Monday after the final day of the regular NFL season is referred to as “black Monday”. It has received that designation because it is the day when some coaches receive their “pink slips”.
Philadelphia made the formal announcement that Andy Reid has been fired today after 14 seasons as their head coach. Team owner Jeffrey Lurie says, “it is time for the Eagles to move in a new direction.”
This was not unexpected. Romeo Crennel of the Kansas City Chiefs and Pat Shurmer of the Cleveland Browns have also been released. But they will not be the last. Norv Turner of the San Diego Chargers is also expected to be released, In addition, several general managers’ jobs are at risk.
The NFL is a cruel master. Being the most profitable sports venue in the world, success becomes a must. When the stands are not full for Sunday’s games the blame usually rests on the shoulders of the general manager and head coach.
Head coaches are often tied to their quarterbacks. Reid’s relationships with Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick cost him dearly. Their inabilities to find a way to make the Eagles a Super Bowl contender not only cost them their jobs, but also placed Reid’s job in jeopardy.
Romeo Crennel simply did not have a quarterback with the skills to lead the Chiefs. As for Norv Turner, he and Phillip Rivers were joined at the hip. Rivers has all the physical skills to be a winner in the NFL, but I have always questioned his ability to make quick and accurate decisions.
Between former NFL coaches and coaches in the college ranks, there are many choices. College coaches have had some problems with the transition to the pros, but more and more of them are playing a style that is similar to that of the NFL.
If they want to return to coaching, there are three good prospects for teams in need of a new coach. Bill Cowher, Brian Billick, and Steve Mariucci are all commentators now, but could miss being on the field enough to be coaxed into a return.
Fired head coaches often return to assistant coach positions with another team. Turner had formerly been the offensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys, and conversely, Todd Haley, offensive coordinator for the Steelers had been the head coach in Kansas City.
Watch for more changes. Analysts think there will be at least three more, but where and who remains to be seen.