NFL’s Black Monday: Andy Reid, Lovie Smith among NFL firings
With the NFL regular season over, the day following the season finales turned into an especially bloody “Black Monday” around the league. By early afternoon, seven head coaches and five general managers were fired. Check here for updates from around the league:
Eagles dismiss Andy Reid
The Eagles parted ways with the NFL’s longest-tenured head coach in Andy Reid on Monday.
Reid endured the worst season of his 14-year tenure in Philadelphia this season in a 4-12 campaign that was marked by the death of his son, Garrett, during training camp at a team facility. His final season ended in a 42-7 loss to the Giants on Sunday.
The Eagles entered the 2011 season as a self-appointed “dream team” that was expected to contend for the playoffs, but then went 12-20 over Reid’s final two seasons.
“Andy Reid won the most games of any head coach in Eagles history and he is someone I respect greatly and will remain friends with for many years to come,” team owner Jeffrey Lurie said. “But, it is time for the Eagles to move in a new direction. Coach Reid leaves us with a winning tradition that we can build upon. And we are very excited about the future.”
Reid went 130-93 in his 14 seasons, with nine playoff appearances. His Eagles lost to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.
Reid’s departure makes Bill Belichick the NFL’s longest-tenured head coach. He has been in New England since 2000.
Bears fire Lovie Smith
Lovie Smith went from riding high above the NFL with a 7-1 record in early November to being out of a job in less than two months.
The Bears fired Smith on Monday after a late-season freefall that left the Bears on the outside of the playoff field. The Bears won their final two games to finish 10-6, but couldn’t recover from a 1-5 stretch in November and December that doomed their postseason chances.
Smith had been the Bears’ head coach since 2004 and went 81-63, including a trip to Super Bowl XLI. But the Bears missed the playoffs in five of his final six seasons.
“It’s going to be a sad day at Halas Hall,” Bears quarterback Jay Cutler told the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday.
Cardinals can Ken Whisenhunt and Rod Graves
A Super Bowl berth in the 2008 season wasn’t enough to prevent a housecleaning in Arizona. The Cardinals fired both head coach Ken Whisenhunt and personnel chief Rod Graves on Monday, one day after closing a 5-11 season.
Whisenhunt led the Cardinals to their first-ever Super Bowl berth in the 2008 season, but the departure of QB Kurt Warner a year later led to a massive deterioration of his team. Whisenhunt shuffled among myriad starters, including former Patriot Brian Hoyer on Sunday, but never found a quarterback he could win consistently with.
The Cardinals went 18-30 over the past three seasons after Whisenhunt started his career with a 27-21 record and two playoff berths in his first three seasons.
Graves had led the Cardinals personnel department since 2003 and helped change a culture of losing in the desert, but his inability to acquire a quarterback to replace Warner helped doom him.
Chargers fire Norv Turner and A.J. Smith
The Chargers ended the six-year tenure of head coach Norv Turner on Monday when they dismissed him and general manager A.J. Smith following a 7-9 season.
Turner got a reprieve last January after his team rallied with four wins in its final five games of an 8-8 season. But he and Smith did not have the same good fortune this year. Their teams, which went a combined 32-16 in Turner’s first three seasons, went 24-24 in the last three years.
The Chargers seemed poised for a Super Bowl run early in Turner’s tenure, but seemed to fall in clutch situations, including the AFC title game at New England after the 2007 season.
“Both Norv and A.J. are consummate NFL professionals, and they understand that in this league, the bottom-line is winning,” team president Dean Spanos said. “My only goal is the Super Bowl, and that is why I have decided to move in a new direction.”
Smith became the Chargers GM in 2003 and oversaw five AFC West championships. He also acquired QB Philip Rivers in a draft-day trade in 2004.
Romeo Crennel ousted in Kansas City, Scott Pioli’s status uncertain
Former Patriots defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel reached the end of his tenure with the Chiefs. The team dismissed Crennel, but said it had not yet made a decision on the fate of general manager Scott Pioli, another former Bill Belichick disciple.
“I am embarrassed by the poor product we gave our fans this season, and I believe we have no choice but to move the franchise in a different direction. I will immediately begin the search for the next head coach of the Chiefs. The entire football operation will remain under review, and there may be additional changes to come,” owner Clark Hunt said.Continued...