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NFL 2021 Black Monday Coach Firing, and staying, Predictions

Written By | Jan 5, 2022
NFL, coaches, Black Monday

NFL Black Monday

LOS ANGELES, January 5, 2022 — Happy New Year. You’re history. Happy Hanukkah. Clean out your desk. 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.”

Thankfully, the NFL extended the regular season by one week. This pushes Black Monday well past the holiday season, allowing coaches to enjoy time with their families. The pink-slips come afterward.

For your entertainment, this season’s NFL 2021 Black Monday Coach Firing Carousel

The 2021 regular season coaching carousel was mostly quiet. Two coaches were fired during the season, but neither of those firings had anything to do with football. The Raiders were 3-2 when Jon Gruden resigned after the illegal leak of his insensitive private emails. The emails in question were sent a decade earlier when he was not in the NFL.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are the worst team in the league, but Urban Meyer might still be coaching if not for his behavior off of the field. Pictures of him surfaced with a young woman in his lap who was not his wife. So while the purity police claimed two scalps, not one coach was fired for specific reasons related to football. That will change come Black Monday.

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 (or in the current age of 17 games, 9-8).

  • Do not fire a coach unless it is absolutely definite that a better replacement option exists.

  • Give a coach more than 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 2021 Black Monday Coach Firing predictions.

Chicago Bears: Matt Nagy

What should happen:

Matt Nagy has not gotten the job done. The defense has regressed under Nagy. The offense is awful. Nagy was never a splashy hire. He is your standard, nondescript guy who fails to inspire. The Bears need a quarterback whisperer who can develop Justin Fields. Nagy should be a coordinator somewhere, not a head coach.

What will happen:

Nagy is gone.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Darrell Bevell

What should happen:

Only an interim coach Darrell Bevell inherited the worst team in football. But a coaching change is meant to spark a team. Bevell’s Jaguars got blasted 50-10. However, Bevell deserves to be remembered for more than the worst call in Super Bowl history – his refusal to hand the ball to Marshawn Lynch at the one-yard line.

Bevell is just not head coach material. The Jaguars will give him an interview out of politeness, but owner Shad Khan needs someone who will develop Trevor Lawrence.

What will happen:

Bevell may get a chance to stay on as an offensive assistant, but there is no way he remains the head coach.

Coaches that deserve to stay but will be fired:

Minnesota Vikings: Mike Zimmer

What should happen:

Find a Vikings coach who on the last day of the regular season with the NFC North on the line will go into Green Bay and kick the Packers hides. Zimmer did that. He is an old-school coach who wins with hard-nosed running and defense. Yes, the Vikings had a bad season.

Yet that meant 7-9, not 1-15.

Zimmer has more than proved himself. His players fought to the very end. Just watch the “Minneapolis Miracle” for the evidence. Zimmer deserves time to turn things around, but the fan base is impatient.

What will happen:

Zimmer is gone.

Denver Broncos: Vic Fangio 

What should happen:

Fangio had never been a head coach before the Broncos hired him. And now he has had three losing seasons. Vance Joseph had two losing seasons and was fired. Joseph is black. Fangio is white. While keeping him could be a public relations headache, Fangio was given an impossible situation.

The Broncos’ defense was battered with injuries. In 2020, Von Miller missed the entire season. In 2021 he was traded away and the Denver defense still performed well for long stretches. The Broncos still have not figured out the quarterback situation, and that falls on team president John Elway.

Teddy Bridgewater had been injured and Drew Lock is not the answer. The Broncos played one game with a practice squad quarterback. Fangio deserves another year without the COVID pandemic and injuries devastating his team.

What will happen:

Fangio might be persuaded to stay if he brings on a rock star offensive coordinator, or he may even be the rare case of being demoted to defensive coordinator but staying with the team. More than likely, Fangio will be a sacrifical lamb. He is probably gone.

Deserve to stay and will stay:

Detroit Lions: Dan Campbell:

The players fight hard for Coach Campbell. The Lions have won only two games. They lost a couple of games on the final play, once on the 54-yard field goal. And once on an NFL record 66-yard field goal. Campbell deserves more than one year. The Ford Family has a history of patient ownership, but that may be changing now that the younger generation of the family has taken over. Campbell will be under a microscope next year. Jim Caldwell was fired after a 9-7 season, which was a mistake. Campbell deserves a chance to show improvement next year.

Carolina Panthers: Matt Rhule

The Panthers began 3-0 but have plummeted to 5-11. Rhule may not be the right guy, but he has been besieged with bad quarterback plays. Neither Sam Darnold or Cam Newton have played well. The best player on the team is Christian McCaffrey, and the team is very different when he is playing. However, he has been injured for much of the last two years.

Rhule deserves one year with a healthy McCaffrey. His seat should be white-hot next year to produce.

Houston Texans: David Culley

The Texans have won only 4 games this year, and two of those wins were over Jacksonville. Yet the Texans just stunned the Chargers and gave San Francisco a tough fight. Davis Mills is no superstar, but he is competent and improving. Culley is in his first season, and the trend is positive. He will be given a chance to continue to improve.

Seattle Seahawks: Pete Carroll

There is no way on earth Carroll will be fired, despite his first losing season in a decade. He is the oldest coach in the NFL, but he said he wants to stay. That should end the discussion. If he wants to retire to the front office, that can be discussed when he no longer wants to coach. With or without Russell Wilson, Carroll is a winner. He kept the defense solid even after the Legion of Boom days passed. He wants to stay as coach, so he will.

Closest of calls:

Las Vegas Raiders: Rich Bisaccia

What should happen:

Mark Davis is tempted to blow the entire thing up and start over. This would be a tremendous mistake. The Raiders have won three straight and at 9-7 make the playoffs with one more win. Even if they lose their finale, they still have their first winning season in five years.

Nobody has had a tougher job this year than Bisaccia.

The Jon Gruden debacle was a nightmare, and the Henry Ruggs situation was unfathomable. Now Nate Hobbs was just arrested for DUI. Yet, Bisaccia has held the team together.

Gus Bradley clearly has the defense improving.

The Raiders are not 2-14. In the last three years they have gone from 4-12 to 7-9 to 8-8 to either 9-8 or 10-7. The Raiders have had unforgivable losses to Chicago, Washington and the Giants, but they also gutted out road wins over Dallas and Indianapolis.

What will happen:

If the Raiders make the playoffs, Bisaccia is safe. If they don’t, Mark Davis might choose continuity over disrupting Derek Carr’s career any further. Davis is a players’ owner. The players like Bisaccia. Davis is far more patient than his father Al Davis was in his later years.

The best bet is for Davis to keep Bisaccia with a win-or-else mandate for 2022. Bisaccia’s seat will be white-hot in 2022, but he will get the chance to prove himself.

New York Giants: Joe Judge

After an 0-5 start last year, Judge’s rookie season saw the Giants finish 6-10. There was cause for optimism. This year the Giants fell to 4-12. While quarterback Daniel Jones missed much of the year with an injured neck, there is no evidence that Jones is good enough to be a franchise quarterback anyway.

The Mara and Tisch families are patient owners, but Ray Handley was only given two years. So was Pat Shurmur, who directly preceded Judge. The 2021 Giants do not seem to have an identity. Judge will be given one more year to produce results, but if he does not deliver next year, he is gone.

Eating our words:

Cincinnati Bengals: Zac Taylor

In his first year, Taylor was 2-14. Last year the Bengals improved to 4-11-1. Taylor was put in the category of “deserves to be fired but will stay.”

This year, with a healthy Joe Burrow, the Bengals are 10-6 and AFC North champions. They even have an outside shot at home-field advantage throughout the entire playoffs. The critics were wrong. Taylor can coach.

Lifetime contract to silence the critics:

Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Tomlin

Tomlin is not on any list of coaches being fired. However, in the past, he has been. That speculation needs to end permanently. In 15 years, Tomlin has never had a losing season. The Rooney family should let him stay as long as he wants.


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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.”