NFL coaching changes on the way as 2 more fired
Let the NFL coaching changes begin.
The St. Louis Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the latest teams
to fire their coaches, bringing to five the number of NFL clubs
looking for the right man for the job.
The Rams fired Steve Spagnuolo and general manager Billy Devaney
on Monday, and about an hour later the Bucs fired Raheem Morris and
his entire staff.
Both were first-time head coaches, and both lasted three
seasons. Spagnuolo leaves with a 10-38 record; Morris with a 17-31
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said Monday he hasn’t decided
whether to retain Jim Caldwell after Indy finished 2-14 without
Peyton Manning in the lineup. Irsay, however, fired vice chairman
Bill Polian and general manager Chris Polian.
The Jacksonville Jaguars started the coaching carousel by firing
Jack Del Rio on Nov. 29; two weeks later the Miami Dolphins fired
Tony Sparano and the Kansas City Chiefs dismissed Todd Haley.
And the search is on, especially in Florida, where all three NFL
teams will have new coaches next season.
The Jaguars, with new owner Shahid Khan taking charge Wednesday,
have received permission from the Jets to interview offensive
coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and from the Falcons to interview
offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey for the vacancy.
Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said Monday he and owner
Stephen Ross have begun their search. Interim coach Todd Bowles is
a long shot, and a front-runner has yet to surface.
The Chiefs went 2-1 under interim Romeo Crennel, including a win
over the Packers, and he could end up with the job next season.
Many Chiefs players have campaigned for Crennel to be hired.
The Rams finished a 2-14 season with a 34-27 loss to the 49ers,
and could be interested in former Titans coach Jeff Fisher and
former Bucs coach Jon Gruden. Both have relationships with Rams
chief operating officer Kevin Demoff and agent Marvin Demoff.
Morris, 35, was supposed to be the rising young star in the
coaching ranks after his Bucs won 10 games last season and just
missed the playoffs. But his team lost its last 10 games and
finished 4-12 this season.
In San Diego, Chargers coach Norv Turner says he knows a
decision on his future is being made by team president Dean Spanos
and will be announced in a matter of days. Turner says he’d be
”excited” to return to the Chargers for his sixth season because
he thinks they ”can go do some great things.”
Whether he gets the chance is up to Spanos, who also is deciding
whether general manager A.J. Smith returns.
It appears Buffalo Bills coach Chan Gailey will be back. On
Monday, he fired defensive coordinator George Edwards and replaced
him with assistant head coach Dave Wannstedt.
In Philadelphia, Eagles coach Andy Reid seems likely to return,
but first-year defensive coordinator Juan Castillo might not be
back. That could leave open a spot for Spagnuolo, who also could be
wooed by the Giants and other teams looking to upgrade their
defense. Spagnuolo masterminded the Giants’ defense that stopped
the unbeaten Patriots in the 2008 Super Bowl.