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Black Monday Preview: Which NFL Coaches Are In Danger?

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(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images North America)
(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images North America)

Black Monday in the NFL started early when the Cleveland Browns fired Rob Chudzinski on Sunday Night. He is the first casualty of the inevitable reboots that bad franchises go through after the regular season ends. Rex Ryan has been spared execution by Woody Johnson for at least another year. He was fortunate. Gary Kubiak was fired several weeks ago and his replacement may be hired soon. There are still several other coaches who are in danger of being fired.

Dennis Allen (Oakland)- Allen is in real danger of losing his job after guiding the team to a 8-24 record in two seasons as head coach. Mark Davis is an impatient man and he may not like the lack of progress. It is fair to wonder if General Manager Reggie McKenzie may be fired as well. The cap issues and lack of talent they inherited may spare them.

Leslie Frazier (Minnesota)- He has a 21-32-1 record as the head coach. He is almost a sure bet to get fired. The lack of a quality quarterback on the roster and a fading defense is what hurt him this season. The only thing that could spare him is if the Wilf family decides to keep him as a transitional figure until their new stadium is completed.

Greg Schiano (Tampa Bay)- Coach Schiano has dealt with adversity this year with the infection fiasco and the issues with Josh Freeman. He ended up being right about Mike Glennon and that is to his credit. On the downside, he is 11-21 as head coach. There is talent on this team, but they have underperformed on his watch. He didn’t lose the team, so he may be on the verge of building something. He may try to jump to Penn State before he is pushed out. It is also a possibility that GM Mark Dominik could be fired and Schiano would be retained. He also has three years left on his deal and the Glazer family may not want to pay him to sit.

Jim Schwartz (Detroit)- Already wrote that he needs to go because of the regression of Matthew Stafford and the lack of discipline. His team underachieved big time in 2013. He has the hottest seat of all. The only thing that could save him that he has a back-loaded deal and the Fords are notoriously patient with the people they hire. GM Martin Mayhew may also be let go so that Detroit can start fresh.

Mike Munchak (Tennessee)- He is 22-26 as head coach. He has been an employee of the team for over 30 years. Tennessee seems to be stuck in neutral with him. They wanted to run the ball with all the offensive line upgrades made in the offseason. The coaching staff got away from that and made the offense more passing-oriented. The team isn’t constructed to be a passing team and that hurt them. It is hard to tell what will happen to Munchak, it depends on what the new regime does in the wake of Bud Adams’ death. The new leadership may want to bring their own people in and reboot the whole franchise.

Mike Shanahan (Washington)- It is a given that Shanahan will be fired Monday morning by owner Daniel Snyder. The team was a train wreck this season at 3-13. The drama with RG III was a circus for the entire season. It will come to end and Snyder will have to pay Shanahan not to coach in 2014.

There are some other coaches who may be surprise firings such as Joe Philbin, Jason Garrett and Tom Coughlin. I think those three coaches will be retained, but Philbin is the most vulnerable because of the collapse and the Jonathan Martin situation. Garrett has Tony Romo’s injury as leverage to show that he wasn’t at fault for another 8-8 season. Jerry Jones likes coaches that are subservient to him. That is Garrett’s biggest reason to stay in Dallas. Coughlin has missed the playoffs four times in the last five seasons. The two Super Bowls have given him a lot of goodwill from the Mara family. He may have to make changes to his staff though.

It will be very interesting to see who gets canned on Monday morning. Let the fun begin!

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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