Black Monday will be coming soon for NFL head coaches on the Hot Seat

On the “Hot Seat” NFL head coaches like Carolina’s John Fox better not pick up the phone on “Black Monday”

Mark the date of Monday January 4th down on your calendars.  That date happens to be “Black Monday” around the NFL as many teams will probably pull the plug on their embattled head coaches, front office types, and assistant coaches on the Monday after Week 17.     

I am not sure if the number of new coaches this offseason will reach the 11 new head coaches for the 2009 season, but I am estimating that there could be at least five head coaching changes on the way.  Of course one change will probably be for the Buffalo Bills who currently have “interim” head coach Perry Fewell running the team after firing Dick Jauron in November.

Head Coaches on the Hot Seat include: 

Jim Zorn, Washington Redskins – The former Seattle Seahawks quarterback has been stoic throughout the 2009 season even though he has been basically “Dead Man Walking” for the majority of it.  Zorn was stripped of his play-calling duties in October – given to veteran NFL assistant coach Sherman Lewis – and it was apparent from that point on that petulant owner Daniel Snyder would soon be looking in a new direction.  Though the Redskins (4-9 through 13 games this season) have played tougher in November and December, they still will be remembered for making winners out of formerly winless 2009 teams the Kansas City Chiefs, Carolina Panthers, and Detroit Lions.   Zorn’s overall head coaching record stands at 12-17 and the Redskins since starting 6-2 in 2008 have a record of 6-15 in their last 21 games.  Expect Snyder, who is known for spending money on his team — signed prize free agent DT Albert Haynesworth to 7 year, $100 Million Contract w/ $41 Million guarantee and CB DeAngelo Hall to a six year, $55 million deal ($23 million guaranteed) – to go after a big name former head coach (see Mike Shanahan, Bill Cowher, or someone else) to come in and run his team.  I wonder if Snyder does bring in a new “football man” to run things, what will happened with his loyal minion Vinny Cerato.

Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears — Now that the Bears have their franchise quarterback (Jay Cutler), everything was supposed to be perfect in 2009…wrong.  Another underachieving season (record of 5-8 through 13 games) and Super Bowl XLI seems like a distant memory.  The only thing that could keep Smith around is that he is due around $11M dollars next year.  If Smith is allowed to return by GM Jerry Angelo, then some big changes are coming to his coaching staff.

Eric Mangini, Cleveland Browns – Last week’s big win over the Steelers aside, “Man-genius” has been a disaster in his first season in Cleveland.  From players complaining about “Voluntarily” having to take a bus ride to his summer camp to some veterans overall disinterest, what could go wrong has gone wrong for two-win 2009 Browns.  To make matters worse, the Browns are looking for a new GM/football czar to replace Mangini’s former handpicked GM George Kokonis.

Gary Kubiak, Houston Texans – At a record of (6-7) with only 3 games left, it is looking more likely that the Texans are headed for their 3rd straight (8-8) finish.  After 4 years in Houston, Kubiak was expected to deliver a playoff team to the former 2002 expansion franchise.  Unfortunately the Texans have been inconsistent once again and several players on their roster have missed long stretches of time with injuries.  With GM Rick Smith looking to be around for another year given the young talent that he has assembled, expect Kubiak to be the “Fall Guy” in Houston.

John Fox, Carolina Panthers – After a great year in 2008, you knew 2009 would be a tough one for the Panthers – Carolina in 15 years in the league has never posted back-to-back winning seasons.  The Panthers are (5-8) with 3 games to go and their roster looks like a MASH unit.  Fox will need to answer to owner Jerry Richardson about what has gone wrong with quarterback Jake Delhomme and a defense that is not producing big plays any longer.  After eight seasons in Charlotte and the team’s Super Bowl appearance long gone (2003), expect the Panthers to move along without Fox.  Did I also mention that former Steelers’ Super Bowl winning head coach Bill Cowher already has established roots in the Carolina area?

Raheem Morris, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – It has only been one year for one of the NFL’s youngest head coaches (33), but some people around the league are already saying that Morris maybe in over his head.  Morris fired his former offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski before the 2009 season even started and recently he stripped defensive coordinator Jim Bates of his role, so there is no one else to blame for the Bucs problems.  The Bucs currently have a record of (1-12) and they could possibly not win a game in their remaining 3 games (@SEA, @NO, and ATL).  With the Glazer family looking to get back to the success of the Tony Dungy era, they could be looking in a new direction after the season.

Other head coaches potentially on the Hot Seat:  Dallas Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips (Not known for being the sternest coach with players. And owner Jerry Jones wants to not only make the playoffs, but he also wants to “win” a playoff game for the time since ’96); Oakland Raiders head coach Tom Cable (Off the field troubles and he works for Al Davis…enough said); and Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio (It could be a playoff win or bust after 7 years in Jacksonville);

NFL Head Coaching Candidates

Mike Shanahan — former two-time Super Bowl winner with Denver Broncos

Bill Cowher — Current CBS Analyst and former Steelers’ Super Bowl XL winner

Brian Billick — Current FOX Analyst former Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl winner

Jon Gruden — Current ESPN analyst (signed an extension) and former Bucs’ Super Bowl winner

Marty Schottenheimer — Former head coach in Cleveland, Kansas City, Washington, and San Diego

Jim Haslett –former Saints head coach and UFL head coach

Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer

New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams

Miami Dolphins DB’s Coach Todd Bowles

Minnesota Vikings Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier

Washington Redskins Secondary Coach Jerry Gray

Jets Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer

Baltimore Ravens Defensive Coordinator Hue Jackson

St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur

Montreal Alouettes (CFL) head coach Marc Trestman

Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett

Panthers Asst. head coach and RB’s coach Jim Skipper (former head coach of the SF Demon – XFL)

Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Mike Nolan

Mike Martz — Former Rams head coach and NFL Network Analyst

UFL Coaches:  Jim Fassel (won UFL’s 1st championship), Dennis Green, and Ted Cotrell

Minnesota Vikings RB’s Coach Eric Bienemy

Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey

New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator Pete Charmichael

Arizona Cardinals assistant head coach/offensive line coach Russ Grimm

Miami Dolphins WR’s Coach Karl Dorrell

San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera

San Diego Chargers Assistant head coach Rob Chudzinski

Mike Heimerdinger, Titans offensive coordinator

USC head coach Pete Carroll

New Mexico State head coach DeWayne Walker

Iowa head coach Kirk Firentz – former Belichick disciple

Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and an award -winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)

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