‘Black Monday’ in the NFL: Numerous coaches fired, one now retired
The NFL regular season has concluded and “Black Monday” has officially claimed the jobs of five NFL coaches, while one decided to retire.
The amount of coaching changes shouldn’t come as a surprise to many, as the probability of such coming on this day every year is extremely likely.
However, there will be more to come.
Ben McAdoo – New York Giants
Former New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo was the first to lose his job, though the decision came before the end of the regular season after a Week 13 loss to the Oakland Raiders.
McAdoo lasted just two seasons in New York, managing a 13-15 overall record at the helm. Along with McAdoo, the Giants also fired general manager Jerry Reese.
McAdoo’s firing came too late for some. The Giants, who were considered a Super Bowl contender by some, started the season 0-5 on the heels of an 11-5 season in 2016. The Giants’ struggles led to McAdoo electing to bench franchise quarterback Eli Manning against the Raiders, a move that infuriated the team’s fans and snapped the veteran’s streak of 210 consecutive starts.
McAdoo’s fate may have been sealed prior to his odd decision to bench Manning, but it appears to have accelerated the Giants’ decision.
Chuck Pagano – Indianapolis Colts
Despite winning their regular season finale against the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was the next coach relieved of his duties.
Pagano coached the Colts for six seasons, finishing with an overall record of 53-43 and playoff appearances in his first three seasons. Pagano’s tenure as the Colts coach was highlighted by his inspiring story in 2012, his first year on the job.
Pagano battled cancer during his first season, missing 12 games due to chemotherapy treatment. Now former Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians took over interim duties while Pagano went through treatment and helped the Colts to the playoffs, winning NFL Coach of the Year honors in the process.
The Colts finished the 2017 season with a dismal 4-12 record, though they were without franchise quarterback Andrew Luck due to a shoulder injury for the entire campaign.
Jack Del Rio – Oakland Raiders
Del Rio’s firing was one of the more surprising for some, especially due to the circumstances. Before Del Rio had even coached his final game with the Raiders, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that the Raiders were targeting ESPN analyst John Gruden to become the team’s next coach.
In three seasons with the Raiders, Del Rio finished with an overall record of 25-23, leading the Raiders to the playoffs for the first time in 13 years in 2016.
Jim Caldwell – Detroit Lions
At the helm, Caldwell led the Lions to consecutive winning seasons for the first time since the mid 90s. With an overall record of 36-28, he managed to have the highest winning percentage of any Detroit head coach since the Super Bowl era began, according to ESPN.
Caldwell guided the Lions the playoffs in 2014 and 2016, but failed to win a game. In fact, Detroit hasn’t notched a playoff victory since 1992.
John Fox – Chicago Bears
Perhaps less surprising than his NFC North counterpart in Caldwell, John Fox was firedby the Bears after three consecutive losing seasons.
Posting an overall record of 14-34, the Bears lost 10 games in each season Fox was the head coach.
Fox’s unsuccessful tenure in Chicago came after he was able to lead both the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers to Super Bowl appearances. But, the Bears finished last in the NFC North in each of Fox’s three seasons.
Other coaching changes
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians announced his retirement on Monday after finishing the season with a win over NFC West rival Seattle Seahawks.
It appears embattled coaches Vance Joseph of Denver and Jason Garrett of Dallas will avoid unemployment heading into 2018. Joseph’s first year at the helm of the Broncos ended with a 5-11 record — their worst since 2010. The Cowboys, who won 13 games in 2016, saw their win total shrink to nine this year, and they missed the playoffs for the second time in three years.