Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - There was some thought in NFL circles that"Black Monday" would be a little less cruel this time around.
The end-game was still expected to be far worse than usual with as many as 11coaches eventually looking for work and a host of general mangers joining themin the unemployment line.
But, with "Black Monday" falling on New Year's Eve in 2012, some thoughtowners would prefer to wait until after the holiday to meet with coaches andexecutives.
Some will surely take that tact but plenty of lame ducks learned their fate onSunday night and into Monday morning.
The first official domino fell in Jacksonville when owner Shahid Khan firedhis general manager, Gene Smith.
Smith joined the Jaguars' organization in 1994 as a scout and became theteam's first general manager in 2008. Jacksonville did not finish a seasonbetter than 8-8 in his tenure, however, and had a dismal 27-53 overall duringSmith's reign.
"Now it is time for the Jacksonville Jaguars to begin a new chapter. We're notlooking back," Khan said. "I've made it clear from day one that we pledgenothing less than to deliver the first Super Bowl championship toJacksonville."
The Eagles' Andy Reid actually knew his fate last Friday, according to reportscoming out of Philadelphia, and the organization made it official on Mondaymorning.
"Andy Reid won the most games of any head coach in Eagles' history and he issomeone I respect greatly and will remain friends with for many years tocome," Eagles owner Jeffery Lurie said in a statement. "But, it is time forthe Eagles to move in a new direction. Andy leaves us with a winning traditionthat we can build upon. And we are very excited about the future."
Reid joined the Eagles in 1999 and turned the fortunes of the franchise aroundby attracting a strong coaching staff. His first defensive hires includedlegendary coordinator Jim Johnson and future head coaches Leslie Frazier, RonRivera and Steve Spagnuolo.
The Eagles reached the playoffs in 2000, the first of nine postseason trips inReid's 14 seasons leading the football operations in Philly but the NFL is avicious cycle.
Most coaches take over bad teams and then leave bad ones in their wake whenthey're eventually escorted to the city limits. Reid was the very definitionof shelf life in City of Brotherly Love, a mentor whose message got stale.
Norv Turner was one of the lucky ones in San Diego, inheriting what wasperhaps the most talented team in football when he arrived in "America'sFinest City" back in 2007.
Let's just say the next coach in Ron Burgundy's town won't be quite asfortunate.
The 2006 Chargers finished an NFL-best 14-2 under Marty Schottenheimer but thepatented Schottenheimer close-to-the-vest playoff coaching style resulted in a24-21 loss to the Patriots in the divisional round, costing Marty his gig.
Norv took over LaDainian Tomlinson, Philip Rivers and Co. and promptly turnedthem into an 11-5 club, although they did make the AFC Championship Game in'07 before losing to the Pats again. It's been a steady decline since, withthe exception of '09 when San Diego finished 13-3 but lost in the Divisionalround of the playoffs.
Perhaps it was apropos in a city which enjoys virtually perfect weather yearround Turner's final game as head coach was played in muddy conditions.
After all, if Mother Nature is a football fan, she almost has to be a devoteeof the Bolts. And perhaps she was saying "Enough is enough."
Turner's team did send him out a winner, albeit in uninspiring fashion bytopping a dismal Raiders team without its starting quarterback, 24-21.
Rivers, once regarded as one of the NFL's top signal-callers but a player whohas regressed under Turner's stewardship in recent years, tossed a pair oftouchdown passes as San Diego concluded its 2012 campaign by winning three offour and finishing at 7-9, far too little, too late for Turner, who was veryhonest about his future.
"Obviously, we're going to meet with the team and I'm sure they'll startlooking for a new coach," said Turner, who has one year left on his contractvalued at $3 million.
San Diego general manager A.J. Smith, the man who mistakenly hired Turner, isalso is expected to be fired Monday.
The Jets already jettisoned GM Mike Tannenbaum, the man responsible forbringing the Tim Tebow circus to north Jersey.
"This morning, I informed Mike Tannenbaum that he will not return for the 2013season," Jets CEO Woody Johnson said.
Tannenbaum started his Jets career as the director of player contractnegotiations and served in a variety of administrative football managementpositions before being named as the GM in 2006. Under his tenure, New Yorkamassed a 57-55 record and advanced to those back-to-back conferencechampionships in 2009 and 2010.
But the team has failed to finish the season with a winning record over thepast two seasons, falling to 8-8 in 2011 and finishing this past season with a6-10 mark to fall into last place in the AFC East.
"Mike devoted 15 years of service to the Jets, and I want to thank him for hishard work and dedication," Johnson said. "Although he helped guide us to twoconsecutive AFC Championship games, we are not where we want to be, and a newgeneral manager will be critical to getting this team back on the righttrack."
Johnson also announced on Monday that head coach Rex Ryan will keep his job.
"I believe that he has the passion, the talent, and the drive to successfullylead our team," Johnson said when talking about Ryan.
Reports out of Cleveland had head coach Pat Shurmur and general manager TomHeckert both out, little surprise since new Browns CEO Joe Banner had made itabundantly clear he was going to revamp the organization.
Buffalo announced that Chan Gailey has been relieved of his duties after thefranchise's fourth straight season with at least 10 losses, and in KansasCity, the Chiefs said goodbye to Romeo Crennel following their second 2-14finish in five seasons.
"I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for Romeo, bothpersonally and professionally," Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said. "Heis an accomplished coach, a man of great character and he helped guide ourfootball team through some extremely challenging circumstances this season."
Crennel, of course, was forced to lead in the most difficult of circumstancesafter former linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend beforedriving to the team's training facility at Arrowhead Stadium and killinghimself on Dec. 1. Belcher spoke to both Crennel and GM Scott Pioli, beforetaking his own life in front of them.
In the end Crennel's ability to navigate through those troubled waters was notenough.
"I am embarrassed by the poor product we gave our fans this season, and Ibelieve we have no choice but to move the franchise in a different direction."Hunt continued. "I will immediately begin the search for the next head coachof the Chiefs. The entire football operation will remain under review, andthere may be additional changes to come."
No matter where it falls on the calendar "Black Monday" remains unforgiving.
THE SPORTS NETWORK 2012 NFL AWARDS:
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Andrew Luck, Indianapolis
You really can't argue with anyone choosing Washington's Robert Griffin III.After all RG3 finished third in the NFL in passer rating -- behind only formerMVPs Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning -- added in over 800 yards rushing, andled the Redskins to their first division title since 1999.
The tipping point, however, is that Luck was asked to do far more as aquarterback, throwing the ball 627 times compared to just 393 for both Griffinand the other strong candidate, Seattle's Russell Wilson. And oh yeah, Luckalso turned a moribund 2-14 club into an 11-5 playoff team.
In the running: Griffin; Wilson; Alfred Morris, Washington; Doug Martin, TampaBay; Matt Kalil, Minnesota
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Luke Kuechly, Carolina
Kuechly led the NFL with 164 tackles and had 10 different games of 10-or-morestops. The Boston College product's consistency from week-to-week earned himthe honor over the Rams' Janoris Jenkins and Minnesota's Harrison Smith.
Jenkins returned three interceptions for touchdowns in 2012, matching the mostby a rookie in NFL history. The other two rookies to accomplish the feat areboth enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Lem Barney (1967) and RonnieLott (1981). Smith, meanwhile, returned two pick-sixes for the Vikings and hasthe length and athleticism to battle big receivers down the field.
In the running: Jenkins; Smith; Bobby Wagner, Seattle; Casey Heyward, GreenBay.
Coach of the Year: Bruce Arians, Indianapolis
The Colts were 1-2 when Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia. When Paganoreturned on Sunday, Indianapolis was 10-5 and a wild card team.
Under Arians' watch, the Colts went 9-3 and secured a spot in the postseasonafter their win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 16, an unlikely runpunctuated by seven comeback wins.
In the running: Leslie Frazier, Minnesota; Mike Shanahan, Washington; PeteCarroll, Seattle; John Fox, Denver
Comeback Player of the Year: Peyton Manning, Denver
If life was like professional wrestling Adrian Peterson's entrance music mightbe LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out."
"Don't call it a comeback, A,P.'s been here for years -- Rockin' his peers andputtin' suckas in fear. Makin' the tears rain down like a MON-soon. Listen tothe bass go BOOM ... Explosion, overpowerin' over the competition, he'stowerin'."
People forget Peterson was hurt on Christmas Eve in 2011 and he had a damngood year in 2011. So A.P. might be a medical miracle but this was nocomeback. He ended up missing one game.
In the running: None
Offensive player of the year: Peterson
Forget the amazing comeback from major knee surgery in eight months. WhatPeterson has accomplished with a quarterback who often struggles to throw for100 yards and against eight- and nine-man fronts designed to stop him on aweekly basis is unprecedented.
A cross between Earl Campbell, Walter Payton and Bo Jackson, Peterson forcesopposing defenses to bring their lunch pails week in and week out.
Honorable mention: Manning; Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay; Calvin Johnson, Detroit
Defensive Player of the Year: J.J. Watt, Texans.
Watt is like "Where's Waldo" on the Texans' defensive line, playing all threepositions in Houston's base 3-4 scheme. The Wisconsin product led the NFL with20 1/2 sacks, swatted 16 passes, amassed an eye-popping 23 stuffs behind theline of scrimmage and was closing in on 40 total quarterback hits.
Honorable mention: Von Miller, Denver; Aldon Smith, San Francisco.
No disrespect to Manning but Denver won a playoff game with Tim Tebow runningthings last season. The Vikings might have trouble beating Alabama withoutPeterson.
Isn't that the very definition of Most Valuable Player?
In the running: Manning; Rodgers; Matt Ryan, Atlanta