SAN DIEGO – By early afternoon Monday, seven NFL coaches were looking for work.
With the regular season ending the day before, the firings came at a furious clip and the following were sacked: Andy Reid in Philadelphia, Lovie Smith in Chicago, Norv Turner in San Diego, Pat Shurmur in Cleveland, Romeo Crennel in Kansas City, Chan Gailey in Buffalo and Ken Whisenhunt in Arizona.
Though he also had a losing record, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan held onto his job while general manager Mike Tannenbaum was let go. Jacksonville fired its GM, Gene Smith, and coach Mike Mularkey could go soon, too.
The Chargers, Browns and Cardinals made it a clean sweep. San Diego dismissed GM A.J. Smith along with Turner. Cleveland fired GM Tom Heckert along with Shurmur. Arizona fired GM Rod Graves along with Whisenhut.
Reid was the longest tenured of the coaches, removed after 14 seasons and a Super Bowl appearance in 2005 – a loss to the New England Patriots.
Smith spent nine seasons with the Bears, leading them to the Super Bowl in 2006 – a loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
Turner went 56-40 with the Chargers. San Diego won the AFC West from 2006-09 but was 3-3 in the playoffs and missed the postseason the last three years.
Wisenhut led the Cardinals to the Super Bowl in 2008 – a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Gailey was dumped after three seasons with the Bills; Shurmur after two with the Browns; and Crennel had one full season with the Chiefs.
Reid took over a 3-13 team in 1999, drafted Donovan McNabb with the No. 2 overall pick and turned the franchise into a title contender.
He led them to a run of four straight NFC championship games, a streak that ended with a trip to the NFL title game. But the team hasn’t won a playoff game since 2008 and after last season’s 8-8 finish, owner Jeffrey Lurie said he was looking for improvement this year. Instead, it was worse. The Eagles finished 4-12.
Andy Reid won the most games of any head coach in Eagles history and he is someone I respect greatly and will remain friends with for many years to come, Lurie said. But, it is time for the Eagles to move in a new direction. Andy leaves us with a winning tradition that we can build upon.
Whisenhut had more wins than any other coach in Cardinals history, going 45-51, 4-2 in the playoffs during his six seasons.