Dolphins, Bears, Vikings fire head coaches

As the NFL regular season draws to a close, the coaching carousel has officially started spinning.

Black Monday, an annual bloody tradition of pink slips for disappointing staff, arrived with a big surprise and many casualties. Here is an overview of the coaches and decision-makers who are now looking for a new job:

Miami dolphins

The biggest shock of the day came early, when Miami sacked Brian Flores after three years and consecutive winning seasons.

Flores, whose Dolphins have gone 9-8 this campaign and knocked out the Patriots on Sunday, is expected to be a top contender elsewhere, ESPN reported.

Miami general manager Chris Grier will remain for a seventh season.

Brian Flores was a surprise victim on Black Monday.

“I made the decision today to part ways with Brian Flores,” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said in a statement. “After assessing where we are as an organization and what we need to improve on in the future, I determined that the key dynamic in our football organization is not performing at the level I want it to be and I felt this decision was in the best interests of the Miami Dolphins. I believe we have a talented young team in place and have the potential to be much better in 2022. “

Ross, who is essentially a Michigan booster, told reporters he doesn’t view Jim Harbaugh as Flores’ replacement.

Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman
Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman were both fired on Monday.

Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota cleaned up the house, sacking the two Mike head coaches Zimmer and executive vice president and general manager Rick Spielman after the two married for eight years at the top of the organization.

The Vikings were 8-9 this season and missed the playoffs for the second straight year. Both seasons have started with much higher expectations.

Zimmer ends his tenure with a 72-56-1 record and three playoff appearances. He reached the NFC Championship after the 2017 season, but lost to the Eagles.

This season, the Vikings’ defense was the problem, allowing the third-most yards in the NFL.

Spielman had been with the Vikings since 2006.

Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace
Matt Nagy (left) and Ryan Pace (right) were both eliminated.

Chicago Bear

Chicago will be on the hunt for a new head coach and general manager after firing Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace, respectively.

Nagy, the 2018 NFL Coach of the Year, has never reached those heights again. After a 12-4 first season with the Bears, the acclaimed offensive guru couldn’t find the right quarterback to help Chicago win. He couldn’t make Mitchell Trubisky a star, and his first season with the Justin Fields first round was a failure.

The Bears have gone 6-11 this season, with no winning record since 2018.

Pace had hired Nagy and was responsible for the drafts that brought in Trubisky and Fields. He also distributed two first-round draft picks for Khalil Mack, a superstar linebacker, in a high-profile move that didn’t lead to enough wins.

Dave gettleman
Dave Gettleman oversaw the worst record in four years in Giants history.

New York Giants

There has been a target on the back of Giants general manager Dave Gettleman all season. It was the year to get in shape or to go out. After four disastrous campaigns, the Giants chose the latter.

Gettleman was brought back in 2018 in hopes of turning the franchise around. Four years later, the team went 19-46, their worst record in four years in franchise history.

The Giants have gone 4-13 this season and have been plagued by weak offense and missteps from their backup quarterbacks.

The fate of Giants head coach Joe Judge remains unanswered as he waits to speak to team owners. However, it’s likely that Judge will return to the Giants for another season.

Already gone

  • The Broncos got a head start in their coach search by sacking Vic Fangio on Sunday after three lost seasons. Denver has also reportedly fired offensive coordinator (and former Giants coach) Pat Shurmur and special teams coordinator Tom McMahon. The Broncos have suffered five consecutive losing seasons.
  • The Jaguars fired Urban Meyer in mid-December following one scandal after scandal, the latest being a report he allegedly kicked kicker Josh Lambo.
  • Jon Gruden stepped down as Raiders head coach at the end of October after several years-old emails he sent were leaked, which included homophobic and misogynistic language (and which criticized Commissioner Roger Goodell). Rich Bisaccia took over and led Las Vegas to the playoffs.

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