Ax falls on Shanahan, Frazier, Chudzinksi, Schwartz, Schiano on Black Monday
You get fired! And you get fired! And you get fired!
NFL owners made like a very angry Oprah on Monday, handing out pink slips to everyone within shouting distance. This year was supposed to be light on firings, but the day which has come to be known as Black Monday around the league was as dark as ever on Dec. 30.
The Browns got a head start on the proceedings, firing their head coach, Rob Chudzinski, late Sunday night. The NFL is no place for struggles, but the Browns have taken high expectations to stupid extremes by now firing Chudzinski after just one season — on the heels of firing Pat Shurmur after just two. Shurmur will be paid about $2 million next season, while Chudzinski will make close to $10 million over the next three years to NOT coach the Browns. Good luck to whoever’s next.
It was a bad day for many of the coaches on the firing list, but Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan may have been happy just to get away from ultra-controlling owner Daniel Snyder. The Skins apparently kept the media in a room with curtains drawn and told them they couldn’t look out the windows, complete with interns serving as security personnel. Sounds par for the course for Snyder. To be fair, Shanahan basically quit on the team weeks ago and finished his four-year stint in the nation’s capital at 24-40. They went to the playoffs last year, but totally fell apart this season. Robert Griffin III may be holding a party tonight.
The NFC North duo of Leslie Frazier, the Vikings’ head coach who thought Josh Freeman could play quarterback, and Jim Schwartz, who had the misfortune of coaching in cursed Detroit, also were both let go Monday. Both of those jobs are actually pretty desirable. If Minnesota can find a QB, they can be a playoff team, and Detroit has a lot of pieces in place, including a franchise QB, elite defensive line and the best receiver in football.
And the last of five coaches to bite the dust was Tampa Bay’s Greg Schiano, who most thought had saved his job by winning three of four games in a stretch over late November and early December. But the Bucs closed out a 4-12 campaign with three straight losses. Apparently that was enough to cost the former Rutgers head coach his job.
But Rex Ryan still has his job. And the Jets players couldn’t be happier.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports. Basically, if you’re a coach and your owner calls today, don’t answer.