One of the toughest days on the NFL calender is prominently known as “Black Monday,” the day following the end of the regular season. On this day, several coaching staffs will find out that they are no longer officially employed by their organization.
Rams Sever Ties with Coach, GM
The St. Louis Rams struck first blood this morning as they dismissed head coach Steve Spagnuolo as well as general manager Billy Devaney, according to NFL.com’s Michael Lombardi.
Spagnuolo’s and Devaney’s dismissals were hardly a shock, as the team went 10-38 under their tenure. Despite having a 7-9 season a year ago, the Rams weren’t able to take the next step toward being a playoff contender and despite playing some competitive games in the second half of the season, they ultimately regressed.
Looking forward, quarterback Sam Bradford will have his third offensive coordinator and system in as many seasons, as he was one of the main reasons the team took a step back in 2011. If Bradford can’t find harmony or at least mediocrity next year, he may be headed down the familiar path of first-overall busts.
Which Coaches are Next
Although the Rams are the only team that’s reporting a change as of 11 a.m. EST, we expect there to be plenty more changes. At some point today Tampa Bay’s Raheem Morris, San Diego’s Norv Turner and Indianapolis’ Jim Caldwell are expected to lose their jobs.
11:50 a.m.- Caldwell, Polian Out in Indianapolis
Brad Wells of StampedeBlue.com is reporting that the Indianapolis Colts will part ways with not only head coach Jim Caldwell, but also President of Football Operations Bill Polian as well as his son Chris Polian.
11:54 a.m.- Morris out in Tampa Bay
ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have parted ways with head coach Raheem Morris and the rest of their coaching staff.
This was no surprise as the Bucs finished the season losers of 10 consecutive games, including five straight blowouts. With one year left on Morris’ deal, it was highly unlikely that the Bucs would let Morris coach in his lame duck season in 2012.
5:08 p.m. EST- Bill Polian out in Indy, Caldwell still “being evaluated”
Per Colts owner Jim Irsay, the team is parting ways with long-time general manager and President of Football Operations Bill Polian. Polian has been a member of the organization since 1998 when his first draft choice included selecting Peyton Manning first overall ahead of Ryan Leaf.
As for head coach Jim Caldwell, he didn’t receive any kind of “vote of confidence” which likely means that his job could be decided upon by whomever the new general manager will be.
Jim Irsay says that the new guy “needs vision and direction to get back to greatness. They would like it to be “one organization pulling in the same direction with great unity.”
Bill Polian’s management style has always been dictatorial and it appears that after 2011’s 2-14 season that has worn thin throughout the organization. Polian was greatly criticized for not having a legitimate backup plan at quarterback when Peyton Manning went down this season and many believe that Indy’s 2-14 laughing stock of a year could have easily been avoided.
Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPNFlorida.com and ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie