It’s the Monday after the finale of the NFL regular season and already several coaches have received the axe.
The New York Jets fired head coach Rex Ryan along with general manager John Idzik. The Jets finished their abysmal season with a 4-12 record, good enough for last place in the AFC East and its worse season since 2007. The Jets haven’t seen the playoffs since 2010 after appearing in back-to-back AFC championships. According to a report by ESPN, the Jets will interview Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn on Saturday.
In Atlanta, the Falcons fired head coach Mike Smith after back-to-back losing seasons. Despite going into week 17 with a 6-9 record, they still had to opportunity to win the NFC South last Sunday in a matchup against the Carolina Panthers. Even with having home field advantage, the Falcons got pummeled 34-3. Despite a regular season record of 66-46 under Smith, the Falcons were 1-4 in playoffs.
After winning the NFC south with a 13-3 record in 2012, expectations were high in Atlanta but the drastic decline the last two seasons has shown a need for change in the organization. According to multiple reports, the Falcons have hired the search firm Korn Ferry to help in the search of potential coaching candidates.
Another team that typically has high expectations year in and year out, the Chicago Bears, fired general manager Phil Emery and head coach Marc Trestman. The Bears finished the season 5-11, last in the NFC North. Chicago hasn’t seen the playoffs since winning the division in 2010.
The Bears are a team with plenty of talent including arguably the best wide receiver duo in the NFL in Alshon Jeffrey and Brandon Marshall. However, they have far from lived up to that potential. The firing of Trestman comes only two years after the firing of Lovie Smith in 2012. The Bears are said to have hired consultant Ernie Accorsi to aid in the search of a new general manager and coach.
Last but not least, the San Francisco 49ers and head coach Jim Harbaugh parted ways. Despite turning the 49ers around coaching them to three straight NFC championships, the season was filled with rumors of tensions between Harbaugh and the 49ers front office mainly general manager Trent Baalke. San Francisco finished the season 8-8, third in the NFC West and missing playoffs. There were high Super Bowl hopes for a team that’s seen much success in the Harbaugh era but a 17-7 loss against the Seahawks in week 15 sealed their fate.
Harbaugh was 49-22-1 in his tenure and 5-3 in the postseason with a Super Bowl appearance in 2012. According to reports Harbaugh will make his return to the Michigan Wolverines following weeks of speculation. Harbaugh played quarterback at Michigan from 1983 to 1986. While it doesn’t appear the 49ers have approached any candidates yet, whoever comes in to San Francisco will have big shoes to fill.