Less than 24 hours after the completion of their 16th regular-season game, NFL clubs are already making coaching changes in the hope that new leadership will bring about positive change in the wins column in 2009.
So far, the Jets' Eric Mangini, the Browns' Romeo Crennel and the Lions' Rod Marinelli have been dismissed. But more changes are expected to be announced.
The 37-year-old Mangini led the New York Jets to a 10-6 record as a rookie head coach back in 2006, but the team fell to 4-12 last year. And it appears that upper management began to doubt their young head coach over the past month as the team lost its grasp on the AFC East lead by losing four of its last five games. At a press conference on Monday morning, Jets owner Woody Johnson said the tough decision was "a judgment call" and that he had not taken the decision to take his team in a different direction lightly.
Mangini finished his three-year stint in New York with a 23-26 record as head coach. He had one year remaining on his contract.
In Cleveland, General Manager Phil Savage learned on Sunday night that he was being fired, and on Monday morning, the Browns announced that they were making a change at the head coaching position as well. According to TheOBR.com, Scout.com's Cleveland Browns site, Crennel was notified prior to 10:00 a.m. ET that he was being relieved of his duties after his team had posted a 4-12 record during his fourth season.
Expectations were running high for the Browns in 2008 after they missed the playoffs by just one win last season. But their offense sputtered, especially during their six-game losing streak to close out the season. The Browns didn't score a single touchdown in any of those games.
Crennel finished his head coaching career in Cleveland with a 24-40 record. Read more about his career and rumors about Cleveland's next moves at TheOBR.com.
Detroit owner William Clay Ford announced on Monday morning that Rod Marinelli would not be returning as the team's head coach. The team also made some other shifts in their coaching and personnel ranks as reported at RoarReport.com, Scout.com's Detroit Lions site.
The change was inevitable after the Lions became the first NFL team to lose all sixteen of its regular season games after dropping their season finale to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. During his three seasons in Detroit, Marinelli's Lions won just 10 out of 48 games.
Although these three moves were made quickly, they aren't expected to be the only head coaching changes made around the NFL Speculation on who could be next include Dick Jauron, whose Buffalo Bills team started out 5-1, only to drop eight of their final ten games. Wade Phillips, despite owner Jerry Jones' recent vote of confidence, could also be ousted following Dallas' humiliating loss at Philadelphia after stumbling through the second half of the season. Herman Edwards and Marvin Lewis have both struggled to produce consistent results in Kansas City and Cincinnati, respectively, so their tenure could be in the balance as well.
For additional analysis of the state of the head-coaching positions around the league and potential replacement candidates, read Senior NFL Reporter Adam Caplan's feature on The Coaching Hot Seat.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com. You can contact him by email through this link.