90, with two Super Bowl championships and three NFC East championships. The team had just four losing seasons with Coughlin at the helm, but unfortunately for them, three of those seasons have come in their current four-year playoff drought. A possible replacement for Coughlin: Sean Payton, but more on him later.
The Cleveland Browns continue to be a mess with no structure within their organization. Pettine is the fourth straight head coach to not see a third year with Cleveland. He was 10-22 in his two seasons. Ray Farmar was relieved of his general manager duties. In the last eight years, the Browns have had six different head coaches and general managers, including four different coaches and general managers under owner Jimmy Haslam. This franchise has been a mess since it came back to the NFL in 1999 and if the past decade-and-a-half is any indication, this team and franchise will continue to struggle. Cleveland will interview Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase, Jaguars offensive line coach Doug Marrone and Lions offensive coordinator Teryl Austin this week.
Chip Kelly and the Eagles almost finished three years together and what a messy divorce that was. Kelly was the head coach and also the general manager, where he would change the entire roster. Running back LeSean McCoy and wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson were all either traded or let go, which were all puzzling decisions on Kelly’s part. He was never able to get the most from DeMarco Murray and coincidentally the first play in week 17, without Kelly, Murray busted off a 54-yard run. Whether Kelly remains in the NFL or returns to college is yet to be seen, but his time with the Eagles didn’t go as smoothly as he or the franchise would have liked. Philadelphia will interview Pat Shurmur, who took over once Kelly was let go, along with Gase and Austin.
Jim Tomsula led the 49ers to a 5-11 record and just couldn’t get anything going whatsoever. San Francisco could not generate any offense and now are in a position to find a new head coach that could possibly rejuvenate and utilize quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Dan Campbell was an interim head coach for the Dolphins and will get an interview, but those in the Dolphins’ organization don’t consider him a legitimate candidate. Former Falcons head coach Mike Smith interviewed with the Dolphins Monday night and former Broncos, Raider and Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan will interview for the position on Tuesday.
The wild card among coaches is Sean Payton, the current head coach of the New Orleans Saints. Payton and Saints GM Mickey Loomis will meet Monday night to discuss whether or not Payton and the Saints will part ways. If Payton is in fact available, look for a lot of teams to be in the mix to try and acquire the former Super Bowl winning coach. Would a job in the Bay area be fitting for Payton? How ‘bout the bright lights of New York City? Could the Colts pair quarterback Andrew Luck with Payton? If Payton and the Saints agree to part ways, New Orleans is seeking a second round pick.
Black Monday has come yet again with a few casualties. How Sean Payton’s domino falls will decide a lot in the coming days. Can any of the teams seeking a new head coach find the right one and get the ship righted or will they continue to be in the coaching carousal that exists every single year? The franchises currently without a coach might not have made the playoffs this season, but still have a lot of game planning to do in the coming days and weeks.