New Years Eve Firing Spree Hits NFL

St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), January 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

New Years Eve Firing Spree Hits NFL


Quite a day for NFL sacks.

Seven coaches and five general managers were fired Monday in a flurry of pink slips that were delivered the day after the regular season ended.

There could be more, but so far the sent-packing scorecard looks like this:

Andy Reid in Philadelphia, Lovie Smith in Chicago and Ken Whisenhunt in Arizona all coaches who took teams to the Super Bowl Norv Turner in San Diego, Pat Shurmur in Cleveland, Romeo Crennel in Kansas City and Chan Gailey in Buffalo.

Three teams made it a clean sweep, saying goodbye to the GM along with the coach San Diego, Cleveland and Arizona. General managers also were fired in Jacksonville and in New York, where Rex Ryan held on to his coaching job with the Jets despite a losing record.

Reid was the longest tenured of the coaches, removed after 14 seasons and a Super Bowl appearance in 2005 a loss to New England.

Smith spent nine seasons with the Bears, leading them to the 2007 Super Bowl a loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

Turner has now been fired as head coach by three teams. San Diego won the AFC West from 2006-09 but didnt make the postseason the last three years.

Both Norv and A.J. are consummate NFL professionals, and they understand that in this league, the bottom line is winning, Chargers President Dean Spanos said in a statement.

Whisenhunt was fired after six seasons, including taking the Cardinals to a Super Bowl loss to Pittsburgh after the 2008 season. He had more wins than any other coach in Cardinals history, going 45- 51, and has one year worth about $5.5 million left on his contract. GM Rod Graves had been with Arizona for 16 years, nine in his current position. A 5-11 record after a 4-0 start cost him and Whisenhunt their jobs.

Gailey was dumped after three seasons with the Bills; Shurmur after two; and Crennel had one full season with the Chiefs.

Reid took over a 3-13 Eagles team in 1999, drafted Donovan McNabb with the No. 2 overall pick and quickly turned the franchise into a title contender.

He led them to a run of four straight NFC championship games, a streak that ended with a trip to the NFL title game. But the team hasnt won a playoff game since 2008 and after last seasons 8-8 finish, owner Jeffrey Lurie said he was looking for improvement this year. Instead, it was even worse. The Eagles finished 4-12.

When you have a season like that, its embarrassing. Its personally crushing to me and its terrible, Lurie said at a news conference. He said he respects Reid and plans to stay friends with him, but, it is time for the Eagles to move in a new direction. …

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