Seattle and Indianapolis had the two smoothest transitions, both Jim Mora Jr. and Jim Caldwell having coach-in-waiting clauses in their contracts.
The teams are losing two future Hall of Famers in Holmgren and Dungy. If you blink at that consider that Holmgren will join Parcells and Dan Reeves as the only coaches with 3+ Super Bowl trips not yet in the HOF. Dungy retires with the 11th best winning percentage, surpassed exclusively by Hall of Famers. He’ll also deservedly get points for breaking the color barrier as well as transforming the Bucs.
Caldwell has been quick to put his stamp on the team. He replaced the Special Teams coach and DC, both his peers only months ago.
Rex Ryan replaced Eric Mangini in New York. Mangini’s firing was a bit perplexing. Only two years removed from weekly “Mangenius” stories he rebounded after an atrocious 2007 and had a winning record with a quarterback who led the league in interceptions.
Woody Johnson was intent on wooing Favre to stay for one more season. (No doubt his name would sell more tickets in the new stadium – it couldn’t have been a matter of preserving team chemistry). As Favre and Mangini didn’t get along it became an either-or proposition and Mangini was out.
Unsurprisingly he quickly landed on his feet with the Browns, forming the fabled ManKok duo.
Earlier it had been rumored he might wind up in KC with his old pal Scott Pioli, but Pioli – who went to KC ostensibly solely to make his name separate of Belichick – wasn’t interested in maintaining New England ties. He hired Haley, who, if his experience is wanting (one impressive playoff run) at least has a notable pedigree.
As for the Pats, they replaced Pioli with Tennesse personnel chief Floyd Reese. This attrition is typical of a Pats offseason. Since their 2001 Super Bowl season they’ve now lost 2 OCs, 1 DC and their Director of Player Personnel. This year alone they lost four position coaches.
In other front office news, after much speculation the Dolphins retained Bill Parcells. The balance of his $12 million (over three years) will be guaranteed regardless of his continued employment with the team. Parcells says he plans to stay on until the GM (Jeff Ireland) and coach (Sparano) “have enough experience.” Akin Ayodele thinks Parcells still wants to coach.
Finally there are the Raiders. Al Davis was uncertain of keeping Tom Cable because he was a Kiffin hire and let him flounder for six weeks. When he couldn’t find anyone better he offered Cable the job. No doubt many prospects were scared off by Kiffin’s midseason accusations.
Derrick Brooks speculated that the immediate success of John Harbaugh, Tony Sparano, and Mike Smith encouraged the Glazers to try things with a fresh face. That’s not a bad theory to explain the bump in seasonal firings. As Shanahan’s, Mangini’s, and Gruden’s teams were faltering down the stretch it was the Ravens, Dolphins, and Falcons that took their playoff spots.
With so much turnover – specifically the absence of Shanahan, Holmgren, and Dungy - the tenure list now looks like this: Jeff Fisher (15), Bill Belichick (14), Tom Coughlin (13), Norv Turner (11), Andy Reid (10), Wade Phillips (9), Dick Jauron (9), John Fox (7), Marvin Lewis (6), Jack Del Rio (6).
- Agent Easy
Buzz builds for Gareon Conley being picked in round three
56 minutes ago