Article I wrote 1/3 about recent Coach Firings in the NFL that was never picked up. Updated 1/10
The end of the NFL regular season generally results in an annual dismissal of coaching staffs following a poor season. In most cases, that lack of success had extended over a series of years. In 2016, five different teams made such a move, some of them even before the season had ended.
Listed below are the five teams that are currently in the market for a new head coach, with the date of that coach’s firing determining the rank.
Jeff Fisher: Los Angeles Rams
One of the most tenured coaches in the league was dismissed on December 12th, just months after signing an extension with the team. With the exception of 2011, Fisher had served as an NFL head coach since 1994, yet his years with the Rams were mediocre, at best. A 31-45-1 record makes for an anxious fan base, especially for one re-establishing a potent fan base.
Fisher was able to draft key skill players, including wide receiver Tavon Austin, running back Todd Gurley and 2016 top pick, quarterback Jared Goff. Yet his major deal that brought a draft bonanza from Washington never really panned out.
Gus Bradley: Jacksonville Jaguars
This firing was seemingly inevitable, with Bradley never able to translate his success with Seattle’s defense to the other side of the ball. A 14-48 record was more than enough for Jacksonville, which dismissed him on December 18th. In his final game, his Jaguars team blew a 20-11 lead with six minutes left.
Bradley had plenty of draft misses, though players like wide receiver Allen Robinson have stood out. Quarterback Blake Bortles put up big numbers, but is still under siege due to offensive line troubles. Bradley was replaced by interim coach and former Bills head coach Doug Marrone. The Jaguars have hired Marrone as their official head coach and have named Tom Coughlin executive Vice President of Football Operations.
Rex Ryan: Buffalo Bills
Like much of his time with the New York Jets, Ryan offered bombast but wasn’t able to get the Bills into the postseason during his two seasons before his December 27th dismissal. Some feel that wasn’t enough time to turn the franchise around, yet most of the 2016 wins came against weak opponents.
During his two years, Ryan never drafted anyone that had a real impact. That helped limit any uptick the team might have enjoyed. The strong rumor is that interim coach Anthony Lynn will soon be named to officially replace Ryan.
Chip Kelly: San Francisco 49ers
For the second time in as many years, the 49ers got rid of a coach of a coach they had hired during the offseason. Kelly twice beat the Rams to give him his only wins in San Francisco, yet his once-groundbreaking offense appears destined to return to the college ranks.
The man who hired Kelly, Trent Baalke, was also fired, with his team management bringing in plenty of suspect talent when it came to draft picks and forcing out Jim Harbaugh after the 2014 season. The Niners can only improve as they get set to hire their fourth coach in as many years. The 49ers own the second pick in the draft, so whoever come in as GM and head coach will have a high pick to work with in the rebuilding process.
Mike McCoy: San Diego Chargers
McCoy was finishing up his fourth season and with the Chargers presumably headed to Los Angeles next year, team ownership was likely to want a new look anyway. McCoy, who finished with a 27-37 record when he was fired on January 1st, made it easy by blowing a number of games, He also had the dubious distinction of having the Chargers be the only team to lose to the Cleveland Browns.
Bringing in players like Keenan Allen, Melvin Gordon and Joey Bosa wasn’t enough, especially with issues created by McCoy’s inability to adapt to changes during the course of a game.
The NFL is always cold when it comes to the firing of coaches, this year was no different. Guess that just comes with the territory: you either get that first down, or someone comes in who can, hopefully.