NFL coaching carousel: Lions, Bears fire coaches
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians announces retirement
Jack Del Rio and Chuck Pagano were fired on Sunday. Jim Caldwell and John Fox joined them early Monday morning, while Bruce Arians has retired.
Meanwhile, Denver Broncos' president John Elway tweeted that head coach Vance Joseph would be returning for 2018, despite some previous uncertainty.
Ben McAdoo is long gone.
The fate of several other NFL coaches could be determined in the next few days, maybe even the next few hours. It's shaping up to be another "Black Monday" for the league. There have been at least six coaching changes every year since 2011, a streak that is expected to continue in 2018.
Here's a look at the latest coaching moves in the NFL:
Arians is retiring from coaching after five mostly successful and usually entertaining seasons as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.
The 65-year-old two-time NFL Coach of the Year, known for his Kangol-style hats, colourful vocabulary and love of a wide-open offence, announced the decision on Monday after meeting with his players.
Arians won a franchise-record 50 games in his five seasons with Arizona.
“The tears you see are really tears of joy and peace. I’ll miss the players. I’ll miss coming out of the locker room, hearing the national anthem, because it still gets me.” - Bruce Arians—@WillBrinson
Counting his stint as interim coach of the Indianapolis Colts, he went 59-35-1 as a head coach, counting the playoffs.
Before that, he won two Super Bowl rings as an assistant coach in Pittsburgh, the second one as offensive co-ordinator of the Steelers team that beat Arizona in the 2009 Super Bowl.
Arians has had health issues in recent years, including treatment for diverticulitis a successful fight against kidney cancer last off-season.
Joseph's team lost eight times by double digits and endured an eight-game losing streak — the franchise's longest in 50 years — in a 5-11 season. Joseph met with Elway on Monday, with Elway ultimately deciding to bring back the rookie head coach for a second year.
Vance and I had a great talk this morning about our plan to attack this offseason and get better as a team. We believe in Vance as our head coach. Together, we'll put in the work to improve in all areas and win in 2018.—@johnelway
There was speculation that Elway would be on the lookout for his fourth head coach in five years with Joseph losing 10 of his last 12 games.
"I want to be here," Joseph said following a 27-24 loss to Kansas City on Sunday. "We have to make some adjustments in some places, but our football team all year has not stopped working."
Fox was 14-34 in his three years with Chicago, a .292 winning percentage that ranks as the second lowest for the Bears. Only Abe Gibron was worse — 11-30-1 (.274) from 1972-74.
From <a href="https://twitter.com/gmfb?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@gmfb</a>: The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bears?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bears</a> have fired coach John Fox, sources say. The new coach will find himself in position for a quick turnaround with a solid young talent base. <a href="https://t.co/fFjkFX6Js3">pic.twitter.com/fFjkFX6Js3</a>—@RapSheet
Fox likes to say that this is a "results-based business," and the Bears clearly did not have much to show on that count. Fox's conservative approach and some questionable decisions during games were also sore spots.
Caldwell gave the Lions (9-7) consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 1995, but it wasn't enough to save his job. Caldwell was 36-28 in four years and has two playoff postseason appearances.
The Lions announced the decision on Monday.
Detroit Lions General Manager Bob Quinn has informed Jim Caldwell that he will not be returning as head coach.—@Lions
Pagano was fired Sunday, two hours after the Colts beat Houston in the finale. Indianapolis missed the playoffs each of the last three years, the first time that's happened since a seven-year drought from 1988 to 1994. The next coach surely will want to know more about the health and future of quarterback Andrew Luck.
Del Rio was fired Sunday following a 30-10 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers that capped a 6-10 season. Del Rio signed a four-year contract extension last February after Oakland ended a 13-year playoff drought with a 12-win season. The Raiders followed that successful campaign with a disappointing one. ESPN reported that the Raiders want to bring back former coach Jon Gruden.
New York Giants
McAdoo was the first coach fired this season, let go on Dec. 4 after a 2-10 start. His 28 games were the fewest for a Giants coach since 1930. New general manager Dave Gettleman, who replaced Jerry Reese, already has started cleaning house. Gettleman and the next coach will have to decide what to do with Eli Manning .
"This is where I want to play," Manning said. "This is like my family, the New York Giants has been. Hopefully they feel the same way and we can make that work out."
Who could be next?
Cincinnati Bengals: Lewis talked to owner Mike Brown about his future with the Bengals on Monday, but they reached no conclusions and planned more discussions.
The Bengals failed to make the playoffs for the second straight season, and Lewis' contract is ending after his 15th year in Cincinnati. He said Monday that he's not sure he'll be back. He and Brown had a general discussion about the team's future.
Lewis said the organization has to do a better job of building a team that can win the AFC North. The Bengals chose to have one of the youngest teams in Lewis' tenure, and they won seven games. Lewis says it's important that the coach and front office are on the same page.
Houston Texans: Bill O'Brien's first losing record (4-12) in four years hardly seems like a fire-able offence, especially considering season-ending injuries to dynamic quarterback Deshaun Watson and star pass rushers J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus.
But O'Brien is 31-33 with the Texans and reportedly doesn't get along with general manager Rick Smith, who announced after the finale that he's taking a leave of absence to help his wife, who is battling breast cancer. O'Brien has one year remaining on his contract and likely will get a chance to see what he can do in a full season with Watson.