During the season, the Las Vegas Raiders saw John Gruden resign, and then Urban Meyer was sacked as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
So we knew ahead of Black Monday that there would be at least two teams looking for a new head coach for the new season.
Now, there are five more.
Vic Fangio (Denver Broncos), Mike Zimmer (Minnesota Vikings), Matt Nagy (Chicago Bears), Brian Flores (Miami Dolphins) and Joe Judge (New York Giants) were amongst those to receive the dreaded call from the head office on Monday to inform them that their services were being dispensed with.
And the feeling is that the NFL has not seen the last of coaches being asked to vacate their positions as we head into the playoffs.
In truth, none of the five names that received their notice on Monday were a huge surprise. All of the teams mentioned, perhaps with the exception of the Miami Dolphins, could be viewed to have underachieved once again this season.
Perhaps more tellingly, they have not really progressed any under their now former head coach.
Of the five, perhaps Brian Flores may feel the most aggrieved, however he was always under pressure after the Dolphins went on a seven-game losing streak following their Week 1 win over New England.
In his defence, a seven-game winning streak followed as the Dolphins became the first NFL team to record 7 -loss and 7-win streaks in the same season. But a heavy defeat to the Tennessee Titans in their penultimate game of the season meant that the Dolphins playoff hopes sunk without a trace and not even a win over the Patriots on Sunday could save Flores’ job.
Speculation As To Who Could Come In?
Such is the pace of change in the NFL that as soon as coaches are moved on from their position, speculation begins as to who will replace them and there are some intriguing names being linked with the vacant positions once again this season.
Eric Bieniemy, the offensive coordinator at the Kansas City Chiefs, is certainly one of the names that would likely be linked with multiple posts. His name was in the mix for positions last season too, but nothing came of that. Given his work with young quarterbacks, Bieniemy would be a good fit with the likes of the Chicago Bears and New York Giants.
For a team looking for more defensive input, then Colts Defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus is a name that has already been in the mix for the positions with the Jets and Texans last season. Another solid year by the Colts defense this year will ensure that he will be in the frame with the Jaguars already believed to be in contact and the Vikings also looking a good fit.
The Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, the Bills OC Brian Daboll and Bucs OC Byron Leftwich have also been named in the mix, with Leftwich already being contacted by the Jaguars about their vacancy.
There are also some other intriguing options, Doug Pederson, the former Eagles head coach has sat out this season but is available and of course Josh McDaniels, the Patriots OC will always get calls. Jim Harbaugh, who had a fine season at Michigan, could be one of the more interesting prospects for a team wanting to recruit from the college ranks.
Black Monday bit hard in the NFL, and now the process begins for those teams to find the head coach who will take them on to another level.
It’s a daunting task and one that, as we have often seen, can be darn tricky to get right!