Three NFL head coaches lost their jobs on what is traditionally described as ‘Black Monday’ at the end of the regular season. This day is traditionally when NFL teams look to begin their remodelling ahead of preparations for the next campaign, and it usually leaves a trail of sacked coaches in its wake.
Given their truly awful performance over the season, it was no surprise that the New York Jets dismissed Adam Gase. The Jets lost their first 13 games of the season and finished with a 2-14 record. Jets chief executive Christopher Johnson stated that while his organisation prized stability, it was now “the best decision for the Jets is to move in a different direction.”
Marrone departs Jaguars
Gase was not the only coaching casualty on Monday, with Doug Marrone losing his job as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Marrone had led the team to the AFC Championship game in 2017 but that record counted for nothing after a season where he took charge of just one win in 16 games – the worst record in the league.
Jaguars owner Shahid Khan hailed Marrone’s “passion, grit and class,” the search was now on for a replacement who shared Khan’s ambition for the franchise and wanted to work hard to reward the dedication and loyalty of the team’s fans. The Jaguars are also on the hunt for a new general manager too. Whoever takes over from Marrone will benefit from the Jaguars having the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft.
The Los Angeles Chargers also fired Anthony Lynn after back-to-back losing seasons that saw the team post 5-11 and 7-9 records. Chargers owner Dean Spanos asserted that results over the last two years have fallen well short of expectations and that football is a “results driven business.”
In an official statement released earlier this week, Lynn said that it had been “an absolute privilege” to coach the Chargers and thanked the franchise’s staff, coaches and players for all their work during his time in charge.
Broncos change Elway’s role
The changes were not limited to head coaches, with the Denver Broncos relieving general manager John Elway of his duties. Elway, a former Denver quarterback who led the team to Super Bowl titles in 1998 and 1999, also oversaw the team that won the NFL title in 2016 when general manager.
Elway will remain in his role as head of football operations, and Vic Fangio has also been retained as Broncos head coach. Denver finished the season with a 5-11 record, missing out on the play-offs, and Elway will now be part of the process of looking for a new general manager.
Elway has stated that he will be present to help the new general manager and Fangio in their decision making, acting as a “sounding board” and providing alternative perspectives.