The season is over and today is the beginning of the off-season for 20 teams. This means that coaches are going to be skewered over fires for not living up to expectations or will get a bit more leash if they did better than expected. Today however, will be known as 'Black Monday' for some coaches as their franchise dumps them for another choice. I wanted to go around the league and help give some setup for a few coaches that are in the hot seat and may lose their job. So make the jump to see a list of coaches that may get fired and put out on the market today or sometime this week.
Carolina Panthers - John Fox - Fired
As a wise commenter once said, "The Panthers are in a steep decline." Indeed. The Panthers went from 12-4 to 8-8 to 2-13 as of this post. You can't get much steeper. Fox knew going in this was going to be his last year. Then on New Years Eve via Cat Scratch Reader...
"I told John today that I appreciate everything he has done for us over the last nine years, but as happens in this business, it is time for both sides to move in different directions," Richardson said in a release.
"While we haven't accomplished all of the goals we set as an organization when we signed him in 2002, we have certainly had our share of high moments -- the Super Bowl, two NFC Championship games and a division title in 2008. We wish John and his family the best going forward."
Fox is officially done as a head coach in Carolina. The new head coach will face a very welcoming task of picking first in the 2011 draft, the ability to bring in all of his own people and the ability to institute his philosophy on both defense and offense. The only problem is that the team is currently ranked 35th/32nd in the nation.
For more on John Fox or the Panthers, check out Cat Scratch Reader.
New York Giants - Tom Coughlin
Even if the Giants had made the playoffs, they would have had a strong case against Coughlin. Midway through November the Giants were 6-2, were looking like a Super Bowl team and had a devastating pass rush.
A month later they would give up a 31-10 lead with eight minutes to go to lose on a walkoff punt return. Coughlin has been on the hot seat for many years and still has kept his job but how long can he hold out before New Yorkers have finally had enough?
For more on Tom Coughlin or the Giants, check out Big Blue View.
Minnesota Vikings - Leslie Frazier
The Vikings started the season with head coach Brad Childress. Nicknamed "Chilly", he made many questionable playcalls, made many game-time mistakes and seemed football "dumb." Then he traded for Randy Moss. Then released him without telling the owner. When there were reports of fighting between Childress and players, you knew his time was limited. Enter Leslie Frazier.
Since becoming head coach of the VIkings they have played like the 2009 Vikings on defense (usually) and they have fixed their locker room problems with Childress gone. Frazier has led the Vikings to a 3-2 record while head coach, losing to both the Giants and the Bears, but beating the Eagles, Bills, and Redskins with whatever guy off the street behind center. Reports are coming out that the Vikings are hoping to keep Frazier as the official head coach. So expect to see him back next year trying to get a quarterback for his team.
For more on the Vikings or Leslie Frazier check out Daily Norseman.
Dallas Cowboys - Jason Garret
The Cowboys coach at the beginning of the season was Wade Phillips, who was fired after a shellacking at Lambeau Field and the team quit playing. Jason Garret was named interim head coach after the 1-7 start and then beat the Giants, the Lions and the Colts in overtime. They also went toe-to-toe with the champs themselves and came a 59-yard FG short of overtime, barring another Saints march down the field. Since taking over, his record is 4-3, all losses were within three points and his team is playing better. However, his loss to the Cardinals was said to have pissed off Jerry Jones.
Personally, I feel if Jones gave Phillips as much time as he did he should be able to forgive Garret for one bad game while playing their 3rd string QB. I have a feeling that was just to make Garret sweat a bit, but you never know. Read this small nugget over at BTB if you want to know more about their situation.
For more on the Cowboys or Jason Garret check out Blogging the Boys.
Washington Redskins - Mike Shanahan
Shanahan hasn't been mentioned all that much since he was just hired less than a year ago but what has he done since taking over? Sign Donovan McNabb, praise him, give him a long term contract, then a month later sit him on the bench in favor of Rex Grossman. The duel between him and Albert Haynesworth also deserves some mention. And Jim Haslett is his defensive coordinator. He's also lost respect in some people's eyes with his handling of McNabb and has come off as a man on a power trip. Every year there is always a surprise firing and I think this could be a candidate.
For more on the Redskins or Mike Shanahan check out Hogs Haven
San Francisco 49ers - Mike Singletary - Fired
Mike Singletary was fired after the debacle that was the 49ers season. They were the pre-season favorite to go to the playoffs. But between bad coaching and poor QB play they barely avoided the basement slot in the West division. Jim Tomsula took over as interim coach after Singletary was fired and will lead the Niners in their battle this week.
The question for the 49ers won't be if Singletary stays, since he was already fired. Now the question will be who will replace him next year? That of course is far away from today and may not happen until after the playoffs. So right now its hard to speculate now, and will require follow up later.
For more on the 49ers or their coaching drama check out Niners Nation.
Cincinnati Bengals - Marvin Lewis
Marvin Lewis will most likely get the "John Fox" treatment. He's pretty much been a lame duck all season and you could feel this when you watched the Bengals. Of course that could have just been the Bengals. I recommend this piece from Cincy Jungle which gives a good overview of the situation...
Will Mike Brown capitulate to Lewis' demands, most notably an indoor practice facility and more generally speaking, additional projects and ideas that would modernize the team? Or will Lewis find that he won't be able to progress under this organization and move on? The most telling in all of this is that Lewis is entering the offseason without a contract, which is rare for a head coach and his team if a future is desired by both sides.
Click over to read the rest if you are more interested in the situation with the Bengals. As that piece sums it up better than I can.
For more on Marvin Lewis or the Bengals check out CincyJungle.
Cleveland Browns - Eric Mangini
The Browns have come up with a few surprises this year. However, they have come up short of their goals to progress upward in their division. Although that may be hard to do sharing a division with two powerhouse teams like the Steelers and the Ravens. Mangini will have to meet with Holmgren on today to decide his fate. He didn't do himself any favors with yesterdays loss.
Mangini has only coached the Browns two seasons so it may be a bit premature to throw him away. The Browns finished the season with the same record as last year; no improvement from last year does not look good on a coaches record. This one seems like a toss up to me, but I just find it hard to believe they fire him after only two years.
For more on Eric Mangini or the Browns check out Dawgs by Nature.
Tennessee Titans-Jeff Fisher
Fisher should not be on this list. He is a good coach in my opinion. What's happening in Tennessee is that Bud Adams is supporting Vince Young over Jeff Fisher. Fisher wants a different quarterback than Young. If what happened had never reached the media, he probably wouldn't be mentioned as "on the hot seat." What's going to happen next year: Young will come off IR, he and Fisher will have a photo op, claim to be best friends and all will be well again. What folks will do for money...
For more detail on Jeff Fisher or the Titans check out Music City Miracles.
Miami Dolphins-Tony Sparano
Sparano has finished his third year and he's coming up short in the eyes of some Dolphins fans. On one hand, he led them to a playoff berth in his first year after the disaster that was the Dolphins 2007 season. Then he led them to a poor season last year and now has lead them to a mediocre season. But he is showing steady improvement. His main excuse is a good one, in that the Dolphins just can't find a good quarterback. And you need a quarterback to succeed in this league.
My feeling is that Sparano stays. Either he's allowed to trade up and get a quarterback in the draft or the Dolphins go crazy in free agency. Try again next year, but that's just my opinion.
For more on Tony Sparano or the Dolphins check out the Phinsider.
Denver Broncos - Josh McDaniels - Fired
When Josh McDaniels was fired was anyone really surprised? He traded away good players for players that would fit in his system. He started to become a mini-dictator and even terrorized his own people. Stories were coming out of McDaniels just being an (expletive deleted). Basically, he was trying to become Belichick by doing crazy crap. He didn't seem to have a plan, just went and did something crazy and hoped that would lead him to success. McDaniels was fired and replaced by their running backs coach. He has not had any coordinator or coaching experience so he will most likely not be considered for the job, but I, of course, am not certain.
The Broncos will probably hit the market after today to try and pilfer a coach they feel just needed the right environment. And what better environment than a mile above sea level?
For more on the coaching drama with the Broncos check out the Mile High Report.
Houston Texans - Gary Kubiak
This one has to be the most interesting. As you know, the Browns may fire Mangini after two seasons and the Dolphins may fire Sparano after three. Meanwhile, after five seasons, the Texans are making excuses as to why they need to keep Kubiak - even following a similar season as Mangini and doing it with a better offense and the league's worst passing defense in NFL history. The Texans have sent out vibes that their decision is going to be to keep Kubiak and hire a new defensive coordinator (since the current coordinator is currently visiting bars at two in the morning before games). That new defensive coordinator will be Wade Phillips.
It's just a strange situation in Houston, but the consensus seems to be that Kubiak is going to get another season to see if his offense can get it done with a defense led by a much better coordinator. If he is fired it would shock me, even though I would support it. As a Houston fan, I just don't want to see any more highlight reels of their losses on ESPN. Find out today whether or not I'm right or the Houston owner has had enough.
For more on Gary Kubiak or the Texans check out Battle Red Blog.
So what do you think CSC? Which coach(es) get the axe? Which ones do you think stay? Any personal insight to add if you are a fan of one of these teams?