Seven coaches shown the door in a day as NFL heads roll
Date: January 2 2013
Mason Levinson, Michael Buteau
SEVEN of the NFL's 32 head coaches, including the Philadelphia Eagles' Andy Reid and the Chicago Bears' Lovie Smith, were fired the day after the end of the regular season. The New York Jets' Mike Tannenbaum was among five general managers who lost their jobs.
San Diego Chargers fired coach Norv Turner and GM A.J. Smith; Arizona Cardinals released coach Ken Whisenhunt and GM Rod Graves; Cleveland Browns parted with GM Tom Heckert and coach Pat Shurmur; Kansas City Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel and Buffalo Bills coach Chan Gailey were let go; and Jacksonville Jaguars dismissed GM Gene Smith.
Last season, seven coaches lost their jobs, but not on the same day. Three were fired during the season, two the day after it ended and two more in the ensuing weeks.
Rex Ryan will remain the Jets' coach, team owner Woody Johnson said a day after they completed a 6-10 season with a 28-9 loss to the Bills. Johnson will begin an immediate search to replace Tannenbaum, who had been the team's general manager since 2006. ''Although he helped guide us to two consecutive AFC championship games, we are not where we want to be and a new general manager will be critical to getting this team back on the right track,'' Johnson said.
Reid, whose 14-year run with Philadelphia was the longest of any active coach in the NFL, was let go after the Eagles finished the season 4-12, with a 42-7 loss to the New York Giants. He steps down with a 130-93-1 record.
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie spoke to staff, giving Reid a game ball to commemorate his role as the coach with the most victories in team history. After applause, Reid said his tenure was ''the greatest 14 years of my life''.
''Sometimes change is good and I know Jeffrey does nothing that isn't best for the organisation, so I know that the next guy that comes in will be phenomenal,'' Reid said. ''The ultimate goal is the Super Bowl. Everybody in this room, I wish you a big ring on that finger in the near the future.''
The 54-year-old led the Eagles to successive NFC championships from the 2001 to 2004 seasons, and again after the 2008 campaign. Philadelphia beat Atlanta to reach the February 2005 Super Bowl, falling 24-21 to New England.
Smith had been the Bears' coach since 2004, leading the team to three division titles, a Super Bowl appearance after the 2006 season and an 81-63 record. The firing of the Chargers' Turner and Smith after a 7-9 season was announced by team president Dean Spanos. ''Both Norv and A.J. are consummate NFL professionals, and they understand that in this league, the bottom line is winning,'' Spanos said.
Whisenhunt, 50, departs Arizona with a 45-51 record in six years with the team. His tenure included the Cardinals' first Super Bowl appearance, a 27-23 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2008 season.
Crennel, 65, went 2-14 with the Chiefs in his only full season leading the team after going 2-1 on an interim basis in 2011.