Week 17 in the NFL has come and gone and three head coaches got fired on Monday, their day off. But, all three probably saw it coming. The NFL is a cruel mistress and forgiveness only comes with winning, given the chance.
Black Monday Finds Its Targets
It is sort of a tradition by now; they call it Black Monday. Coaches who have not produced some winning numbers can pack their bags. This year, three head coaches got the axe.
The New York Jets, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the LA Chargers will all be under new leadership for the next football season after just winning ten games between them, and seven of those wins went to the Chargers.
The Jets struck first by firing Adam Gase on Sunday night. Gase only won nine games in two seasons after starting 0-13 this year. That put the Jets in line for the number one draft pick, but then, for some reason, the Jets rallied and won their last two games, putting them out of contention for that pick. That alone could have been the reason that Gase was sent packing.
Jags Say Farewell To Marrone
Jaguars owner Shad Khan was ready to make a move before the last game was over in Jacksonville. He fired head coach Doug Marrone about 12 hours after the game had completed and the Jags had lost to the Indianapolis Colts, 28-14.
There was lots of talk about how that move should have been made at the end of last season, but Khan wanted to give the highly respected Marrone another chance to get the job done in Jacksonville. The firing came just hours after the Jaguars’ 15th consecutive loss.
This marks the first time that Marrone has ever been fired from a coaching job in his 30 years as a coach. However, he will most likely be working a sideline for some other NFL team next year as his experience is just too valuable to toss away.
Jags owner Kahn said in an interview, “I’ll always appreciate Doug’s passion, grit and class, and I’m confident he will enjoy success in the next chapter of his career.” He added, “As the search for our new general manager continues, now the quest begins to find a head coach who shares my ambition for the Jacksonville Jaguars and our fans, whose loyalty and faith are overdue to be rewarded.”
The head coaching job in Jacksonville will be one of the most coveted positions opening up in the NFL. They have the number-one pick in the draft, with which they will most likely pick Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, who is generally considered to be one of the best NFL prospects of a generation and will be the new centerpiece to the Jags roster. They have plenty of salary cap and $100 million to do some more hiring and perhaps even win some games next year.
Too Little, Too Late For The Chargers
Anthony Lynn finally got the Chargers moving in time to win their last four games, but it was not enough to save his job. A 7-9 finish just didn’t cut it with the powers that be in LA, who now have a beautiful new stadium and a bright future with plenty of money. Chargers owner Dean Spanos said in an interview, “I’m not sure there is another person in this league more respected as a human being than Anthony. This is a results driven business, and simply put, the results of the past two years have fallen short of expectations.”
The Philadelphia Eagles, the Atlanta Falcons and the Denver Broncos all had pretty poor records this year and their coaches are all relieved to still be employed at this point, although the Falcons changed leadership during the season. However, there is still time before the next season and anything can happen.