As I write this, it looks like 3 NFL coaches have been ousted following abysmal seasons in which much was expected of them. Wade Phillips, Puppet Extraordinaire, appears to be safe. With the success of rookie head coaches Mike Smith, Tony Sparano and John Harbaugh, I would expect a lot of new coordinators/position coaches to be hired instead of head coach retreads.
Eric Mangini, New York Jets: After beating the hated AFC East rival Patriots and the previously undefeated Tennessee Titans, the Jets lost 4 out of their 5 to Denver, Miami, San Francisco, and Seattle to finish at 9-7. Mangini in his three seasons with the Jets was 23-26 and 0-1 in the playoffs. Chalk this firing up to Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum trying to cover his rear and deflect any criticism from him for signing #1 NFL Girly Man Brett Favre. As for the future, the “Mangenius” should have no trouble latching on as a defensive coordinator with a solid franchise or as a head coach at a destination like Detroit. It’s too bad the Sopranos is over so he can no longer make guest appearences. However, maybe James Gandolfini can teach him a few ways to off Favre for killing his season and coaching career.
Rod Marinelli, Detroit Lions: Coach Marinelli’s Lions finished 0-16 in 2008, the only team in NFL history to do such and 10-38 in 3 seasons. Don’t blame Marinelli for all of this, folks. This is Matt Millen’s work. Marinelli should latch on somewhere as a position coach, without his son-in-law in tow. No decent coach in his right mind should take this job.
Romeo Crennel, Cleveland Browns: After finishing 10-6 last season, the Browns were expected to be a playoff team. Instead, three starting quarterbacks and 16 dropped Braylon Edwards passes later, Crennel’s team finished 4-12, good for last in the AFC North. Despite the Browns having had 10-12 players who were either selected to the Pro Bowl or who were Pro Bowl alternates during the past two years, along with Romeo, GM Phil Savage is also expected to be canned. Like Mangini, Crennel should latch on with a team as a defensive coordinator. The Browns are expected to make runs at former Steelers coach Bill Cowher (I doubt he has any interest coaching in the same division as the Steelers) and Patriots vice president of personnel Scott Pioli.