Posted January 17, 2013

NFL Coaching/GM Carousel Tracker 2012-2013

NFL Coaches
After 14 seasons, the Andy Reid era in Philadelphia is over. (Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

After 14 seasons, the Andy Reid era in Philadelphia is over. (Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

Throughout the offseason, we’ll be monitoring the 2013 head coaching carousel, with updates on all of the firings, hirings and rumors across the league.

BLACK MONDAY PRIMER

Eagles

Out: Andy Reid (4-12 in 2012, 130-93-1 overall with Philadelphia)

What Went Wrong: Um … everything? After starting the season 3-1, the Eagles absolutely imploded in all facets, aided by a brutal run of injuries that felled (on the offense alone) Michael Vick, Jason Peters, DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy Todd Herremans and others.

Starting with a Week 5 loss to the Steelers, the Eagles dropped eight games in a row, sealing Reid’s fate — it was believed that he entered the season with a playoffs-or-bust stance from owner Jeffery Lurie. Despite Reid’s nine playoff appearances in Philadelphia, and a trip to the Super Bowl, back-to-back years of sitting home come January forced the Eagles to make a change.

Eagles GM Howie Roseman reportedly will keep his job.

Roster outlook: The big decision — one that must be made soon — concerns Vick’s future with the franchise. Assuming the Eagles cut bait on their $100 million man, mission No. 1 will be figuring out who’s under center next season. Nick Foles showed improvement when pressed into duty as a rookie, but will the Eagles turn the starting QB job over to him?

The Eagles reportedly are projected to be upwards of $18 million over the cap in 2013, so several other high-priced vets may join Jason Babin and head out of town. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is set to be a free agent, too, so the Eagles may need to find some help in the secondary.

More than likely, Philadelphia will carry its late-season youth movement into 2013.

Reportedly interviewed/interested in: Keith Armstrong, Jay Gruden, Chip Kelly, Dirk Koetter, Doug Marrone, Mike Nolan, Lovie Smith, Ken Whisenhunt

Hired: Chip Kelly.


Bears

Out: Lovie Smith (10-6 in 2012, 81-63 overall with Chicago)

What Went Wrong: The Bears collapsed following a 7-1 start this season, and even back-to-back wins in Week 16 and 17 could not save Smith’s job — or get Chicago into the playoffs. As SI’s Don Banks reported in his “Black Monday Primer,” Bears ownership had grown tired of the Bears’ inconsistency so, despite Smith’s Super Bowl trip back in the 2006 season, the franchise will head in another direction.

Injuries certainly did not help this season, with Matt Forte, Brian Urlacher and multiple offensive linemen falling. However, Chicago made an aggressive move last offseason to add Brandon Marshall, believing this team was close to contending for a championship. Missing the playoffs for a second straight season was a breaking point.

Roster outlook: The Chicago Sun-Times recently quoted an NFL executive as saying that the Bears “can do whatever they want” in free agency this coming offseason. They’ll have a ton of cap space — a cushion that could grow if the Bears cut ties with Julius Peppers (saving $8.1 million of the $17.6 million he’s owed in 2013) and restructure Jay Cutler’s contract into an extension.

Brian Urlacher and 2012 Pro Bowler Henry Melton lead the Bears’ list of potential free agents, but Chicago will return a boatload of talent next season and should be able to add to it. The question, as always: Can Chicago upgrade on the offensive line?

Reportedly interviewed/interested in: Bruce Arians, Keith Armstrong, Darrell Bevell, Pete Carmichael, Tom Clements, Joe DeCamillis, Rick Dennison, Mike McCoy, Mike Priefer, Mike Singletary, Marc Trestman

Hired: Marc Trestman.


Chargers

Out: Norv Turner (7-9 in 2012, 55-41 overall with San Diego); GM A.J. Smith

What Went Wrong: Did the Chargers have an elite defense this season? No. What they did have, however, was a defense that finished in the top half of the league and was good enough to contend for a playoff spot. But, oh, that offense …

Ryan Mathews, expected to have a breakout season, broke his collarbone in the preseason and barely topped 700 yards rushing. With Vincent Jackson off to Tampa Bay, the Chargers never found a viable replacement, as Robert Meachem turned into one of the biggest free-agent busts of the past decade. And, behind an inconsistent offensive line, Philip Rivers failed to ever find a consistent groove.

The result: a third straight season without a postseason berth in San Diego.

Smith was unable to stop that downward spiral — both he and Turner somehow avoided being let go after 2011, only to flop again in 2012. Smith’s most impactful moment as the Chargers’ GM: drafting Eli Manning in 2004, then swapping him for Rivers in a trade that changed both the Chargers and Giants’ futures.

Roster outlook: San Diego currently has 19 players set to be unrestricted free agents and another five who could be restricted. Among the latter group is wide receiver Danario Alexander, who stepped up late to (finally) give Rivers a reliable target.

Of the potential unrestricted free agents, both starting guards (Louis Vazquez and Tyronne Green and both starting cornerbacks (Quintin Jammer and Antoine Cason), among others, could walk.

Rivers has three years and more than $40 million left on his deal.

Reportedly interviewed/interested in: Bruce Arians, Doug Marrone, Josh McDaniels, Jim Mora, Andy Reid; Jimmy Raye, Matt Russell

Hired: Mike McCoy; Tom Telesco as GM.


Cardinals

Out: Ken Whisenhunt (5-11 in 2012, 45-51 overall with Cardinals); GM Rod Graves

What Went Wrong: Is there a more inexplicable occurrence from the 2012 NFL season than the Cardinals’ 4-0 start, which included a win in New England? Arizona collapsed suddenly and spectacularly after that, losing 11 of its last 12. The meltdown cost Whisenhunt and Graves their jobs, and will leave Arizona hitting the reset button across the board.

The main culprit was one of the worst offensive lines in recent memory. Arizona had the league’s worst rushing attack — LaRod Stephens-Howling led the team in yards with 357 — and its QBs were sacked a whopping 58 times. Oh, and those quarterbacks? Well, there were four of them, each as unimpressive as the last. Kevin Kolb wound up missing 10 games, and John Skelton, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer limped across the finish line.

The secondary, which was a top-five unit, was wasted by a defense that allowed more than 2,100 yards rushing.

Roster outlook: The Cardinals have done a decent job locking up their key players for the near future — Larry Fitzgerald, who is signed through 2018, is the linchpin there. Of those who could walk this coming offseason, safety Rashad Johnson, running backs LaRod Stephens-Howling and William Powell, and linebacker Paris Lenon will be among the players Arizona may consider keeping.

The offensive line needs a total overhaul, and a new QB likely has to be found. Those two chores will keep the Cardinals’ next coach busy.

Reportedly interviewed/interested in: Todd Haley, Ray Horton, Mike McCoy, Andy Reid; Dave Caldwell, Steve Keim

Hired: Steve Keim as general manager.


Chiefs

Out: Romeo Crennel (2-14 in 2012, 4-15 overall with Kansas City); GM Scott Pioli

What Went Wrong: The Chiefs started this season with high hopes, thanks to a 2-1 close to 2011 and the return of some key players from injury. They ended it totally beaten down, physically and emotionally.

The unquestionable, tragic low point came on the first day of December, when linebacker Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend, then took his own life as Crennel and GM Scott Pioli looked on.

Everything football-related paled in comparison, but the Chiefs’ season had turned south well before the nightmarish Belcher situation unfolded. Remarkably, Kansas City did not take its first lead of the season until Week 10 (the Chiefs’ Week 3 win came in overtime). Taking a lot of the blame was QB Matt Cassel, who finished just 1-7 in eight starts before Brady Quinn took over the starting job.

Roster outlook: Kansas City’s rebuild has to start at quarterback, even though Cassel has two years left on his deal. Also likely headed out is Dwayne Bowe, who played out 2012 on a one-year contract. Glenn Dorsey, Peyton Hillis and Branden Albert are among the other key potential free agents. The Chiefs could be much tighter to the cap, though, than you’d want for a new coach taking over a 2-14 team.

The good news: Kansas City’s best playmakers (aside from Bowe) — Jamaal Charles, Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson and Eric Berry — all are under contract for 2013.

The Chiefs announced on Jan. 4 that GM Scott Pioli had been fired, as well.

Reportedly interviewed/interested in: Bruce Arians, Dirk Koetter, Andy Reid; John Dorsey

Hired: Andy Reid; John Dorsey as GM.


Bills

Out: Chan Gailey (6-10 in 2012, 15-33 overall with Buffalo)

What Went Wrong: Pretty much the same problems surfaces as in Gailey’s first two seasons in Buffalo — inconsistent quarterback play, awful run defense and an inability to win within the division.

So, where to start amongst those issues? Well, the Bills had the worst rush D in the league this season, with the Patriots and Seahawks each topping 240 yards against them and San Francisco grinding out 311 yards on the ground. Between a defense that could not get off the field and an offense that could not stay on it (Buffalo finished minus-13 in turnover differential and Ryan Fitzpatrick fired 16 interceptions), the Bills were fighting uphill battles constantly.

Gailey’s 4-14 mark against the AFC East no doubt helped push Buffalo’s brass forward on this decision.

Roster outlook: Buffalo could find itself with money to spend, especially if it wiggles out from under bulky contracts like that of Fitzpatrick. The Bills could save $4.45 million by axing their inconsistent QB, and he might be just the first of many to get a pink slip — Chris Kelsay, Nick Barnett and Georg Wilson all could be on the chopping block.

Getting pending unrestricted free agent safety Jairus Byrd back under contract will be a key, but the Bills reportedly have begun working on that goal already.

C.J. Spiller, Stevie Johnson and (if healthy) Fred Jackson return for a nice starting point on offense, and the defense should have plenty of room to improve, with a high-priced but underachieving defensive line leading the way.

Reportedly interviewed/interested in: Ray Horton, Doug Marrone, Mike McCoy, Lovie Smith, Ken Whisenhunt

Hired: Doug Marrone.


Browns

Out: Pat Shurmur (5-11 in 2012, 9-23 overall with Cleveland); GM Tom Heckert

What Went Wrong: For Shurmur, the most problematic development may have been the arrival of new owner Jimmy Haslam. It’s tough enough for coaching staffs to hang around through ownership changes, let alone when a staff then produces a 5-11 record. The same could be said for Heckert, who traded up high enough in the 2012 draft to land Trent Richardson … but not high enough to score either Robert Griffin III or Andrew Luck.

Shurmur’s team competed well all season, despite the sub-.500 mark — eight of their 11 losses came by 10 points or less, including all of their first four. But there were not enough game-changers on offense, even with Richardson’s and Josh Gordon’s arrivals. There certainly was not enough pop to overcome a defense that finished near the bottom of the league against the pass.

Roster outlook: The Browns took some major strides to rebuild their offense, starting with QB Brandon Weeden and Richardson. Weeden endured a difficult rookie season and, at 29 years of age, will force the Browns to make a quick decision on him. A line built around left tackle Joe Thomas and 2012 draft pick Mitchell Schwartz could be a strength.

The Browns also should have some nice pieces back on defense, starting with cornerbacks Joe Haden and T.J. Ward. They could have some money to spend in the offseason, but the Browns have work to do to get out of the AFC North basement.

Reportedly interviewed/interested in: Ray Horton, Chip Kelly, Dirk Koetter, Doug Marrone, Bill O’Brien, Josh McDaniels, Nick Saban, Marc Trestman; Steve Keim, George Paton, Doug Whaley

Hired: Rob Chudzinski.


Jets

Out: GM Mike Tannenbaum

What Went Wrong: Arguably, the bigger news here is that (for now) Rex Ryan will stick as the Jets’ head coach. Owner Woody Johnson announced that decision along with Tannenbaum’s firing early on Black Monday.

Just two years ago, Tannenbaum could do no wrong as the Jets reached back-to-back AFC title games. They dropped to 8-8 in 2011 and 6-10 in 2012, though, with a roster plagued by talent gaps and a circus-like situation at quarterback. Owner Woody Johnson may have been the mastermind behind Tim Tebow’s arrival, but Tannenbaum handed Mark Sanchez an egregiously large contract.

Roster outlook: Will Sanchez return next season? Tebow is, almost certainly, headed out the door, one way or another. The Jets are in brutal shape with regards to the 2013 salary cap, meaning veterans like Bart Scott, Calvin Pace and Sione Pouha could be headed out with Tebow. Even with those moves, however, the Jets would have very little money to spend — and upwards of 15 roster spots to fill.

Reportedly interviewed/interested in: Tom Heckert, Bill Polian, Marc Ross

Hired: None


Jaguars

Out: Mike Mularkey (2-14 in 2012, his only season with Jacksonville); GM Gene Smith

What Went Wrong: The Jaguars finished tied for the worst record in the league at 2-14. This was Smith’s fourth season as GM, so he has had ample time to deliver a winning product, and he simply has failed. With a new owner (Shad Khan) in place, the writing was on the wall.

Mularkey’s fate was left in the hands of new GM David Caldwell, and Caldwell wasted little time sending Mularkey packing. One day after the Jaguars announced that they had hired Caldwell, he made the decision to can Mularkey, who was given just one season on the Jacksonville sidelines.

Roster outlook: Disappointing QB Blaine Gabbert was one of Smith’s biggest gambles, and the Jaguars may have to start over at that position. Jacksonville has several key unrestricted free agents, including RB Rashad Jennings, DT Terrance Knighton and CB Derek Cox. Will the new GM choose a total overhaul of the roster?

Reportedly interviewed/interested in: David Caldwell, Steve Keim, Bill Polian, Marc Ross

Hired: Gus Bradley; David Caldwell as GM.

64 comments
jamescat
jamescat

How often were you planning to update this story? The Bills have been in Arizona interviewing candidates who don't even appear on your list -- knowing that makes me suspect your comment about keeping this updated is more wish than fact.

Wick
Wick

Sounds like Chief's Clark Hunt is heading the coaching search instead of GM Scott Pioli. An email by the organization "Save our Chiefs" says he has contacted Peyton Manning as to why he didn't even talk to the Chiefs. Sounds like Peyton told him Pioli was a dictator if this is true. Here is the email http://intheneutralzone.com/?p=9448

BernardMcGrath
BernardMcGrath

Did you spell the former Jets GM name wrong? I thought is was spelled TannenBUM!

SkipperSam
SkipperSam

 Jets Owner Woody Johnson brought in Tim Tebow

 

He just needs to FIRE RYAN and hire Josh McDaniels

CamdenCritic
CamdenCritic

Reid should always be remembered as the coach who chose to purposely  lose a Super Bowl rather than humiliate his quarterback by pulling him when he was puking  with 2 minutes left.

MauiMarco
MauiMarco

No surprises in the firings, except maybe an eyebrow raised for Lovie.

JoePhillips
JoePhillips

What i would like to see is our corrupt worthless politicians help to the same standard as Football coaches, not only are most of Politicians incompetent most are corrupt as hell. Obama would never have been reelected if there was in standards for incompetent corrupt worthless Politicians or Bush Jr. the Stupid most are so incompetent and corrupt they should be be give a long drop and sudden stop at the end of a strong rope!    

Duke
Duke

If they paid the players what they should be paid, the players would be changed, not the coachs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

kellyspamier
kellyspamier

I posted this earlier and haven't found out anymore about it. Still not sure if there's any truth to it. http://www.ficksitall.blogspot.com They say Marty Schottenheimer is coming back. Haven't read that anywhere else except the same link on a couple Chiefs message boards. They were right about Crennel being fired, but everybody was saying that.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

So the Jets are keeping Ryan. And they almost have to keep Sanchez with his enormous salary. That sounds like 8-8 at best to me for next year.

bigcgcg
bigcgcg

Anyone think Coughlin is on his last leg?  I know they were about to fire him right before the Giants caught fire and won 2 superbowls...however, his team has been mediocre in the regular season each yr. 

JeffIngraham
JeffIngraham

I just read the list to my wife.  After each firing she interjected "but we haven't fired Jim Schwartz?"

bigcgcg
bigcgcg

What...no mention of a Raiders' firing?  Who is the raiders coach anyway? He looks like he just graduated high school.

TonyL
TonyL

Musical chairs.

GeorgeLovell
GeorgeLovell

I'm surprised the Jets kept Ryan.  But maybe they bring in Norv Turner as his offensive cooridnator, the position he probably should have...

marker264109
marker264109

too bad the Chiefs can't go right to the heart of their problems:  Clark Hunt, a soccer wussie who refuses to even live in KC.   His father, Lamar, is rolling over in his grave.   Sonny Boy is no NFL owner, he just inherited the team from Daddy.

 

OH, and take that sorry excuse of a GM (Pioli) with you, and HE can take that sorry excuse for a QB (Cassell).

 

Clean house and start all over .... How much worse could it be ???

Rocket Dog
Rocket Dog

It would be awesome if Andy Reid would come to Arizona and work with Kolb again.

pantherfan
pantherfan

Forgot the Panthers as they are looking for a GM as well.  Possibly a coach, but probably not with the way they finished.

syndromezed
syndromezed

OK, I know we're on the back end of the country and all, but the last time we didn't hear anything official about Turner and Smith being dumped until later, it was because Spanos hadn't come down off the crack pipe before deciding to keep them around one more year.   And now we're waiting again....if he keeps them around I'm going to encourage whatever San Diego fans are left to burn him in effigy, then do an investigation to find out if Turner and/or Smith have pictures of Spanos' love child and secret family in May-hee-ko that he doesn't want exposed.

waucondajonda
waucondajonda

Oh..and congrats to the Jets organization! Keep the lying Rex Ryan. What a joke organization....kind of a contrast to the Patriots, Redskins, Colts, 49ers, Seahawks, Vikings, Packers, Ravens, etc. When you read about them having to pay out so much money, going to have to get rid of some players to make it work, and they have 15 holes to fill...NICE WORK GUYS! But, you have Mr. Organization himself...Mr. Integrity as your coach....what a loser organization! I am thinking there must be some connection to the Washington Wizards in the NBA..

W.k.
W.k.

Gailey (along with the albatross that is Dave Wannstedt) needed to go, but Buddy Nix is still employed?  He's just as if not more responsible for the Bills' failures.

Cool
Cool

Lovie Smith deserved better and hopefully he will get better.  I think this is the worst decision of the day.

TJMarks
TJMarks

Get back to work Amod.

 

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

 @kellyspamier I searched around a bit and everything says he's not coming back. I wish he would. A class act.

John4
John4

 @GeorgeLovell I'm surprised, too because several times later in the year the Jets looked awful and unprepared to play.  Several games they knew they would lose prior to playing.  

The Tim Tebow fiasco didn't help the team appear as if they knew what they were doing.  Mark Sanchez is not a good QB.  Intersestingly, the Jets have a good OL and a decent defense.  If they could make a few changes, they could be very good.  Keeping Ryan is a mystery that cannot be defended.  He simply is more suited to a defensive coordinator role.  

(You take Ryan as your DC, Norv Turner as your OC, and Chip Kelly as your HC, and you really have a team that has a good chance of being very very good).  

John4
John4

 @marker264109 I agree 100%.  Look at the "2011 Colts model".  Get much younger, cut all expensive older players, get a new QB, HC, GM and lots of younger players.  Start over.  

How much worse could it be?  It would be MUCH better than their current version.  

Rocket Dog
Rocket Dog

 @Rocket Dog

 Becuase Arizona doesn't need a star qb. it would be cool if they got one but since they are paying Kolb a lot of money and he has proven he can win gamesthey should keep him.

Vader_Time
Vader_Time

 @Rocket Dog

 Why would you want to keep Kolb?  He has missed more games than he has even dressed out for.  Cut your loss and let him go be a back-up QB somewhere else

bigcgcg
bigcgcg

 @pantherfanRivera blows. He needs to go. Get Cowher in here, he lives in NC for pete's sake!

 

syndromezed
syndromezed

Oh, and I forgot to mention, let that bonehead Jammer go already.  For every decent play he makes, he gets burned on at least one deep ball and perpetrates 2 pass interference penalties.  He's a net loss, drop him already Mr. Replacement GM.   The Eagles can have him to pair with Asomugha. :)

bigcgcg
bigcgcg

 @waucondajonda

 Jets fans are royally screwed. How do they not fire that blowhard Ryan?  How can they keep that washed-up Sanchez as QB?  Did you see the way he played at Buffalo?  Holy crap.  Isn't that the same Buffalo they destroyed in week 1?  Shows how Sanchez has regressed, not gotten better. Pay him off and send him packing. Jets are doomed next year.

bigcgcg
bigcgcg

 @Cool

 They should have canned their offensive line instead.

waucondajonda
waucondajonda

 @Cool This is a day I have been waiting for for a few years. Smith is BORING! No creativity. Can you IMAGINE the Bears facing the Redskins? Holy smokes....they would be eaten for breakfast! It is so pathetic to see Smith at the microphone after a game. No emotion. Just trite little comments. He has had PLENTY of opportunity and done little. The Packers have taken him to the cleaners repeatedly. No..this is a good day for Chicago. He was better than Wannstedt but in the same boring mold. No fire in his belly. He acted like it was just a job, not a passion. Maybe a nice guy but that is about it. Yes, a defensive coordinator is his slot but he isn't a good head coach!

 

Congrats goes to the new GM! Now you have your work cut out! Bring in a Harbaugh!!!!

BosephHeyden
BosephHeyden

 @Cool Not really.  Lovie Smith is a GREAT Defensive Coordinator.  But he's no head coach.  He has no idea how to properly set up an offense.  His tenure started off with an offensive coordinator by the name of Terry O'Shea, who brought with him quarterbacks Jonathan Quinn and Craig Krenzel, neither of whom could throw a SPIRAL to save their lives.  Then he picked up Ron Turner, who's offensive strategy was to "not lose".  Once they got themselves an actual quarterback, they went with Mike Martz, who's system is obsolete in the modern NFL, and he settled on Mike Tice this year for the sole reason that he could dumb down Martz's offense, despite Tice never being an Offensive Coordinator in his career.  During all this, he managed to somehow convince the front office that Devin Hester wasn't just a wide receiver, but a #2 wide receiver (which he most certainly isn't either).

 

And that's not even mentioning that the defensive scheme was designed around one man, Brian Urlacher, being healthy and on the field to tell everyone where they needed to be.  The media can hype on how bad the O-Line was the past few years, but any Bears fan could tell you that this defense was capable when Brian Urlacher was healthy and downright incompetent when he wasn't.

 

The Bears need a coach that can actually put competent personnel into every area.  Lovie was good when he had a dominant defense, which only happened four times.  He won't be out of a job for long, but he's probably best suited for a Defensive Coordinator spot.

jamescat
jamescat

 @ChrisBurke_SI1  @jamescat Like much better -- thank you. Your list now squares with everything I've heard around here, plus one candidate (Marrone) I haven't heard much about. 

John4
John4

 @Vader_Time  

Yes, Kolb is a never was and never will be.  Why keep him, especially at his current salary levels?

John4
John4

 @bigcgcg  I think Cowher would take the job.  The Panthers are not far away from being a 10-6, 11-5 team.  With Cowher, and about a year, they are one of the top teams in the NFC.  Maybe even better than that.

John4
John4

 @bigcgcg  NFL contracts are not guaranteed.  If the Jets want to get rid of Sanchez, all they need to do is cut him.  

MAXtrax
MAXtrax

 @BosephHeyden  @Cool Well, the entire offensive problem is NOT Tice or Lovie. Cutlers spoiled brat attitude is kiling any chances of exceeding further than your teams ability.  There's no telling where you could go with all that talent if you had a leader not giving a crap if he wins or losses. It pains me to say this since I'm a die hard Vikings Fan but everytime I watch cutler on the field I sense NO connection with his team mates. It's not the calls that are the issue it's Cutlers decision making to defy!

doublejtrain68
doublejtrain68

 @BosephHeyden  @Cool I disagree. Lovie IS a good coach. He had a lot of injuries, plus it's not his fault that management was incompetent and wouldn't improve their offensive line and get some receivers that could help Cutler before they finally did this season. They had Devin Hester all this time and they could have taken the PR hit and signed TO or Chad Johnson to help out. They may be idiots, but they can play. 

doublejtrain68
doublejtrain68

 @John4  @bigcgcg Maybe if he gets a great offensive coordinator (I do like the Norv Turner idea), it can turn him around. He has the tools to be a great QB — he just needs confidence (and better receivers).