Shanahan, Schwartz, Schiano, Frazier, Chudzinski fired
While playoff tickets are being punched on the final Sunday of the NFL regular season, just as many pink slips are being prepared for the following day — known as “Black Monday” in head coaching circles.
This season was no different, as five coaches were fired by their respective teams. Here’s a look at the coaches who comprise this year’s “Black Monday” class. They likely will not be the only coaches fired, but they are the first.
Rob Chudzinski, 45
The biggest surprise of this year’s axed coaches, “Chud” was a lifelong Browns fan from Toledo, Ohio, who had worked with the organization twice — as tight ends coach in 2004 and offensive coordinator in ’07-08 — before taking over the top spot this offseason. The Browns are on the verge of hiring their seventh coach since returning to the NFL as an expansion team in 1999. The next Cleveland coach will follow the distinguished headsets of Chris Palmer (5–27 record with Browns), Butch Davis (24–34), Romeo Crennel (24–40), Eric Mangini (10–22), Pat Shurmur (9–23) and Chudzinski.
Leslie Frazier, 54
Record: 21–32–1 (0–1 playoffs)
Frazier went out in style, winning the finale at the Metrodome and then shaking the hand and/or hugging each of his players as they entered the locker room. After going 10–6 and losing in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs last season, Frazier’s Vikings struggled to a 5–10–1 record this year and finished last in the NFC North division standings for the second time in three full seasons.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Greg Schiano, 47
After posting a 68–67 record at Rutgers, Schiano gave it the ol’ college try in the NFL. But his rah-rah style resulted in two last-place NFC South finishes and a pair of mini-scandals. Schiano was scrutinized for rushing the Giants while in “Victory Formation” and for playing Darrelle Revis in zone coverage.
Jim Schwartz, 47
Record: 29–51 (0–1 playoffs)
Speaking of mini-scandals, Schwartz is most known for his postgame handshake hysterics with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh. Schwartz inherited an 0–16 Lions team and had them in the playoffs three years later. But it was all down hill in the Motor City after that.
Mike Shanahan, 61
Record: 24–40 (0–1 playoffs)
Shanahan was a flashy hire for owner Dan Snyder back in 2010. A two-time Super Bowl winner with the Broncos, Shanahan had a 138–86 record with John Elway as his quarterback. In Washington, Shanahan’s legacy will be forever tied to Robert Griffin III.
The Redskins traded their first-round picks in 2012 (No. 6 overall), 2013 (No. 2) and 2014, along with their 2012 second-rounder (No. 39) to select RG3. The deal looked to be a brilliant move, as the Skins went 10–6 and earned a playoff berth in RG3’s rookie year. But an RG3 knee injury — that many blamed on Shanahan — suffered in a Wild Card loss to Seattle was followed by an ugly 3–13 year in which Snyder, Shanahan and RG3 had a public power struggle.