Black Monday has become an annual NFL tradition. The day after the regular season ends, teams looking for a fresh start clean house.
The action got started Sunday night, when Cleveland fired head coach Rob Chudzinski after one season, and Minnesota was the first team to act on Monday, firing Leslie Frazier. Houston was the only team to fire a coach during the season, when they let Gary Kubiak go on Dec. 6. There were reports this weekend that Penn State's Bill O'Brien was the leading candidate to take that job, although the Texans and O'Brien denied it is a done deal.
Many organizations are making wholesale changes on Monday. Here's the rundown:
Lions fire Jim Schwartz: Schwartz just couldn't survive not winning the NFC North this year. They lost six of their last seven games to finish 7-9 and blow a golden opportunity to win the division when Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers missed most of the season.
Schwartz was just 29-51 in five seasons, and had just one winning season and no playoff wins. Schwartz was considered a top defensive coordinator when he was hired by the Lions, and he should easily find a job as a defensive assistant if he wants it.
Buccaneers fire coach Greg Schiano and GM Mark Dominik: The Buccaneers are hitting the reset button. Not only is Schiano gone after two years as head coach, Tampa Bay let general manager Mark Dominik go as well.
Schiano's controlling ways didn't translate from college to the pros, which isn't a big surprise. Schiano raised eyebrows right away with the ridiculousness of having his team go full blast at the opponent when it was kneeling in victory formation at the end of games, and it never really got any better. This season was marked with controversies over a MRSA infection at the facility and personal information being leaked to the media about quarterback Josh Freeman before he was cut. Schiano almost saved his job with a 4-4 finish after an 0-8 start, but in the end it wasn't enough.
Schiano has been rumored as a possible replacement at Penn State if Bill O'Brien leaves for the NFL. Schiano is now free to go.
Redskins fire Mike Shanahan: When the relationship between Shanahan, quarterback Robert Griffin III and owner Daniel Snyder became toxic, and in a very public manner, it was only a matter of time before the coach was gone.
Shanahan was fired on Monday, with about $7 million still owed on his contract. The Redskins were just 24-40 under Shanahan, and that wasn't good enough from a coach who was among the highest paid in sports.
“Redskins fans deserve a better result,” Snyder said in a statement. “We thank Mike for his efforts on behalf of the Redskins. We will focus on what it takes to build a winning team, and my pledge to this organization and to this community is to continue to commit the resources and talent necessary to put this team back in the playoffs.”
Vikings fire Leslie Frazier: A year after taking the Vikings to the playoffs, Frazier was fired.
The Vikings went just 5-10-1 this season, and only 21-32-1 in three-plus seasons under Frazier. Frazier is known as a defensive coach, but the Vikings ranked 31st in the NFL in yards allowed.
Cowboys keeping Jason Garrett?: Garrett, one of the coaches on the hot seat after a third straight 8-8 season, still has the public support of owner Jerry Jones.
Jones said a few weeks ago that Garrett would be back. Then there were reports the Cowboys needed to make the playoffs to save Garrett's job. Even though Dallas didn't make the playoffs, Jones said after Sunday's game that he will "stand by," what he said when he supported Garrett, which would indicate the coach will be back another season. Some assistants, including defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, might not be safe, however.
Browns fire Rob Chudzinski: The Browns got a jump on things, not even waiting for Monday to fire Chudzinski, who lasted just one 4-12 season in Cleveland.
Albert Breer of NFL Network said that Chudzinski refused to cut a player over accountability issues a few weeks ago to send a message. Breer said that was a "breaking point." Breer identified quarterback Brandon Weeden and receiver Greg Little as two players who the front office didn't think were held accountable.
One name that has been brought up already as a possible replacement is Patriots offensive coordinator and former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, who is from the area. Browns GM Mike Lombardi has long had a fondness for Bill Belichick, and perhaps would want someone who is his from his coaching tree, even though McDaniels' tenure in Denver was a disaster.
- - - - - - -
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Rob Chudzinski
- Leslie Frazier
- Greg Schiano
- Mike Shanahan
- Jim Schwartz