Black Monday Primer

29
Dec

News is already starting to come out about head coaches that will, won’t, may and may not be fired in the coming days. The day after the end of the regular season is usually the busiest in terms of head coaching and GM vacancies in the NFL. Teams like to get a head start on the competition in finding their set of decision makers. In honor of the impending Black Monday, I’d like to give everyone a primer on those coaches that need to watch their step and those that we all thought needed to but are safe and sound. Check back to my contracts page to get updated info when coaches are sacked or new coaches are hired. There are more of course…but this is just a primer remember?

Rex Ryan – SAFE

I have a New York Jets fan that works in my office and he was SURE that Rex Ryan would be gone at the end of the season. He was sad about it, but he was sure. As so often occurs when fans are sure of something, it tends to be untrue. Woody Johnson, the Jets owner, put this story to bed right after the Jets Week 17 win over the Dolphins.

Yes, I know you can’t see the image, and if you’re too lazy to click it, as is way too often the case, then let me assuage your troubled mind, it is Rex Ryan. He is back. Will he be back long term is the only question that remains. As you can see here, he has two years (soon to be one year once the off-season hits) left on his contract. It is up after the 2014-15 season. Few coaches appreciate working as a lame duck head coach. It undermines your ability to lead your players, your staff and you have zero leverage with your front office cohorts (yes, that matters). I suspect that a decision regarding his future will be made in the form of a very short, possibly just one-year extension. His future could hinge on his ability to find an offensive mind to team with his defensive expertise (see Chicago Bears and Lovie Smith 2012-13).

Rob Chudzinski – Unofficially GONE

In what is shaping up to be a very surprising move, the Cleveland Browns are likely set to move on from the first coaching hire of the Lombardi regime, first reported by Chris Mortensen. Having read and listened to Lombardi on Grantland during his time away from the front office, I got a sense of a man that doesn’t make decisions just to make decisions. He has considered this several times and in every which way. The only thing I can seem to think of logically is that there is a philosophical difference in what route they want to take the team, and of course there is talk that Chud can’t properly motivate the team. I take these rumors to heart, but I also remember that motivation issues are ever present when a coach is about to be fired, it is a very easy way to rationalize something for the front office in a way that the public can’t disprove easily.

Jason Garrett – PENDING

This…

and this…

Jerry not liking his team right now…

That is all.

Leslie Frazier – Unofficially GONE

Video of Leslie Frazier shaking hands with and congratulating each and every player and coach on the way into the locker room paints its own picture. He doesn’t have the most skilled team on the planet, but he hasn’t shown much of an identity either. Adrian Peterson is an unbelievable asset, but an inability to build an offense that can compete around their best player certainly has a part to do in this likely decision. While the defense is getting older, it still has talent but has a DVOA weighted rank of 28th in the league according to Football Outsiders. In an increasingly offensive league, teams are shying away from head coaches with defensive roots in the game and hoping they can snag a solid defensive coordinator instead.

Mike Shanahan – Unofficially GONE

The rivalry between the coaching staff and the ownership lead by Daniel Snyder has been public and unbecoming of a successful franchise. The owner will not let it stand. He will not have his overall leadership be impeached by a head coach that ruined everything for him! Probably more his views than mine. But Shanahan has been doing everything in his power to publicly voice his displeasure with his owner and get himself canned in the end…while still collecting his hefty $7,000,000 paycheck next year.

Jim Schwartz – Future is Unclear

Oh the Detroit Lions…it is hard to like them, as their fans would obviously attest to, and it is hard to hate them. They may be a collection of several delinquents, but they also just fail year after year when it looks like this may be the year that they put it all together. My guess is that Schwartz doesn’t see the light of day, but stranger things have happened. This is the man that pulled this franchise out of the mud and into playoff contention after going 0-16. But, the NFL is a serious what have you done for me lately league. Schwartz’s Lions dropped too many late season games in a wide open NFC North. I’m not surprised by much of anything anymore so I wouldn’t be shocked if he stayed, but this just has the feel of a new offensive hiring…per usual.

About the author: Colby Rogers

Colby is the Editor-in-Chief, Founder and Lead Contributor to Other League. Also a law student focusing on Labor & Employment law and intersections with law and sports. You can find him on Twitter via @Colby_OL.