NFL firings: Seven coaches, five GMs sacked
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, Cleveland and Arizona.
General managers also were fired in Jacksonville and in New York, where Rex Ryan held onto his coaching job with the Jets despite a losing record.
Reid was the longest tenured of the coaches, removed after 14 seasons and a Super Bowl appearance in 2005 – a loss to New England.
Smith spent nine seasons with the Bears, leading them to the 2007 Super Bowl – a loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
Turner has now 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.
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. GM Rod Graves had been with Arizona for 16 years, nine in his current position. A 5-11 record after a 4-0 start cost him and Whisenhunt their jobs.
Gailey was dumped after three seasons with the Bills; Shurmur after two; and Crennel had one full season with the Chiefs.
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 – 4-12.
Shurmur went 9-23 in his two seasons with the Browns.
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.
Gailey, the former Dallas Cowboys coach, compiled a 16-32 record in his three seasons in Buffalo, never doing better than 6-10.
Smith and the Bears went 10-6 this season and just missed a playoff spot. But Chicago started 7-1 and has struggled to put together a productive offense throughout Smith’s tenure. His record was 81-63 with the Bears, and he took them to one Super Bowl loss and to one NFC championship game defeat.
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