‘Tis the season for NFL Coach firings.
It’s going to be a rude awakening on New Year’s Day for at least five coaches who have been fired less than a day after the NFL’s regular season ended.
The first to go was Cleveland Browns coach Rob Chudzinski who was fired Sunday night after only one season.
Monday was unemployment day for Washington Redskin’s Mike Shanahan, Detroit Lion’s Jim Schwartz, Minnesota Vikings’ Leslie Frazier and Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s Greg Schiano.
Shanahan coached for four seasons with the Redskins, with a 24-40 record; Frazier for three seasons with the Vikings with an 18-33-1 record and Schwartz five seasons with the Lions with a 29-52 record.
Schiano, fired with three years and $9 million left on his contract, coached for two years with the Buccaneers with an 11-21 record.
“It’s tough for the players to see your coaches go. You never want to see anybody get fired,” Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. “Me personally, I haven’t had any, consistently, in my career. Third head coach, going on my fifth year and three head coaches. Add up everybody, it’ll be six D-line coaches.”
Chudzinski was very surprised when the pink slip came.
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“I was shocked and disappointed to hear the news that I was fired,” said Chudzinski. “I am a Cleveland Brown to the core, and always will be. It was an honor to lead our players and coaches, and I appreciate their dedication and sacrifice. I was more excited than ever for this team, as I know we were building a great foundation for future success.”
Shanahan was fired with only one season remaining on a five-year, $35 million contract. He blames a salary cap and a bad relationship with quarterback Robert Griffin III for the poor results.
Frazier managed to get the Vikings to the playoffs as a wild card last season. Issues with finding a steady quarterback and a weak defense led to his firing.
“It’s a harsh business,” safety Harrison Smith said. “As a player, we all love coach Frazier, as a coach, as a man. You can’t meet a better guy. And also as a player, we didn’t make enough plays on the field. So you just feel like you let him down a little bit.”
Schwartz had two years and almost $12 million remaining on his contract when fired.
“From where we were in 2008 to where we are now it’s a big difference,” quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “We owe a lot of that to him. He’s a really smart guy and helped us get to where we are. Obviously, we didn’t win as many games as we needed to or as we should have this year.”
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