Quite a day for NFL sacks.
Seven coaches and five general managers were fired Monday in a flurry of pink slips that were delivered the day after the regular season ended.
There could be more, but so far the sent-packing scorecard looks like this:
Andy Reid in Philadelphia, Lovie Smith in Chicago, and Ken Whisenhunt in Arizona, all coaches who took teams to the Super Bowl, Norv Turner in San Diego, Pat Shurmur in Cleveland, Romeo Crennel in Kansas City, and Chan Gailey in Buffalo.
Three teams made it a clean sweep, saying goodbye to the GM along with the coach — San Diego (A.J. Smith), Cleveland (Tom Heckert), Arizona (Rod Graves). General managers also were fired in Jacksonville (Gene Smith) and in New York (Mike Tannenbaum), where Rex Ryan held onto his coaching job with the Jets despite a losing record.
The search for replacements began almost immediately, with big-name former coaches such as Jon Gruden, Bill Cowher, and Tony Dungy surfacing as potential candidates, along with hot but obscure coordinators such as Mike Zimmer, Mike McCoy, and Gus Bradley. And Jon Gruden’s younger brother, Jay.
Also in the mix will be some of the coaches who lost their jobs Monday as well as college coaches Chip Kelly of Oregon and Bill O'Brien of Penn State. Maybe even Nick Saban, although leaving Alabama for the NFL is a long shot.
Reid was the longest tenured of the coaches, removed after 14 seasons and a Super Bowl appearance in February 2005 — a loss to the Patriots.
Smith spent nine seasons with the Bears, leading them to the Super Bowl in the 2006 season — a loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
Turner now has been fired as head coach by three teams. San Diego won the AFC West from 2006-09, but didn’t make the postseason the last three years.
‘‘Both Norv and A.J. are consummate NFL professionals, and they understand that in this league, the bottom line is winning,’’ Chargers president Dean Spanos said in a statement.
Whisenhunt was fired after six seasons, including taking the Cardinals to a Super Bowl loss to Pittsburgh after the 2008 season. He had more wins than any other coach in Cardinals history, going 45-51, and has one year worth about $5.5 million left on his contract. Graves had been with Arizona for 16 years, nine in his current position. Gailey was dumped after three seasons with the Bills; Shurmur after two; and Crennel had one full season with the Chiefs.
In Tennessee, Mike Munchak will be back as Titans coach for a third season but chief operating officer Mike Reinfeldt is out after the franchise’s second 6-10 season in three years.
Reid took over a 3-13 Eagles team in 1999, drafted Donovan McNabb with the No. 2 overall pick, and quickly turned the franchise into a title contender. He led them to a run of four straight NFC Championship games, a streak that ended with a trip to the NFL title game. But the team hasn’t won a playoff game since 2008 and after last season’s 8-8 finish, owner Jeffrey Lurie said he was looking for improvement this year. Instead, it was even worse. The Eagles finished 4-12.
‘‘When you have a season like that, it’s embarrassing. It’s personally crushing to me and it’s terrible,’’ Lurie said. He said he respects Reid and plans to stay friends with him, ‘‘but, it is time for the Eagles to move in a new direction.’’
Earlier, PhiladelphiaEagles.com posted video of Lurie and Reid addressing employees, who gave Reid a big ovation. Lurie handed him a game ball.
‘‘I have a hard time standing before people without a few boos involved. But I’m taking it, I’m taking it all in,’’ Reid said. ‘‘These have been the greatest 14 years of my life.’’
He added: ‘‘Sometimes change is good. I know the next guy that comes in will be phenomenal. The ultimate goal is a Super Bowl. Everybody in this room, I wish you a big ring on the finger in the near future. Hail to the Eagles, baby.’’
Shurmur went 9-23 in his two seasons with the Browns, who will embark on yet another offseason of change — the only constant in more than a decade of futility. Cleveland has lost at least 11 games in each of the past five seasons and made the playoffs just once since returning to the NFL as an expansion team in 1999.
Crennel took over with three games left in the 2011 season after GM Scott Pioli fired Todd Haley. Kansas City will have the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft as a result of having one of the worst seasons in its 53-year history. The only other time the Chiefs finished 2-14 was 2008, the year before Pioli was hired.
Gailey, the former Dallas Cowboys coach, compiled a 16-32 record in his three seasons in Buffalo, never doing better than 6-10.Continued...