As the names of the fired rolled in and the NFL’s Black Monday took on its characteristic gloom, the roster of the newly unemployed painted a picture of turnarounds left incomplete, of owners running short on patience, of high expectations left unfulfilled.
The Washington Redskins dismissed Mike Shanahan. The Detroit Lions ended the Jim Schwartz era. The Minnesota Vikings dumped Leslie Frazier, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ousted both their coach, Greg Schiano, and their general manager, Mike Dominik. The Cleveland Browns were so eager to fire Rob Chudzinski — only a year after hiring him — that they beat the rush by announcing the move Sunday night.
The wholesale dumping of coaches, a tradition on the day after the end of the NFL regular season, has not quite reached the level of last year when seven coaches and five general managers were ushered into unemployment.
Many fans expected the Washington Redskins owner, Daniel Snyder, to act as quickly as the Browns and kick Shanahan to the curb after his 3-13 season sputtered to a close, but Snyder waited until Monday to render that verdict. .
Chudzinski was the first in the postseason procession. The Vikings got on board quickly by axing Frazier after a 5-10-1 season left him 21-32-1 in his three-plus seasons, which were largely spent searching for a serviceable starting quarterback.