Posted on December 31, 2018, by Bryan Zarpentine
As is tradition, the Monday after the end of the regular season is when NFL teams make head coaching changes. Even before the end of the regular season, the Browns and Packers both made changes. A couple of teams also got a head start by firing their coaches on Sunday night. Nevertheless, let’s recap all of the firings that took place by the end of Black Monday.
Marvin Lewis, Bengals
Officially, this is going down as a neutral parting between Lewis and the Bengals. There were rumblings a year ago that Cincinnati was ready to move on from Lewis, but they ended up giving him one more chance. Obviously, that didn’t work out with the Bengals fading down the stretch and finishing 6-10. After 16 seasons and no playoff wins, it’s time for both sides to move on from one another.
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Vance Joseph, Broncos
Joseph only lasted two seasons before the Broncos gave him the boot. Even with Case Keenum brought in at quarterback, Denver only improved by one game from 2017 to 2018. Wins over the Chargers and Steelers put the Broncos back in the playoff picture heading down the stretch. But Joseph and the Broncos lost four straight to close the season, sealing Joseph’s fate after two rough seasons in Denver.
Steve Wilks, Cardinals
Wilks one-upped Joseph by only getting one year in Arizona before being fired. It was always going to be difficult to replace Bruce Arians, but there’s no excuse for finishing 3-13 and earning the top overall pick in next year’s draft. Wilks came to Arizona with the reputation of a great defensive coach, but the Cardinals weren’t nearly good enough defensively to compensate for such poor quarterback play. He’s unlikely to get another head coaching opportunity any time soon.
Adam Gase, Dolphins
Gase was easily the biggest Black Monday surprise. Despite back-to-back losing seasons, most figured Gase would get cut some slack because of how much time Ryan Tannehill has missed over the past two seasons. However, Gase received no such sympathy. Despite that miracle win over the Patriots, the Dolphins struggled down the stretch and fell out of the playoff picture in December. They will now look for another head coach who can perhaps get the best out of Tannehill.
Todd Bowles, Jets
For weeks it was assumed that Bowles would be fired, and the Jets wasted no time in making that official on Sunday night. In four years with the Jets, Bowles had just one winning season and no playoff appearances. Despite having a promising young quarterback in Sam Darnold, the Jets will go in a different direction after three straight last-place finishes in the AFC East under Bowles.
Dirk Koetter, Buccaneers
The Bucs could have easily fired Koetter a year ago, but he got the benefit of the doubt and failed to deliver. Even after a promising start to the season, Tampa Bay repeated last year’s record of 5-11. In a rather interesting twist, the Bucs are expected to bring back Jameis Winston as their starting quarterback next season despite his erratic performance in 2018. However, Winston and the Bucs will play next season with a new head coach.