The Philadelphia Eagles were expected to fire Andy Reid on Dec. 31, which they finally did. But while the Eagles provided the most prestigious firing on “Black Monday” they had to share the spotlight with six other teams who let their coaches go. In fact, Dec. 31 was one of the most brutal days of all time to be an NFL coach.
The Eagles, Arizona Cardinals, San Diego Chargers, Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs all fired their head coaches within hours after their seasons ended. 20 NFL teams missed the playoffs and seven of them are looking for new leadership as a result. Yet according to the Los Angeles Times, it still didn’t match the brutality of “Black Monday” 2010, when 10 coaches were instantly cut.
Chicago coach Lovie Smith was the next most-senior coach to get fired after Reid, as the nine-year veteran was let go for wasting the Bears’ 7-1 start. Meanwhile, Chargers coach Norv Turner was let go after years of falling short of the Super Bowl and then falling to mediocrity, just like Reid. The Cardinals released Ken Whisenhunt four years after he beat Reid and the Eagles in the NFC title game, while the Browns fired former Eagles tight end and quarterbacks coach Pat Shumur after just two years as a head coach.
To round things out, the Bills let Chan Gailey go after missing the playoffs for a 13’th straight year, which puts the Eagles’ struggles into perspective. Also, the Chiefs fired Romeo Crennel after they sunk to the worst record in the NFL -- and became one of the few teams that was worse than the Eagles.
Reid leads a vast collection of coaches that are looking for work, although almost none of them have his resume. However, Reid got 14 years with the same team, whereas the likes of Shumur, Gailey and Crennel barely lasted by comparison.
Clearly, the days where a team committed to a coach like the Eagles committed to Reid are almost dead and gone. Then again, Philadelphia wasn’t really rewarded for all its years of commitment, at least not in the ways it wanted. As such, if Reid and his fellow fired coaches get work again, they likely won’t get 14 full years to redeem themselves.