Seven coaches fired; Bears, Cards must travel to interview McCoy; McDaniels staying put

The day following the conclusion of the NFL season has come to be known as Black Monday, as that's when axes traditionally fall on coaches and GMs who have failed to live up to expectations.

Most of the moves have been long been expected, while others may come as surprises. Job interviews likely began informally or clandestinely days or weeks ago, but this week they will start in earnest, and even quite publicly if other teams follow the model set by Denver two years ago.

But as pointed out by Mike Silver, a disproportionate few candidates will be minorities, especially when it comes to offensive coaches. To that end, we'll be referring to today as Not-Black Monday until the (not too distant, we hope) day the NFL's coaching color barrier is broken in earnest.

Of course, this is not to suggest that race is the factor that most directly determines the makeup of the league's coaching fraternity. If anything, nepotism, favoritism, and a proclivity to turn to already failed retreads are the most glaring problems in a flawed system.

Recent mention of Brian Schottenheimer as a head-coaching candidate, and the employment of someone like Bob Slowik as a defensive coordinator - ever - stand as prime examples.

The hiring and employment, at least until today, of head coaches like Chan Gailey and Romeo Crennel - who have combined to produce two winning seasons in eleven as head coaches - to multiple jobs, speak volumes about how the men who run football teams often appear more interested in covering their asses rather than actually winning championships.

With all of that in mind, let's look around the league at who will be or has been fired today, and their potential replacements (we'll update throughout the day):


Although his team has no offensive line to speak of, and still finished 10-6, Lovie Smith was fired in Chicago, as the Bears missed the playoffs.

That defense, and the presence of Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, and Matt Forte - much as we mock the former Broncos - makes the Chicago job a terrific one for any candidate, save the (unreasonably?) high expectations.

To that end, the Bears, along with Arizona, have reportedly received Denver's permission to interview Mike McCoy. Don Banks thinks McCoy is an ideal fit for Chicago, although could envision all-around awesome guy Tom Cable as a candidate there too.

Falcons ST coach Keith Armstrong will interview with Chicago and Kansas City; Bucs OC Mike Sullivan will also meet with the Bears.

Possible replacements: Mike McCoy, Keith Armstrong


Chan Gailey is out, and GM Buddy Nix is rumored to be on his way out of Buffalo.


Tom Heckert and Pat Shurmur have been canned by new owner Jimmy Haslam and his right-hand man Joe Banner.

According to Jamison Hensley, Haslam and Banner seem confident they will land either Chip Kelly or Bill O'Brien.

Possible replacements: Chip Kelly, Bill O'Brien, Dirk Koetter


GM Rod Graves and Ken Whisenhunt have both been axed, as was expected.

Mike McCoy will interview in Arizona this week. The Cards will also talk to Andy Reid, and their own DC Ray Horton.

Possible replacements: Andy Reid, Ray Horton, Mike McCoy


As had been reported long ago by Kevin Acee, both A.J. Smith and Norv Turner are out in San Diego; Turner says he'd prefer to find an OC job over sitting out a year.

The team has hired Ron Wolf to consult in the search for a new GM and coach; the former Packers GM had worked in a similar role last year for Oakland.

Jason Cole says the Spanoses will have a move to Los Angeles in mind when they select their next coach, and will want a head man with a personality appropriate for the big town - someone like Jon Gruden, Mike Holmgren, or Chip Kelly.

Bruce Arians, who went from Pittsburgh's trash to Indy's treasure in a matter of months, is apparently another target of San Diego's.

Possible replacements: Jon Gruden, Mike Holmgren, Chip Kelly


Romeo Crennel is done in KC, but the jury is still out on Scott Pioli.

Adam Teicher says Clark Hunt, not Pioli, will direct the search for a new coach; Teicher floats Mike McCoy's name among potential candidates.

Possible replacements: Dirk Koetter, Keith Armstrong


Dallas is said to be looking for a new OC to take play-calling duties away from HC Jason Garrett.


GM Jeff Ireland will retain his job in Miami, despite rumors that his mother is a lady of the night.


Andy Reid has been fired after 14 seasons in Philly.

Former Denver coach and current Falcons DC Mike Nolan will interview for the Eagles gig.

Possible replacements: Jon Gruden, Dirk Koetter, Mike Nolan


Jacksonville fired GM Gene Smith, and his replacement will get to determine the fate of coach Mike Mularkey.

Possible replacements: Andy Reid


Sticks Johnson dumped GM Mike Tannenbaum, but will retain Sexy Rexy, which will set up a dysfunctional power structure where the coach has seniority over his boss. Classic LOLJets; keep the circus in town.

The situation there is apparently too toxic for Bill Polian, who rebuffed the team's request to meet about their GM gig.


Whatever awaits Ron Rivera, no decision is expected to come today.


As mentioned earlier this morning, Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen are reportedly safe, while OC Greg Knapp and three other assistants are out.


Mike Munchak is reportedly safe in Tennessee, and so is GM Ruston Webster. However, team president Mike Reinfeldt has gotten the boot.


The first team to be linked to Mike McCoy is the Bears. Next, add Arizona. The Broncos are apparently granting permission to teams to interview McCoy only if they're willing to do so in Denver; Bears brass will be in for a visit this weekend.

Jon Gruden is finally ready to throw his hat back into the ring, with Philadelphia and San Diego reportedly high on his list.

Andy Reid may generate interest from the Jags or Cardinals, if those teams fire their current coaches; there's also the possibility he reunites with Heckert, formerly of the Eagles and Browns.

Falcons OC Mr. Dirk Koetter, who had interviewed with the Broncos prior to John Fox's hiring, will meet with the Chiefs, Eagles, and Browns this week.

Dan Wetzel says the frenzied pace of Oregon's offense has Chip Kelly a hot candidate around the league.

Josh McDaniels will not be a candidate for any head jobs, as nobody wants him he says he won't be taking any interviews.

Lovie Smith has reportedly been contacted by four teams about their coaching vacancies, although none of the organizations have been identified as of yet.

Mike Nolan will interview in Philly.

Shanny says he doesn't want any of his assistants, including his own son Kyle Shanahan, interviewing for other jobs while Washington's season is still ongoing.

Niners personnel director Tom Gamble will interview for GM openings with the Chargers, LOLJets, and Jaguars.

Updated 8:34pm ET

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM