Black Monday is in full swing and ... as I type this ... SEVEN head coaches have reportedly been fired with a few spots still in flux. While I won't begin to attempt to speculate about who is in line to fill these spots, I will try to figure out what the futures hold for the fired coaches.
LOVIE SMITH: Chicago fired Smith after nine seasons and a 80-63 record. Smith led the Bears to the Super Bowl where they lost to Peyton Manning's Colts (remember, Rex Grossman was his QB on that team). He went to three playoffs and two NFC Championship games. Aside from his 5-11 mark in his first season, his worst record was 7-9 (twice).
While not coming completely out of nowhere, this is the one firing that has fans and players upset. To me, if the Vikings had lost to the Packers on Sunday and the Bears would've qualified for the postseason, Smith wouldn't have been fired.
I think he lands on his feet. He could take a season off, but with all of the openings around the league, I can see him finding a job pretty soon. While he got the Bears to the playoffs just once in the last six seasons, he has fielded good teams ... even though those teams faltered late in the season. Someone like Arizona could be a landing spot.
NORV TURNER: I think Turner's time as a head coach is over. He's had three shots (Redskins, Raiders, Chargers) and not much to show for it. In 15 years as a head coach, he's been to the playoffs just four times ... the three of them were his first three seasons with a Chargers team that was 14-2 the season before he took over. He drove a team that was on the brink of a title into an also ran.
Turner will show up elsewhere in the league. He's a darn good offensive coordinator and will find a job somewhere doing that. Head coach? No more.
KEN WHISENHUNT: Whisenhunt was a Big Ben miracle pass to Santonio Holmes from winning a Super Bowl with the Arizona Cardinals. Yes ... the Cardinals. Aside from that, he hasn't accomplished too much. His team fell off when Kurt Warner hung it up. Since then, the Cards offense has been a carnival of clowns helming the QB slot and a lack of being able to have any offensive consistency. You can argue that ... like Andy Reid in Philly ... Whisenhunt attaching his horse to one quarterback (Kevin Kolb) cost him his job.
Whisenhunt could become a retread coach. He did lead the Cardinals to two of the three winning seasons the organization has had in the last 28 years.
What could hurt him is that laughable lack of offense the Cardinals had. Being an offensive coordinator prior to getting the Arizona gig, more was expected from him and it could be argued that it was Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald (and Anquan Boldin) that deserves more or the credit for the team's success.
CHAN GAILEY: I'm not going to sugar coat this, but I couldn't believe Gailey got the Bills job in the first place. Like Turner, I think his opportunity to be at head coach ... at least in the NFL ... is gone.
Gailey didn't really fail in Dallas as much as he wasn't in the class of head coaches that Jerry Jones was used to. In his three seasons with Buffalo, the Bills finished last in the AFC East each time. The Bills have missed the playoffs for 13 straight seasons.
Gailey could emerge at a second or third tier college football program or somewhere coaching offense. I seriously doubt anyone would take on the 60 year old in a head coaching capacity.
ROMEO CRENNEL: Last year, Crennel won the last two games for the Chiefs after taking over the team with three games left. This year, Crennel's Chiefs won just two games all season long.
I feel bad for Crennel. He took over the team in an emergency interim basis last season and those two wins catapulted him to the full-time job. He also will have that image of Jovan Belcher committing suicide in front on him at the Chiefs facility. He is one of the good guys in sports and a class act in any field.
Kansas City isn't bare. They'll have the top overall pick in the draft for having the league's worst record and, oddly, had five guys elected to the Pro Bowl (three of which were from Crennel's defense). Crennel's career may be more or less as a defensive coordinator at best. He'll be somewhere soon.
ANDY REID: Reid should find somewhere else to be a head coach. He had a great run in Philadelphia (five NFC Championship games, one Super Bowl appearance) that just ran out of gas. He was just there too long and got stale.
Reid will get a good job, but he'll want one with a bit more power than the rest of the guys on this list. That would keep him away from some owners or GMs, but someone will give in.
PAT SHURMER: I think he blew his one shot. Back to being a quarterbacks or tight ends coach.