By: James “JB3” Byus III
It’s Monday, January 4th, also known as Black Monday in the realm of the National Football League. Things are starting to get hot and steamy in Owner’s offices throughout the day as well as this past weekend and the upcoming week. This is what we’ve seen so far:
- Chuck Pagano (Colts) spent the day “fighting for his job”, as he stated. This led to a four year contract extension just announced as I write this update.
- Mike Mularkey (Titans) is the interim head coach, hired after the firing of Ken Whisenhunt, and remains the head coach for now. GM Ruston Webster’s contract was not renewed today. Mularkey should get another go in 2016 based upon the brief success he had with his new franchise QB Marcus Mariota. No replacements have been determined yet, if any.
- Mike McCoy (Chargers) survives while 6 assistant coaches, including offensive coordinator Frank Reich, were released today. Five of the six assistant coaches were offensive coaches. The Chargers management is occupied with meetings in New York this week regarding their possible move to the city of angels.
- Jeff Fisher and GM Les Snead (Rams) have the support of Rams owner Stan Kroenke even though they have produced four straight losing seasons and their offense gets worse by the year.
- Gus Bradley (Jags) will be back for a fourth season as he will have high expectations for winning in 2016. The Jags odds look very good in a very bad AFC South Division.
- Jason Garrett (Cowboys) has the love and support of owner Jerry Jones as he has served as loyal servant to the Jones family for over 15 years total. I say it’s because they did a decent job of giving him a supporting staff in Scott Linnehan and Rob Marinelli.
- Rex Ryan and GM Doug Whaley (Bills) get another go at it in 2016 from owner Terry Pegula.
- Tom Coughlin (Giants) resigned today just an hour after meeting with John Mara and Steve Tisch. After 12 seasons with the Gmen: 6 winning seasons, 5 playoff appearances, 3 division titles and 2 Lombardi trophies. His legacy will live on for years as he steps down as the winningest head coach in Giants history and he stands with identical playoff records to the “big tuna”, Bill Parcells. Possible Replacements: Nick Saban, Sean Payton, Doug Marrone, Sean McDermott, Josh McDaniels.
- Jim Tomsula (49ers) was released immediately after his big win over the Rams Sunday night, after just one season as the 49ers head coach. There are plenty of “big name” coaches available for the 49ers but the 49ers management needs to GET IT TOGETHER. Possible Replacements: Chip Kelly, David Shaw, Josh McDaniels, Adam Gase, Sean Payton, Mike Shanahan, Mike Holmgren.
- Mike Pettine and GM Ray Farmer (Browns) also did not make it through the night last night. Following another big division loss to the Steelers and only winning 3 games this season, this is no surprise. Farmer’s tenure as GM has been a disaster and that is summed up by attempting to make Johnny Manziel your franchise QB. Don’t even think about it Jerry! Possible Replacements: Chip Kelly, Doug Marrone, Josh McDaniels, Adam Gase.
- Chip Kelly (Eagles) was let go surprisingly before week 17’s game and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur was named interim head coach. Eagles have interviewed running backs coach Duce Staley but I feel sorry for any coach coming in behind the disaster Kelly has left in Philly. Possible Replacements: Duce Staley, Sean McDermott, Teryl Austin, Hugh Jackson, Adam Gase.
- Dan Campbell (Dolphins) will get an interview from the Dolphins ownership after starting off his interim term very strong. Had he kept the momentum there would be no question to his solid fitting as the head coach. The Dolphins could keep him on as tight end coach and assistant head coach as they also interviewed Mike Shanahan today. The Dolphins also parted ways with GM Dennis Hickey. Possible Replacements: Jim Mora, Mike Shanahan, Sean Payton, Adam Gase, Mike Shula, Hugh Jackson.
- Sean Payton (Saints) will decide if he’d like to stay in New Orleans and rebuild his team or will he choose to take over one of the many teams in need of his services. The Saints organization could lean towards trading him for a more defensive minded coach to fix one of the worst in the league, thanks again Rob Ryan. Payton is definitely the top coaching candidate out there if you ask me and much will ride on what the organization wants to do with Drew Brees in the near future. Possible Replacements: Sean McDermott, Doug Marrone, Josh McDaniels, Adam Gase, Teryl Austin.
- Jim Caldwell (Lions) is on thin ice in Detroit, though he has strong support from the Ford family. His fate is in the hands of the un-hired new GM. Caldwell has strong support from players as well and boasted a commanding 6-2 record the second half of the season. The Lions have announced they will interview co-personnel director Trent Kirchner and Patriots pro scouting director Bob Quinn for the GM Vacancy. No replacements likely.
We can all agree that the biggest headlines of the day are the resignation of Tom Coughlin, the curious future of Sean Payton, and which organization will be the next to let Chip Kelly run it into the ground. I must confess it saddens me to see Coughlin go as he has been one of the greatest coaches of my generation and a giant division rival for the Cowboys. Farewell Tom and I know there is a bright future ahead for a 70 year old genius in the NFL. It has been an honor watching you run the Patriots into the ground and I will never forget that triumphant victory to end Belichick’s undefeated season in 2007.
Will Coughlin hang up his headset or continue to run his 100 yard wind sprints during practice?