NFL: Six Coaches Who Should Be Fired After Week 17

Angel Navedo@NamedAngelSenior Writer IDecember 24, 2008

The NFL has become a "what have you done for me lately" kind of league.

Some coaches can have long shelf-lives with patient owners. They're given every benefit of the doubt, an opportunity to bring in their personnel, and eventually provide favorable results.

But patience is a luxury most owners can't afford in a league where monstrous contracts must be immediately justified.

Expectations are a powerful thing. Goals are set for a reason. And when men prove they can't achieve those results, its imperative for one to make necessary changes that would be better for the organization.

Note: Interim coaches will not be listed, as they're usually one-and-done. It looks like Mike Singletary could be the exception, though.


Rod Marinelli, DET:

You can't lead your team to an 0-15 season and keep your job. It simply cannot work that way.

It appeared that Marinelli was on his way to turning the team around in his first two seasons, but the team regressed—tragically.

Detroit's lost a few close games, and the Lions have been completely obliterated in others. Dropping games in such fashion makes it difficult to ever bounce back. Imagine being on a team where you expect everything to go wrong.

It's Marinelli's job to motivate, but it's still a sad situation all around. The Lions can't break from their tradition of being perennial losers.

I do believe Marinelli is a good coach. He's been a class act every step of the way, no matter how poorly the season played out.


Herman Edwards, KC:

One of the NFL's most inept coaches in a long time, Herman Edwards has made football teams crumble to his feet. He runs great players he adopts from the previous coach directly into the ground, and he fails to properly identify and utilize upcoming talent. 

Edwards is a player's coach—the guys on his team usually love him. Unfortunately, he's not a football coach.

When he took over the Chiefs, he said he believed their potent, high-scoring offense was "arena league." He planned to scale back the scoring.

He managed that.

Edwards' teams consistently have significant injury problems. Fool me once, right?

In his final season with the New York Jets, the injury bug took a bite out of the team. New York played six different quarterbacks that year.

This issue is a testament to his light conditioning program. His training camps are known to be one of the least intense in the NFL. Sure, the players enjoy taking the practice field in light pads for around two hours at a time. But I'm sure they hate it when they realize their bodies aren't prepared to tackle an entire season. 


Romeo Crennel, CLE

There should be no surprises here.

Crennel's been given the benefit of the doubt for multiple seasons, and has returned nothing but a series of disappointments to Cleveland fans.

He set expectations too high after 2007 and folded. When people expected Cleveland to turn the corner and become a competitive squad in a strong division, Crennel gave them an uninspired team.

He's brought in plenty of talent for the next coach to build upon—unless Braylon Edwards' recent comments run him completely out of town. But Jamal Lewis should have another year in his legs, and a healthy Brady Quinn could provide the confidence the team needs to succeed.

Crennel's biggest problem in 2008 was his inability to get his team to respond to adversity. In the Browns' losses, they've taken the field looking flat and without emotion—as if they're expecting something to go wrong.


Marvin Lewis, CIN

It's odd suggesting that Marvin Lewis be fired. If anyone's played against his team this year, it almost feels like he wasn't there anyway.

The Bengals are in desperate need of a coaching change. The culture in Cincinnati is a bad one. The team has a poor reputation, and the last two seasons have been a series of unfortunate events not even the best fiction writers could have plotted.

Between players being arrested, becoming centers of attention, and failing to perform on the field, the Bengals are in dire need of a complete overhaul.

That would have to begin at the very top. The Bengals need a coach that will get the very best out of them. Lewis used to look like he would be that guy, but two consecutive years of underachieving changes all of that.

The bright side: a new coach has an offense in place. Carson Palmer should be healthy in 2009. TJ Houshmandzadeh should be the primary receiver, and Cedric Benson could effectively rejuvenate his career if given an entire offseason to prepare with his new team.

Notice this conversation doesn't include Chad Johnson.


Eric Mangini, NYJ

Going from 4-12 in 2007 to being over .500 in 2008 should never be considered a failure. It's the kind of turnaround fans dream of after a bad season.

But Eric Mangini made it all absolutely meaningless.

The Jets went from sitting two games ahead in their division at midseason to needing help for a playoff berth in Week 17. If New York doesn't make it to January, Mangini's job should be in legitimate danger.

It's not about the losses the Jets have had since being 8-3—it's about how they've lost. The Jets don't lose close games. They aren't taken down to the wire by a great team, pulling out great plays when it matters most.

They lose in overtime to struggling one-win teams, on the road to second-and-third string offensive players, and at home to backup quarterbacks who haven't started since high school.

Perhaps the Mangenius is too smart for his own good, and he's over-thinking potential game scenarios. It's the only way to explain some of his decisions. 

Facing a team that can't stop the run? Come out in a five-receiver set. Should it matter that the AFC's leading rusher is in the backfield, or that Leon Washington is a breakaway runner?

A team sending seven men to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl shouldn't have underutilized talent.


Norv Turner, SD:

Does it matter that the Chargers could make it into the playoffs with a win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday?

Absolutely not.

When Norv Turner was hired to coach the Chargers, it was evident that the front office believed their team was so talented that it could be self-sustaining. All they needed was a guy to wear the big headset on the sidelines and talk after the games, right?

The approach worked in 2007. Turner may have resembled someone capable of coaching one of the AFC's top teams. But since then, the Chargers have provided familiar results for anyone who's paid an inkling of attention to Turner throughout the years—inconsistent and underachieving.

Turner has looked absolutely clueless on the sidelines during his team's struggles. He's made no adjustments throughout the year.

Injuries have taken their toll on San Diego, but that didn't stop their opponent in the 2007 AFC Championship from remaining competitive, did it?

Norv Turner is not a good head coach. He's not creative. Philip Rivers' monster year is not a testament to Turner's coaching prowess. A playoff berth should not blind anyone to this reality.



Angel Navedo covers the New York Jets for His work can also be found on, where he is the Head Writer, and on—a premier social networking site built exclusively for NFL fans.

He is also a Senior Writer at the Bleacher Report, where he is one of the New York Jets Community Leaders.



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