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Clouds gather for Black Monday

In three days, the NFL will be in the midst of its annual day of reckoning for head coaches who will be getting the shoe from their current jobs.

This year, league insiders are looking at several potential hot spots.

The Redskins are a given; we’ve heard that coach Jim Zorn will be given a pink slip as soon as the team returns from San Diego, if not earlier. 

As to the rest of the Black Monday victims, the situation is less clear. 

Browns coach Eric Mangini tops the list of potential casualties, though new team president Mike Holmgren might not want to run Mangini out the door in Holmgren’s first official day on the job.

Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio has inched onto the hot seat, but a $15 million buyout should save him.

Ditto in Chicago, where Lovie Smith would be owed $11 million to not coach the Bears in 2010 and 2011.  Our guess is that G.M. Jerry Angelo will sacrifice Smith in the hopes of saving Angelo’s butt.

In Buffalo, the Bills are expected to not retain interim head coach Perry Fewell.

And the Texans’ situation remains uncertain.  Though it appears that owner Bob McNair is inclined to keep Gary Kubiak, an ugly home loss to the Pats could push McNair to the “fire his ass” side of the fence.

Tampa Bay is in play, too, given reports that ownership has reached out to Bill Cowher.

And Raiders coach Tom Cable also is in trouble, given that whoever the Raiders coach is at any given moment is always presumed to be in trouble.

There also could be a surprise or two.  Or three, as we saw last January, when the Jets fired Eric Mangini the day after the season ended, and the Broncos and Bucs unexpectedly pulled the plug on Mike Shanahan and Jon Gruden, respectively, later in the month.

One guy who might be in trouble come late January, if not sooner, is Seahawks coach Jim Mora.  If the team’s new G.M. isn’t inclined to keep Mora, the new G.M. might want Mora to be fired before the new G.M. arrives on the scene.

Then there’s Dallas, where it’s widely assumed that one postseason win is needed for Wade Phillips to avoid making the long walk to the parking lot.

Regardless of how it all shakes out, it’ll be a wild ride.  And we’ll be on the horse, doing our best to avoid getting thrown off.

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24 Responses to “Clouds gather for Black Monday”
  1. Ravens Macg says: Jan 1, 2010 1:05 PM

    Can’t really feel sorry for any of these guys. Millionaires getting fired and still collecting multi-million $ salaries doesn’t make many people sad.

  2. Sonny Mooks says: Jan 1, 2010 1:14 PM

    Crazy as it may sound, does anyone think a college coach with a wacky system in the middle of controversy down in Texas might be getting a once over for a vacant NFL job ?

  3. bigdawg24 says: Jan 1, 2010 1:25 PM

    Todd Haley should be added to this list. He is in over his head. Haley is playing checkers while the rest of the coaches are playing chess.

  4. The Coop says: Jan 1, 2010 1:25 PM

    @Ravens Macg:
    Why even follow pro sports then, bro? News flash: They are ALL making millions.
    Of course, if you’re a Ravens fan like your handle implies, then I’m certainly not surprised at your lack of intelligence and perspective.

  5. theravenlives2 says: Jan 1, 2010 1:42 PM

    @ The Coop
    Dude, he didn’t say they weren’t ALL making millions, he just said that it’s hard to feel sorry for them.
    You must be a Squealers or Brownstains fan, because you seem to have trouble with reading comprehension. At least they teach that in Baltimore!

  6. Hawksfan says: Jan 1, 2010 1:47 PM

    I hope to God that Mora is gone sooner than later. This team is a mess !!!!

  7. slothism says: Jan 1, 2010 2:00 PM

    hawksfan – you have holmgren to thank for that mess in seattle. i pity the browns fans…

  8. LouDawg says: Jan 1, 2010 2:03 PM

    As a Cards fan, I hope Mora stays in Seattle for a long time. Watching him cry like a Hasselbeck when they lose is priceless!

  9. SpartaChris says: Jan 1, 2010 2:04 PM

    Ravens Macg says:
    January 1, 2010 1:05 PM
    Can’t really feel sorry for any of these guys. Millionaires getting fired and still collecting multi-million $ salaries doesn’t make many people sad.
    ======================================
    Oh, geez, stop with the “Millionaires this” and “Millionaires that” crap. It makes you look like a jealous, jilted punk with absolutely nohing to look forward to in life.
    Be a man. Take control of your own life, and stop blaming other people for your lack of success.

  10. East Bay Ray says: Jan 1, 2010 2:10 PM

    Would Mora getting fired really be a surprise? I know he’s only had one year, but it’s been a disaster. Not only have the Seahawks lost 10 games when they were expected to be a .500-ish team, they have had a few games where they have been embarrassed. Losses of 27-3, 34-7, 24-7 (at home to the Bucs!!), and 48-10. It’s like they didn’t even show up to those games and it’s been getting worse. That’s on the head coach.
    Plus, Mora seems to not have his team or himself under control. He’s made all kinds of empty threats, and his players have had loose lips in the media, showing a lack of respect for him. All bad. It’s time to blow up that team and start from scratch.

  11. Hooj says: Jan 1, 2010 2:15 PM

    @ the coop
    you’re dumb.

  12. TheGooch says: Jan 1, 2010 2:15 PM

    I think Mangini should keep his job his inherited a garbage team and is finally getting them to play a little bit

  13. SportsFan#1 says: Jan 1, 2010 2:26 PM

    Mangina should be able to keep his job for
    another year providing that he changes
    offensive coordinators and QB coaches.

  14. Duan says: Jan 1, 2010 2:41 PM

    the Mangini call will be the toughest one to make!
    Especially if they win, how do you fire a coach on a four game winning streak, the first possible one they had in 18+ years!?
    Some of these coaches need more time and some of the organizations need a complete overhaul.
    But in 72 hours, after we see the outcome of all the games – it is going to get very interesting.

  15. Duan says: Jan 1, 2010 2:41 PM

    the Mangini call will be the toughest one to make!
    Especially if they win, how do you fire a coach on a four game winning streak, the first possible one they had in 18+ years!?
    Some of these coaches need more time and some of the organizations need a complete overhaul.
    But in 72 hours, after we see the outcome of all the games – it is going to get very interesting.

  16. Jag4Life says: Jan 1, 2010 2:56 PM

    What’s $15 million if the fans are excited again and we are making a push at the division. Del Rio is a dinosaur and his way of thinking is yesterday. This is an offensive league and he is going to run this team into the ground. Literally. Time to go Del Rio.

  17. ParkerFly says: Jan 1, 2010 4:44 PM

    Hawksfan, Mora is NOT the problem…yet. The team replaced great players (Hutchinson, Jones, Alexander, etc.) with average ones, and your QB is getting old and ineffective. There is no #1 receiver, just a couple of #2’s and a #3. All the teams that beat them were better than them except the Bucs which is a toss up.
    Get a GM in there who can actually sign and draft talent and then see what Mora can do.

  18. slipkid says: Jan 1, 2010 5:37 PM

    that wont save mora, however.
    if favre told wilf to can chilly or he would retire, wilf would can the chill.
    raheem should be gone. they are just getting the dead cat bounce of running into teams near the end of the year who either a. are quitting sooner or b. just dont take tb seriously at all.
    if ryan loses monday, he could be gone.
    fisher might just want out.
    if the new owners in LA dont want del rio, he would be out.

  19. mwcarolina says: Jan 1, 2010 11:50 PM

    if Mora is gone from the Seahawks i could easily see him with the Browns then Zorn would be the coordinator.

  20. PolegoJim says: Jan 2, 2010 2:01 AM

    Is Jeff Fisher really safe anymore? Guess me may get a pass from losing McNair.
    I called the Shanahan firing, and believe Fisher could be one of the ‘surprises’.

  21. kuma says: Jan 2, 2010 6:42 AM

    The owners think winning is accomplished by the coach so they fire them and give them millions in a buyout. In reality winning has nothing to do with the coach and by far more to do with the GM, scouts, and in the case of J Jones and Snyder the owner. The coaches are on a million dollar merry-go-round and love it. They collect millions from their former team and get a part time job at ESPN or somewhere else. Chow the former offensive coordinator for the Titans is now a offensive cordinator for UCLA and not having much luck there either like he did at USC but he is working for almost free so how can they fire him. That is a different world most of us know nothing about. The million dollar salary and buyouts only the bank exec’s and wall street employee can relate to getting paid that kind of salary and severence pay in the millions for maybe 12 months of work. (Disney) the rest of us can only be envious and wonder what type of person can demand this type of pay. They just seem like ordinary people on the outside and they do not appear to have an IQ of 200 like we compare money ratio (haves and have nots) to intelligence. Notre Dame and Stanford plus all the Ivy League has demonstrated that the smartest student players are not necessarily that adept at playing superstar football with very few exceptions. The question is do these players make up the wall street boys and bankers who will be able to throw around millions in the future along with the football elete? Young people should do a complete analayse on the mindset of these people who treat millions like most of us treat nickels and copy their every move on their way through life. I am a college grad, retired and it makes me sad that thoughout my life I have never had the opportunity to rub elbows with any of these alien creatures let alone work with them or for them. All I have done throughout my life like all of you is read about them. Where do they come from?? I’m in trouble there does not seem to be a spellcheck on here, oh well.

  22. antipft says: Jan 2, 2010 8:22 AM

    Kuna – Concepts are what matter, not spelling.
    Do you really believe winning has nothing to do with the coach?

  23. eph521 says: Jan 2, 2010 10:50 AM

    Kuna – My wife just had a baby boy. I’m going to groom him starting now to become an NFL head coach. Seriously. Other than playing on PGA Tour, I can’t think of a better “job”.

  24. Little Tommy says: Jan 3, 2010 6:09 PM

    No need to fret or hold tag days for any of these guys. They’re a fraternity, they all land on their feet and they’ll all either end up on different teams or in a broadcast booth…if you don’t believe me take a look at Matt Millen!

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