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The NFL’s Black Monday

Happy Black Monday everybody! The playoffs are set and there’s 12 teams preparing to win a championship. Everyone else is making vacation plans. Some of these people might be taking longer vacations than everyone else…because they’re about to be fired. Call it schadenfreude, call it sour grapes, but I love talking about which of these coaches is going to get the ax.

Some of these are no brainers. To make it easy, I’ll call that the No Brainers section. Then there’s the fringe guys. These are the guys who either should or shouldn’t be fired but will or won’t for any number of reasons. Lets call that the Fringe section. Finally, you have that would be a total shock if they got fired. We’ll call that the Not On Your Life section. That’s where we’ll begin.

Not On Your Life

Tom Coughlin (9-7) – The Giants finished the second half of the season 3-5 and missed the playoffs despite looking like the defending world champions in some of they games including the regular season finale against Philadelphia. I can’t blame Tom Coughlin on the team’s second half struggles even though it would be easy to. Jerry Reese has done a great job putting the pieces in place to win. I think if anyone needs to go, it’s defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, although the defense looks great against a terrible Eagles team. I think Kevin Gilbride needs to go. His play calling is frustrating. At the end of the day, it’s hard to foresee what changes have to be made off the field.

Jason Garrett (8-8) – You could do much worse than a .500 record. Garrett isn’t a bad coach and I think he puts the team in good positions to win. The talent is there but they have one problem. Tony Romo. He keeps telling us that he’s a new man and for a few weeks, his numbers in December proved that. Then he had to win one to get in the playoffs and he throws passes to everyone but his teammates. I think unless Jerry Jones has a fit (which is likely) Garrett remains as the head coach. I’d love to see Rob Ryan get a shot though.

Mike Munchak (6-10) – Its only his second season in Tennessee so I think ownership is willing to give him a little more time. He has to make significant improvements or this time next year, he’ll be a No Brainer. Another year for Jake Locker to improve and build chemistry with his wide receivers (especially a healthy not suspended Kenny Britt) and bolstering the defense should help. What doesn’t help is the Titans playing in the AFC South.

Dennis Allen (4-12) – Take away the two best offensive players on any team and if they win more than 4 games, I’ll be surprised. Allen can’t be blamed for the injuries to Darren McFadden. At one point, I’m pretty sure the Raiders contacted me to play running back. They haven’t had a quarterback since Rich Gannon so that’s a problem. 4-12 is more than I thought they’d win.

Fringe coaches

Jim Schwartz (4-12) – I really think he deserves another season. The Lions have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball and there’s no reason they can’t make some noise in that division. Lets face it, that division is brutal. Facing Adrian Petetson twice, Aaron Rodgers twice and that Bears defense twice is no small task. I do think Schwartz needs to do a better job of keeping Stafford motivated and focused. If he doesn’t, I might have to because Stafford crapped the bed late in the season for my fantasy team.

Mike Mularkey (2-14) – Its hard I argue against firing him but MJD was a huge part of that offense and he was working with a second year quarterback who had no one to throw to. Sign Tim Tebow, play him at fullback and open up holes for Jones Drew. He’ll be Mike Alstott 2.0…trust me. They can’t get much worse. At least they’ll sell tickets.

Rex Ryan (6-10) – I can’t stress this enough. Rex Ryan is not the reason for the Jets being terrible. If anything, Mike Tannenbaum is. The sad part is, Mike T won’t get fired because he’s so good at working around the salary cap. Rex did what he could with what he was given and when he wasn’t given much else, the team started to fade. Can anyone honestly say the Jets front office made an effort to improve the roster? Rex Ryan shouldn’t be fired but it wouldn’t surprise me if he was. Hell if he does get fired and the Giants drop Fewell, I’ll take him.

No Brainers

Romeo Crennel (2-14) – This is the easiest decision any general manager would have to make. Unfortunately for Scott Pioli, he’s fired too. Even worse, there’s no legitimate quarterback prospects worth using the top overall pick on. They better trade down.

Norv Turner (7-9) – There’s no reason for them to have this record in the AFC west. The Broncos are the only competition. That means that between the Raiders and the Chiefs, they basically had 4 wins already in the bank. Norv, go home and take AJ Smith with you.

Chan Gailey (6-10) – Gailey has to go. They landed the huge free agent in Mario Williams and the defense didn’t improve one bit. He waited too long to make CJ Spiller a bigger part of the offense. Not a good play caller. This team has some talent.

Ken Whisenhunt (5-11) – I don’t want to hear about all the quarterback issues. I don’t. They started the season 4-0 and one of those games was against the Patriots. No excuse. Whisenhunt has to go. And Larry Fitzgerald has to demand a trade. No one would blame him. Not one person.

Pat Shurmur (5-11) – I actually think Shurmur could’ve been one of those fringe guys.  They played everyone really tough, they’re a young squad and are only a few pieces away from being a contender is a relatively wide open division. The Steelers took a step back, the Ravens showed signs of weakness and the Bengals are the Bengals. I think he’ll be fired but I don’t think he should be.

Andy Reid (4-12) – Its hard to imagine an Eagles team that would be running bubble screens and quick slants all the damn time but it’s about to happen. Reports are that Andy Reid has already been let go. I kinda like Reid. He’s a good coach that just shows up and does his job. This team just isn’t responding anymore. I think whoever takes over will have a good chance to do well right away…with Reid’s guys.

Asante Samuel Speaks On Andy Reid

So there you have it. Your unofficial guide to Black Monday. Hopefully the fish are biting when these guys are all at the lake together.

The Queens native handles all things football on KeepingItRealSports.com. Stan attended Holy Cross High School in Flushing, Queens and SUNY Old Westbury. He's spent his post graduate career in different parts of the media, as an editorial assistant, a production assistant and a board operator. He can be followed on twitter @FunnyManStan and routinely performs standup comedy all over New York City.

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