Heads roll on Black Monday as seven coaches fired

Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:18pm EST
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(Reuters) - Heads continued to roll for under-achieving head coaches across the National Football League as the Philadelphia Eagles' Andy Reid, Buffalo Bills' Chan Gailey and Cleveland Browns' Pat Shurmur were all fired on what has become known as Black Monday.

The unemployment ranks swelled even further later on Monday with the Chicago Bears' Lovie Smith, Kansas City Chiefs' Romeo Crennel, San Diego Chargers' Norv Turner and Arizona Cardinals' Ken Whisenhunt also getting the axe to bring the total to seven teams with head coaching vacancies.

The 5-11 Browns, who closed out the season on Sunday with a 24-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, were among the first to begin house cleaning by announcing Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert had been relieved of their duties.

The news was quickly followed by the 6-10 Bills confirming they had sacked Gailey and the 4-12 Eagles announcing Reid was being relieved of his duties after 14 years in charge.

Reid's departure had been widely expected but still came as shock to many after a mostly successful tenure in Philadelphia leading the Eagles to six NFC East titles, five NFC championship games and a Super Bowl appearance in 2004.

His 140 victories are a franchise record and rank 22nd on the all-time NFL coaching list.

But a bitterly disappointing 2012 campaign that ended in a 42-7 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday signaled to owner Jeffrey Lurie that is was time for a change.

"Andy Reid won the most games of any head coach in Eagles' history and he is someone I respect greatly and will remain friends with for many years to come," said Lurie in a statement. "But, it is time for the Eagles to move in a new direction.

"Andy leaves us with a winning tradition that we can build upon and we are very excited about the future."   Continued...

On what has become known as Black Monday, heads continued to roll for under-achieving head coaches and management as seen in this combination of file photos. The fired head coaches and management are, top row (L to R), Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid, San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner, Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur and Kansas City Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel. On the bottom row (L to R), New York Jets General Manager Mike Tannenbaum, Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt, Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith and Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey. REUTERS/Staff/Files