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You’re Fired! – NFL 2020 Black Monday Coach Firing Predictions

Written By | Jan 3, 2021
nfl, black monday, you're fired, coaches, football

ATLANTA:  Happy Hanukkah. You’re history. Merry Christmas. You’re fired. The NFL coaching carousel is about to spin like a dreidel. The NFL is a cold place in losing environments. The annual ritual of firing coaches on Black Monday is a long-established NFL tradition. As retired coach Jerry Glanville used to say, the “NFL” stands for “Not For Long.”

This season’s NFL 2020 Black Monday Coach Firing Carousel

The 2020 regular season coaching carousel was active. Several coaches were fired during the season. After starting 0-5, Dan Quinn was out as coach of the Atlanta Falcons and replaced with Raheem Morris. Bill O’Brien was ousted as as coach of the Houston Texans, with Romeo Crennel taking over. Matt Patricia was fired as coach of the Detroit Lions. Darrell Bevell took over. The New York Jets and Las Vegas Raiders both fired their defensive coordinators.

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A time to fire: Rules of the Black Monday coach firing ritual
Owners can fire any employee they want whenever they want, but that does not mean they should. There are certain unwritten rules that owners should consider before firing (or not) NFL coaches on Black Monday.
  • Never fire a coach after a winning season. No matter how badly the team underachieves, some teams would kill to go 9-7.
  • Do not fire a coach unless it is absolutely definite that a better replacement option exists.
  • Do not fire a coach after one season unless there is zero hope for improvement. Bill Parcells won only three games in his first season as an NFL head coach. Jimmy Johnson won one game. Tom Landry won zero games and tied one.
  • Do not fire a coach after two losing seasons if they had four or five winning seasons prior. Allow two or even three bad seasons if the coach has the ability to turn things around.
  • If a coach has won a Super Bowl for you, leave him alone for a few years.
  • If he has won two Super Bowls for you in non-consecutive years, give him a lifetime contract.
  • Lastly, if it is a close call, give the coach one more year.
With that, here are the NFL 2020 Black Monday Coach Firing predictions.
Black Monday firings that are necessary:
New York Jets: Adam Gase
What should happen:

Adam Gase is a terrible head coach. He has now failed with the Dolphins and the Jets. Ryan Tannehill has thrived after being traded to a team not coached by Gase. Sam Darnold has regressed under Gase. Gase threw defensive coordinator Gregg Williams under the bus, but the Jets offense is awful.

What will happen:

Gase is gone. 

Jacksonville Jaguars: Doug Marrone
What should happen:

Three years ago the Jaguars were in the AFC Title Game and 10 minutes away from a trip to the Super Bowl. After that fourth-quarter collapse, they fell apart and are now the worst team in the league. Last year owner Shad Khan fired team president Tom Coughlin. Marrone was Coughlin’s hand-picked choice.  

What will happen:

The 2017 team was only 10-6. Marrone has not gotten great quarterback play. Calais Campbell and Leonard Fournette have left. While the cupboard is bare, players do not want to play in Jacksonville. That was blamed on Coughlin and his many rules, but the Jaguars are now an undisciplined mess. A fresh start is needed for everyone. 

Detroit Lions: Darrell Bevell
What should happen:

Bevell became the interim head coach when Matt Patricia was fired midseason. Bevell has never been an NFL head coach. He is infamous for throwing the ball rather than handing it to Marshawn Lynch at the one yard line in the Super Bowl. While it is unfair to judge an entire career by one call, it was the worst call in Super Bowl history. His tenure in Detroit has not inspired much confidence that he deserves to remain head coach.  

What will happen:

Because Bevell is black, retaining him would allow the Lions to comply with the Rooney Rule with minimal effort. The problem is there are better options available. The Lions will explore them. Bevell may remain as offensive coordinator, but not as head coach. 

Deserve to stay but will be fired: None.
Should be fired but will stay:
Cincinnati Bengals: Zac Taylor
What should happen:

Taylor went 2-14 in his rookie season with the Bengals. This year he is 4-10 with one game left. Forget the excuses. Joe Burrow did get injured, but the Bengals were losing with him. Marvin Lewis did not go 2-14 in his 16 seasons with the Bengals. 

What will happen:

The Bengals won back to back games and could end with three wins in a row. Taylor will probably be given another whole year with Burrow before ownership pulls the plug. His seat will be white-hot next year. 

Closer calls – Black Monday survivors who deserve to stay: 
Denver Broncos: Vic Fangio

Fangio had never been a head coach before the Broncos hired him, and he has had two losing seasons. Vance Joseph had two losing seasons and was fired. Joseph is black. Fangio is white. While this could be a public relations headache, Fangio was given an impossible situation. The Broncos defense was battered with injuries, with Von Miller missing the entire season. The Broncos still have not figured out the quarterback situation, and that falls on team president John Elway. Fangio deserves another year without the COVID pandemic and injuries devastating his team. 

Los Angeles Chargers: Anthony Lynn

In his second season, he led the Chargers to a 12-4 record. Yet losing seasons last year and this year have him on the hot seat. The Chargers navigated moving from San Diego to Los Angeles and from a small soccer stadium to their new stadium. Justin Herbert flourished in his rookie season. The Chargers lost several games in the fourth quarter but have just won consecutive games in the same fashion. Despite three losing seasons in four years, Lynn deserves one more season with Herbert to see what they can do together. 

Philadelphia Eagles: Doug Pederson

Pederson should not even be on this list. In 2017 He won the Super Bowl in his second season with the team, the only Super Bowl the Eagles have ever won. He took them back to the playoffs in 2018 before the team went downhill last year and this year. Carson Wentz has regressed, but Jalen Hurts has looked very impressive in replacing Wentz. Ownership stated that Pederson is definitely coming back in 2021, although defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz will be retiring. 

Dallas Cowboys: Mike McCarthy

The Cowboys started 3-9 but have since won three in a row. They even have a chance to win the NFC Least with a losing record. Mike McCarthy has had a rough first season in Dallas. Losing Dak Prescott did not help matters, but the Cowboys defense has been a sieve. McCarthy did win a Super Bowl with the Packers, but Green Bay has flourished since Matt LaFleur replaced him. McCarthy does deserve more time, but the real problem is that he is just not a good fit for the Cowboys. McCarthy is a West Coast Offense guru and the Cowboys are built for smashmouth running and the vertical game. McCarthy can’t rebuild the team in his image since owner Jerry Jones is also the general manager. 

Houston Texans: Romeo Crennel

The Texans were a mess when Bill O’Brien was fired. O’Brien was decent enough as a coach but was a terrible general manager. Crennel has the Texans playing hard, but they are only 4-11 on the year. Crennel has been a head coach twice before, with Cleveland and Kansas City. Although he went 24-40 with Cleveland, one of those seasons was a 10-6 team. Crennel is black, so keeping him would satisfy the Rooney Rule. More importantly, Crennel is a great defensive mind who is widely respected in coaching circles. He deserves a full season. 

Atlanta Falcons: Raheem Morris

The Falcons were 0-5 before Dan Quinn was axed. Morris came in and the Falcons won four of the next six, but have since lost four straight to fall to 4-11. Morris was a head coach before with Tampa Bay, but he had three losing seasons. Like Crennel, Morris is black and would fulfill the Rooney Rule obligation. The real issue is that Morris did take a winless team and turn them around. He should be given at least one full season to see what he can do. 

Chicago Bears: Matt Nagy

Although the Bears went 12-4 in his first season, the Bears’ offense has never matched their defense. Neither Mitchell Trubisky or Nick Foles has played consistently well. The Bears are uninspiring to the point of being boring. Nagy is a West Coast Offense guy. He needs a quarterback to fit his system. He deserves a chance to coach with one. 

Eric Golub

Brooklyn born, Long Island raised and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Read more from Eric at his TYGRRRR EXPRESS blog. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”