Black Monday 2013: NFL coaches learn their fate after season ends
Updated: December 30, 2013 - 12:28 pm
(AP/WJLA) - For the 12 NFL teams who are headed to the playoffs, the Monday after Week 17's conclusion is just another day to prepare for a big game ahead.
But for franchises who have fallen on harder times, this day typically calls for a shakeup in the coaching ranks.
It's called Black Monday - the day that, traditionally, several head and assistant coaches throughout the league are fired.
Browns first to drop the axe
This year, though, Black Monday got started on Sunday night. The Cleveland Browns couldn't wait for midnight, firing first-year head coach Rob Chudzinski after the end of their final game.
Chudzinski's dream job turned out to be temporary gig. t was a stunningly swift and shocking exit for the Ohio native who learned all about sports heartbreak while cheering for Cleveland teams as a kid. He wanted to be the one to turn the Browns into consistent winners.
Like five other coaches since 1999, he failed.
Nobody discards coaches quite like the Browns, who cited "a concerning step backward in the second half of the year" in their decision to dump Chudzinski, who was let go just a few hours after a 20-7 loss in Pittsburgh - the Browns' seventh straight defeat and 10th in 11 games.
The Browns have fired four coaches since 2008, a disturbing trend that perhaps best explains why the team has made the playoffs just once since their expansion rebirth 14 years ago.
Chudzinski didn't even have a full year to fix the Browns (4-12), who have become one of the league's laughingstocks because of the endless turmoil.
Vikings fire Frazier
The Minnesota Vikings have fired coach Leslie Frazier a day after they wrapped up a 5-10-1 season.
The Vikings made the playoffs last year but struggled in 2013, unable to find stability at quarterback.
Frazier went 21-33-1 in three-plus seasons.
Redskins whack Shanahan
Shanahan spend four seasons at the helm of the Redskins, amassing a 24-39 record and an NFC East division title.
However, just a year after a playoff appearance, the team sank to 3-13 in 2013, the 2nd worst record in the National Football League.
Buccaneers make changes
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, mired in a season of woe of their own, fired both head coach Greg Schiano and GM Mark Domenik on Monday.
Schwartz out in Detroit
The Detroit Lions have fired coach Jim Schwartz.
The Lions made the move Monday, one day after they ended their late-season slide with a loss at Minnesota.
Detroit flopped to a 7-9 record this year after a 6-3 record start put the franchise in a position to win a division title for the first time since 1993.
Schwartz was 29-51 over five seasons, including a 10-6 mark in 2011 that lifted the Lions to their only postseason appearance this century