Mike Shanahan Leads List of Head Coaches Shown the Door

Bryan Hollister@too_old_4stupidAnalyst IJanuary 1, 2009

Super Bowl winner Mike Shanahan. Gone.

Bill Parcells' protogé Romeo Crennel. Out.

Eric Mangini. Pink-slipped.

Rod Marinelli, adios.

Three teams with less-than-expected results, and one team that defied all convention and lost everything. Now four teams that are leaderless.

In the case of Shanahan, the Broncos lose not only a head coach, but a General Manager as well. Make that leaderless and rudderless.

So what happened? With three of the teams that's pretty easy to figure out.

Detroit went 0-16, for pete's sake. In this age of supposed league parity, where any team has a better-than-average shot of acquiring impact players, Detroit has missed the mark time and time again.

Going 0-16 is a feat that takes monumental effort to achieve. In that aspect at least, the Lions get an A+ for effort.

But fans and owners—most of them, anyways—want winners on the field. And Rod Marinelli was not one of them. Man enough to stand in front of the podium week in and week out and accept responsibility, yes, but producer of winning results on the field, no.

Nice knowing you, Rod, and take with you the consolation that no one has had success in making the Lions a playoff threat lately. They've had five winning seasons in the last 20 years—no wonder Lion's fans are jaded—and haven't seen the playoffs in person since 1999.

Romeo Crennel has not lived up to the expectations that come with tutelage under Bill Parcells, one of the most sought-after football minds in the game right now. The Cleveland Browns have had one winning season with Crennel at the helm, a 10-6 record in 2007 that wasn't good enough to earn them a playoff bid.

With a record of 24-40 since Romeo took the reins, postseason success has eluded the Browns, and a new direction is in order.

Crennel shouldn't worry too much about finding a job; he has five Super Bowl rings as an assistant, so his resume is still pretty solid.

Eric Mangini started off fast, guiding the Jets to a 10-6 record as a rookie coach in 2006. But a 4-12 season the next year, followed by a monumental collapse at the end of 2008, a year that was supposed to be a shining one for them with the acquisition of Brett Favre—whole other story there—Mangini was shown the door.

Jets fans are fickle—the two most successful coaches in Jets history as far as playoff records are concerned were Herm Edwards and Bill Parcells, and they both got knee-capped when they faltered after a few short years. 

The longest tenured coach in Jets history is Hall of Fame coach Weeb Ewank, who headed the team from 1963-1973. His record was 71-77-6, with a 2-1 playoff record.

Parcells is the only coach the Jets have ever had with a record over .500, managing a record of 29-19 plus 1-1 in the playoffs.

He lasted all of three years.

Shanahan would seem a bit more complicated. He has been with the Bronco's organization for 14 years as a head coach. In that time, he has compiled a record of 138-86, with two Super Bowl wins in 1997 and 1998.

Shanahan is a wizard in the draft. He is known for acquiring players from deep in the field and turning them into star players. Terrell Davis, Mike Anderson, and Tatum Bell all were players who were picked up late, and all had unexpectedly good careers. Each had at least one year with 1,000+ yards rushing as Broncos.

However, Denver missed the playoffs each year for the last three years, compiling a record of 24-24. For all his brilliance, even carrying the dual role as General Manager for the Broncos, Shanahan was unable to lead the Broncos to the Big Show after Elway retired.

Once again, fans want success. And they want to watch their team play in January.

Shanahan couldn't deliver, so he was delivered a pink slip.

Maybe it's not so hard to figure out after all.