• Water Cooler: Black Monday


    There's no week we move on from faster than week 17. Congrats to the Steelers and Texans for securing a playoff spot, the Vikings for securing the NFC North, and the Panthers and Broncos for earning the top seed. Rich and I will cover the Wild Card round in extensive detail later this week in Blitz Picks. But as always, the day after week 17 has earned the "Black Monday" designation for a reason, and we'll attempt to cover that for you right here.

    -The Cleveland Browns have fired both G.M. Ray Farmer and HC Mike Pettine. The next hire will be the 6th in 8 years for Cleveland. This coach will likely be breaking in a new QB, as the separation between the Browns and Johnny Manziel appears inevitable. Owner Jimmy Haslam has stated that he understands this is a "several year rebuilding program", so let's hope he actually follows through on that belief and gives his next staff the chance to build success. However, that hope is feint at best, as Haslam is still busy proving that he doesn't get it, since he'll apparently be hiring the next Head Coach prior to hiring the next General Manager. Unless he's specifically looking for a HC that will be shopping for his own groceries, bringing in a GM but not allowing that GM to make his own coaching hire is a situation that rarely, if ever, works out.

    -San Francisco has fired Jim Tomsula. In the classiest of gestures, Jim Harbaugh tweeted shortly thereafter, "Do not be deceived, you will reap what you sow." This follows his belief that prior to leaving the 49ers, Jim Tomsula was angling for Harbaugh's job. Chip Kelly and Mike Shanahan have both expressed interest in the 49ers' job.

    -Mike Shanahan had a preliminary interview with the Dolphins about their HC vacancy on December 22. He will reportedly be meeting with them for a 2nd interview this week. Interim coach Dan Campbell, Lions DC Teryl Austin, and former Bills coach Doug Marrone are also expected to interview.

    -The Dolphins have promoted Director of College Scouting Chris Grier to G.M. Mike "Oh" Tannenbaum, the V.P. of Football Operations, will be conducting the search for a new HC.

    -Teryl Austin is also reportedly a candidate in Philadelphia, along with Bears OC Adam Gase and Giants OC Ben McAdoo

    -Tom Coughlin is meeting with Giants owners this afternoon regarding his future. The tea leaves are strong that Coughlin is leaning toward resigning.

    -Tennessee will not renew the contract of GM Ruston Webster.

    -We're also keeping an eye on the situations in New Orleans and Indianapolis, as well as any other surprising news that may pop up. But one place where we will not be looking is St. Louis, where 7 wins has become nearly as reliable as death and taxes.

    MONDAY EVENING UPDATE
    -Tom Coughlin has resigned as the coach of the Giants
    -San Diego coach Mike McCoy will remain as head coach, but has fired 6 assistants, including OC Frank Reich
    -Chuck Pagano has signed a 4 year extension to remain as Head Coach in Indianapolis
    -Indianapolis GM Ryan Grigson will also return
    -No decision has been made in Detroit regarding the status of Head Coach Jim Caldwell
    -Interim Titan Head Coach Mike Mularkey will interview for the full-time gig in Tennessee

    As always, we encourage your comments in the thread. I'll do my best to keep up with things over the coming days.

    Comments 62 Comments
    1. ScottDCP's Avatar
      Come back to your old gig in Buffako, Coach Pettine.
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      It is looking more and more likely Jim Caldwell will remain the Lions' head coach. The team appears in no big rush to fill its vacant general manager position. The likely scarcity of top head coaching candidates will most likely prompt the new regime to keep its HC/OC team in place as an evaluation year, of sorts. The Lions' 6-2 second half record certainly has many feeling optimistic. I am not one of them. Yes, jettisoning Joe Lombardi led to a huge improvement. Let's not forget the teams the Lions faced the last eight weeks (a still fumbling Packers team twice (1-1), Bears(W), Eagles (W), Saints (W), 49ers (W), Raiders (W), and Rams (loss)). In the first half of the season, Detroit played only two teams not going to the playoffs (Chargers (L week one) and Bears (W)). That is (0-6) against playoff teams in the first half the year. Add in a big win at Lambeau, their horrible home loss to Green Bay and their London ass-whuppin' at the hands of KC and the Lions went (1-8) against teams still alive this season.

      DC Teryl Austin is set to interview for several HC gigs. Sadly, I do not see him coming back next year.

      Stupid Lions will find a way to screw this up.
    1. Matt Kocsan's Avatar
      This gets the Browns mostly right, but a few things to add:

      (1) It's going to be very hard to sell a long-term rebuilding program (i.e., we plan to suck and won't just incidentally suck for the two or three seasons) when the team has been abysmal, apart from one playoff appearance, since my freshman year of high school and they didn't exist for three years before that.

      (2) As Brian said, the GM will not have final say on personnel decisions. That man with be Executive Vice President of Football Operations (and, I think, General Counsel) Sashi Brown. No one had heard of this man until yesterday, really. Three years ago he was running public housing in Jacksonville, Florida, and today he is the de facto general manager of the Cleveland Browns.

      (2a) He also owns a night club called the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Club. I'm sure that will bring an interesting and unique perspective to our talent evaluation process.

      (2b) He's supposed to be a smart guy and the word 'analytics' is being used a lot. We'll see.

      (3) Farmer and Pettine absolutely deserved to be fired. The only argument I've seen for keeping either or both of them is that blowing things up repeatedly isn't working, so let's keep these morons who can't work together.

      (3a) This is akin to saying that if your house keeps catching on fire, trying to put it out is the root of the problem.

      (3b) They are failed employees and have shown none of the capacity for growth they'd need to suddenly become capable. There are clearly other problems in Cleveland's football organization apart from who sits in the GM's and head coach's chair, but that's not an argument to retain either one of them and they've done nothing to suggest they can fix them.

      (4) If the most recent reports about Johnny Manziel are true--or, for me, the most critical component of it anyway, which is that he was supposed to show up yesterday morning, did not, then could not be reached and remains out of touch--then they have to get rid of him. Missing the #1 pick and therefore not getting Joey Bosa makes the calculus pretty easy here, so do the smart thing and draft Jared Goff.

      (4a) I've loved Johnny's potential and have always been willing to concede that his personal life might be a trainwreck, but you can't tolerate someone who has either decided he doesn't care or won't fulfill basic workplace standards. The Browns being the Browns, while that has to be horribly frustrating, cannot be an excuse or even an explanation.

      (5) The Browns had eight permanent coaches between 1946 and 1995. This will be their eighth coach since 1999. Happy new year, everyone.
    1. Matt Kocsan's Avatar
      According to Adam Schefter, we can move Tom Coughlin's departure from New York from the probable to the official column. With a few decent years of Eli Manning left and the chance to groom a replacement you could draft later while focusing on other areas of need now, that has to be an appealing job.
    1. Matt Kocsan's Avatar
      The Eagles are going to interview Pat Shurmur, confirming my suspicion that no one in the league has watched a Cleveland Browns game since 2007.
    1. Matt Kocsan's Avatar
      Also according to Adam Schefter, the Dolphins have requested three interviews so far for their head coaching vacancy, and they are all AFC East assistants: Josh McDaniels (NE, OC), Matt Patricia (NE, DC), and Anthony Lynn (BUF, AHC). This supports my contention that the AFC East is the most incestuous division in football and my mid-season prediction based on no information whatsoever that Josh McDaniels will be the next head coach of the Miami Dolphins.
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Matt Kocsan View Post
      According to Adam Schefter, we can move Tom Coughlin's departure from New York from the probable to the official column. With a few decent years of Eli Manning left and the chance to groom a replacement you could draft later while focusing on other areas of need now, that has to be an appealing job.
      PFT is reporting Coughlin has stepped down. He says he wants to coach again. Eli correctly stated it the players who let down Coughlin, not vice versa.

      Coughlin will be a good get for the right team. I'd take him in Detroit. Keep Jim Bob Cooter and try like hell to keep Teryl Austin. Stafford, Calvin (we hope, at least), Tate, Abdullah (whose fumblitis would get a permanent cure), Ebron actually showing some promise, some nice pieces on defense...
    1. Hoser's Avatar
      The only thing worse than suffering through an 11 loss season is getting a 5th win when a 12th loss would garner a better draft position. If they had to win that last game at least it was against the Lambs.
      BTW- I didn't get to watch the game yesterday because it was blacked out. That has NEVER happened for as long as I can remember and I've been watching Niner games for a LONG time.
      The behind the curtain leaks coming out of Santa Clara the past 2 years are unprofessional, frustrating and immature. This has to end if they are to ever be anything more than a punch line of a franchise.
      I'm fine with Harbaugh's tweet. Was never on board with Tomsula because he seemed a little too back stabby at the end of last year. Plus, other than game 1, he seemed in over his head all year long. Bye, Tom!
      I'm kinda hoping for Sean Peyton or Hue Jackson for the next HC.
      Back to expansionism for the 49ers. Ugh!
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Matt Kocsan View Post
      This gets the Browns mostly right, but a few things to add:

      (1) It's going to be very hard to sell a long-term rebuilding program (i.e., we plan to suck and won't just incidentally suck for the two or three seasons) when the team has been abysmal, apart from one playoff appearance, since my freshman year of high school and they didn't exist for three years before that.

      (2) As Brian said, the GM will not have final say on personnel decisions. That man with be Executive Vice President of Football Operations (and, I think, General Counsel) Sashi Brown. No one had heard of this man until yesterday, really. Three years ago he was running public housing in Jacksonville, Florida, and today he is the de facto general manager of the Cleveland Browns.

      (2a) He also owns a night club called the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Club. I'm sure that will bring an interesting and unique perspective to our talent evaluation process.

      (2b) He's supposed to be a smart guy and the word 'analytics' is being used a lot. We'll see.

      (3) Farmer and Pettine absolutely deserved to be fired. The only argument I've seen for keeping either or both of them is that blowing things up repeatedly isn't working, so let's keep these morons who can't work together.

      (3a) This is akin to saying that if your house keeps catching on fire, trying to put it out is the root of the problem.

      (3b) They are failed employees and have shown none of the capacity for growth they'd need to suddenly become capable. There are clearly other problems in Cleveland's football organization apart from who sits in the GM's and head coach's chair, but that's not an argument to retain either one of them and they've done nothing to suggest they can fix them.

      (4) If the most recent reports about Johnny Manziel are true--or, for me, the most critical component of it anyway, which is that he was supposed to show up yesterday morning, did not, then could not be reached and remains out of touch--then they have to get rid of him. Missing the #1 pick and therefore not getting Joey Bosa makes the calculus pretty easy here, so do the smart thing and draft Jared Goff.

      (4a) I've loved Johnny's potential and have always been willing to concede that his personal life might be a trainwreck, but you can't tolerate someone who has either decided he doesn't care or won't fulfill basic workplace standards. The Browns being the Browns, while that has to be horribly frustrating, cannot be an excuse or even an explanation.

      (5) The Browns had eight permanent coaches between 1946 and 1995. This will be their eighth coach since 1999. Happy new year, everyone.
      The Real Dumpster Fire called. It would like back its good name, Cleveland.
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Apparently, Chargers HC Mike McCoy has managed to save his own ass by allowing six assistants to be shown the door instead.
    1. Brian Williams's Avatar
      Just reported on NFL Network-- Chuck Pagano has agreed to a contract extension with the Colts.
    1. Brian Williams's Avatar
      GM Ryan Grigson will also return to Indianapolis
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Brian Williams View Post
      Just reported on NFL Network-- Chuck Pagano has agreed to a contract extension with the Colts.
      This, IMO, is not a mistake.
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Brian Williams View Post
      GM Ryan Grigson will also return to Indianapolis
      This, IMO, is an enormous mistake.
    1. Matt Kocsan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Sullivan View Post
      The Real Dumpster Fire called. It would like back its good name, Cleveland.
      I remember two years ago, saying that I wanted Manziel because I figured that he'd either be good or he'd be so spectacularly bad that it would lead to a gigantic, organizational purge. I'd just have preferred that the owner had learned something about to structure a franchise at some point in the last two years.
    1. Matt Kocsan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Sullivan View Post
      This, IMO, is an enormous mistake.
      How many first round picks you think Indy will give Cleveland for Joe Thomas? I think two, and a maybe a second rounder to go with it.
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Matt Kocsan View Post
      How many first round picks you think Indy will give Cleveland for Joe Thomas? I think two, and a maybe a second rounder to go with it.
      The answer to this should be none.
    1. Matt Kocsan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Sullivan View Post
      The answer to this should be none.
      Well, I mean, one wouldn't be the end of the world. Thomas only just turned 31, and you're not get premium talent at OT where Indianapolis is likely to pick with Luck at quarterback. I don't think the Browns will actually trade him, but still.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      I dont understand the Pagano extension. Not in the sense that I think he is a bad coach, but after ow they leaked he was in the hot seat in August, and his constant sniping with Grigon, keeping him seems odd.

      Grigson already traded his next 3 2nd round oicks for Alex Mack.
    1. hobbes27's Avatar
      I don't understand keeping both Pagano and Grigson, since apparently they don't get along. But apparently they got in a room and hammered out their differences. I suspect Pagano will have more of a say as to the type of players he wants. Most specifically offensive line to protect Luck. I also don't understand why you give both a long term extension. Especially Grigson, who I think has done a horrible job drafting. I am sure they didn't let go Pagano go because the coaching landscape didn't excite them.