By Danny Cox
The day after the NFL regular season ends is one that 12 teams look forward to more than anything. That’s because they are then preparing to get ready for the playoffs and hopefully end up playing in – and winning – that year’s Super Bowl. It’s a great day for all involved, and one that leads to bigger and better things.
As for the other 20 teams in the NFL, the day after the regular season ends is one that has them looking forward to the next year and all that they must do to improve. It’s not a bad day for teams because they start preparing for and seeing ahead to the future.
Now, for some coaches and general managers? Yeah, it’s a bad day.
This year, the day after the NFL regular season ended, became known as “Black Monday,” and it was one of the busiest and most memorable in the league’s history. On Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, seven head coaches lost their jobs and five general managers were also sent packing.
After three seasons on the job, the Buffalo Bills relieved Chan Gailey of his head coaching duties. This was not very unexpected considering that Gailey had three straight losing seasons and racked up an awful 16-32 record.
The Jacksonville Jaguars got rid of general manager Gene Smith, and after a franchise worst 2-14 season, this also was not a huge surprise. Now, it will likely be up to whoever the new GM may be, as to whether or not head coach Mike Mularkey keeps his job.
Over in Cleveland, the Browns got rid of both head coach Pat Shurmer and general manager Tom Heckert. Shurmur went 9-23 in his two seasons as coach of the Browns, and the team just never seemed to get out of the rebuilding mode.
General manager Scott Pioli is currently still safe in Kansas City, but it is not certain how long that will hold. The same can’t be said for Chiefs’ head coach Romeo Crennel, who was given his walking papers after just his first full season with the team.
The San Diego Chargers did what many fans and experts have expected – and called for – for years. Coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith were both fired by the Chargers after missing the playoffs for the third straight season.
Coach Andy Reid gave the Philadelphia Eagles 14 good years that consisted of some ups and downs, but 2012 was the kicker. Reid was fired by the club on Black Monday after what was both a traumatic and just downright awful season. Expect many more changes coming to Philadelphia before the offseason gets too far.
The Arizona Cardinals cleaned a little house by firing coach Andy Whisenhunt and general manager Rod Graves. Arizona started off 2012 with a 4-0 record, but then lost 11 of 12, and that was just the end of the line for this managing duo.
Rex Ryan’s head coaching job with the New York Jets is actually safe, even though his departure was expected by many. Now, general manager Mike Tannenbaum was not so lucky as he was relieved of his duties with the Jets. The question remains though…who will be the quarterback for the Jets in 2013?
As of the end of Black Monday, there was one more head coach to lose his job and he actually ended the season with a 10-6 record. That would be Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears, and nine years was all the time he was given in the “windy city.” Chicago started off the 2012 season at 7-1, but they just had a monumental collapse.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.