Fired NFL Coaches Who Deserve Another Shot
While getting fired from an NFL head coaching gig can be career-defining for some coaches, it doesn't have to career-ending.
In fact, three different head coaching hirings to start 2012 involved coaches who had been fired in the capacity elsewhere.
Mike Mularkey spent two years in Buffalo before Jacksonville hired him, Jeff Fisher long-led the Titans before landing in St. Louis and Romeo Crennel flamed out in Cleveland before Kansas City took off his interim tag.
A year earlier, John Fox landed in Denver after the Carolina Panthers dumped their long-time head coach.
On Black Monday, seven coaches were handed their walking papers.
Which of them will find employment as NFL head coaches moving forward? In the following slides, we give the three names we think will find work after being fired to start this offseason and why other franchise would consider giving them another shot.
By all accounts, Andy Reid was fired in Philadelphia because he couldn't maintain the high standard that he set for the Eagles franchise over the previous 14 seasons as coach of the NFL's "Dream Team."
After back-to-back seasons in which the Eagles failed to qualify for the postseason, Reid, who had compiled a franchise-record 130 wins during his tenure, was shown the door. In this case, regardless of resume, a front office change needed to be made.
While some have speculated that Reid could take a year off and return in 2014 in the vein of Fisher, it appears that won't be the case. Reid is a hot name in both Arizona and Kansas City and is expected to land one of the seven open jobs in the next couple of weeks.
A change of scenery may be allReid needs to recharge the batteries.
Whisenhunt, a respected coach throughout the league, was mostly a victim of circumstance in Arizona.
Despite a 4-0 start to the 2012 season, the Cardinals crumbled after losing quarterback Kevin Kolb to injury. A combination of John Skelton, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer at quarterback were unable to get star receiver Larry Fitzgerald the ball consistently and able to win just one game after their sizzling start.
Whisenhunt shouldn't stay unemployed long. His 45-51 record in Arizona wasn't great, but it was good enough to get the Cardinals to a Super Bowl, as helped them build a working roster outside of the quarterback position.
Expect him to be on another team's sidelines as head coach next year.
While none of the seven firings were completely unexpected, Smith's firing in Chicago might have been the most surprising.
Despite having just one season worse than 7-9 (2004, Smith's first year) in nine years, Smith was sent packing after a 10-6 season because the Bears' inability to get over the playoff hump. In five of the last six seasons, Chicago missed out on participating in the postseason. It's a harsh but expected reality of the coaching profession in today's NFL.
However, Smith brings a strong overall record (81-63, 3-3 in the postseason with a Super Bowl appearence) and an exceptionable knowledge of the defensive side of the football. Smith's landing a head-coaching gig in 2013 isn't a matter of if, but when and where.
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