They call it “Black Monday” for a reason. Several head coaches saw their dreams of making it in the NFL come to end. What does the future hold for the departed names?
Before becoming head coach of the Detroit Lions, Jim Schwartz had a long, successful run as a defensive coordinator the Tennessee Titans. There is no reason to think he can’t do that job again, and the Denver Broncos may be the ideal landing spot. Their current man in charge, Jack Del Rio, is a hot name for head coaching positions in both college and the pros. His departure would open the door for Schwartz who coaches a very similar scheme and would inherit a rather talented unit.
Leslie Frazier – Minnesota Vikings – New home: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (DC)
It was a heck of run for Leslie Frazier but unfortunately he just couldn’t get the right pieces in place fast enough to save his job with the Minnesota Vikings. Now he is likely to return to his defensive coordinator duties somewhere else, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may prove a good home. Word is Lovie Smith is a strong candidate for that job, and he runs a similar defense to Frazier. There is some thinking that Smith will want to bring in Rod Marinelli, but it doesn’t seem like Dallas will let him go. That makes Frazier a solid choice for Smith to bring in given the similar philosophies they share.
It looked premature, smelled premature and felt premature. The Cleveland Browns weren’t happy with a 4-12 finish, but enough potential was there to warrant Rob Chudzinski keeping his job at least for one more season. Instead he is ousted after one year. It’s a shame for Cleveland fans, but Chudzinski should land softly somewhere else. He’s too good of an offensive mind not too, and more than one team may feel he deserves another crack at the head position. One that might give him that shot is the Washington Redskins. They will want somebody who can get the most out of Robert Griffin III, and Chudzinski has a proven track record with quarterbacks.
Mike Shanahan – Washington Redskins – New home: Retirement
The veteran head coach looked like he had things going in the right direction for the Washington Redskins, but like with so many situations it kind of fell apart. The initial promise of 2012 was quickly snuffed out by a 3-13 finish in 2013 that leaves Washington back at the drawing board. There is still a strong chance Shanahan will get consideration again for a head job, but at age 61 it’s becoming a question of whether he has the energy and drive for it anymore. He believes the reasons for the collapse go towards a lack of free agency flexibility to improve the roster, but the truth is his fate was sealed after missing the playoffs for the third time in four years. Perhaps it’s better for him to take his money and rings and call it a career.
Greg Schiano – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – New home: Penn State (HC)
His midseason run may have almost saved the day, but Greg Schiano couldn’t pull off any more magic. His time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers felt short and ultimately came to pass after a regression from a 7-9 season last year. His place may be better served in the college ranks where he had his greatest success. With Bill O’Brien on the fast track to a head job in Houston, the spot at PennState is about to become vacant. Schiano’s name has already been connected to it and he would be a fitting choice. He has displayed a knack for elevating previously mediocre programs to contention and can continue the work O’Brien started with the Nittany Lions.