Black Monday

Written by on January 8, 2019

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS January 7, 2019, #726.. Black Monday
After further review… There are only a few really exciting jobs in the world- playing or coaching in the NFL sure sounds like two of them. However, when you experience what took place as we close the 2018 regular season, you might want to adjust your sights. Twenty-five percent of NFL coaches were fired this season. Okay, so maybe you just want to be a player. In August each season some 90-100 players are invited to each team’s pre-season camp. By early September only 53 remain on the T*E*A*M roster – that’s about 50 percent! It happens every year! But, firing 8 of the 32 head coaches this year is bound to catch one’s attention.

A couple of statements by former NFL coaches to keep in mind about these firings. The late Oail Andrew “Bum” Phillips of the Houston Oilers (1975-1980) once told me: “There are two kinds of coaches – ones that’s been fired and ones that’s about to be fired.” Former Philadelphia Eagles and St. Louis Rams head coach, Dick Vermeil, once said, “In the NFL you don’t get paid to coach, you get paid to win.” None of those fired this season have their team in this year’s playoffs.

There are some surprises. Green Bay Packers fired long-time (2006-2018) head coach Mike McCarthy, who won Super Bowl (XLV) and often had the Packers in the playoffs. McCarthy was fired mid-season – not a usual occurrence. Already he has been mentioned as a candidate for several vacancies. Hue Jackson, head coach of the Cleveland Browns fired early in the 2018 season, is now a candidate for a couple of these vacancies. It’s called the “NFL Carrousel.”

Marv Lewis, 16 years as head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals was 0-7 in the playoffs, and this year finished in last place in the AFC North division.  Steve Wilks, head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, fired after a 3-13 season. It was only Wilks first season, which is somewhat unusual. Is one year enough time to fairly judge a head coach’s capabilities?

Also fired on Black Monday were Vance Joseph, Denver Broncos (6-10); and Todd Bowles, New York Jets (4-12), both with first year quarterbacks. Also released were Adam Gase, head coach of the Miami Dolphins (7-9)) and Dick Koetter, head coach of the Tampa Bay Bucs ( 5-11), whose teams suffered costly injuries. Looks like Phillips and Vermeil summed it up pretty well.
Will you log-in with your thoughts on the firings of NFL head coaches?
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To contact Jim, go to JimTunney.com or email Jim@JimTunney.com.

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