The NFL’s Black Monday, when underperforming teams traditionally fire their head coaches at the end of the regular season, saw the New York Jets, Los Angeles Chargers and Jacksonville Jaguars make moves to the top.
For once, the Jets led the rest of the league, actually firing Gase on Sunday night. The move wasn’t surprising after Gase compiled a 9-23 record with the Jets during his two seasons in charge. This season, the Jets started 0-14 before winning their last two games to exit the race and select Trevor Lawrence, considered the most talented young quarterback in a generation, as the first overall pick in the April draft. The Jets praised Gase as an offensive guru when he was hired after a disappointing spell with the Dolphins, but he failed to ignite the offense or develop their starting quarterback, Sam Arnold.
The Chargers won their last four games to finish 7-9, but it wasn’t enough to save Lynn’s job.
” I’m not sure there is another person in this league more respected as a human being than Anthony,” Chargers owner Dean Spanos said in a statement. “This is a results-driven business and simply put, the results of the last two years have not met expectations.”
Lynn was hired by the Chargers in January 2017 and was the first black head coach in franchise history. He was 34-32 with Los Angeles, but just 12-20 in the past two seasons. He had one year left on his contract.
Los Angeles started 0-4 during Lynn’s first season in 2017, but finished 9-7 after winning six of the last seven games. That served as a stepping stone to 2018 when the Chargers finished 12-4, tying the best record in the AFC. They defeated Baltimore in the wild card round before losing to New England in the divisional playoffs. Trying to repeat that success has been elusive. They are 7-16 since the start of last season in games decided by eight points or fewer.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars fired coach Doug Marrone just over 12 hours after ending the season with a 15th straight loss.
It was a move that many thought owner Shad Khan should have made at the end of the 2019 season. But Khan gave Marrone another chance to turn Jacksonville into a playoff contender for the second time in four years.
Marrone fell far short of the owner’s expectations, making Khan’s decision easy and long-awaited. It was the first time Marrone had been fired in three decades as a coach.
” I will always appreciate Doug’s passion, courage and class, and I am confident that he will enjoy success in the next chapter of his career,” Khan said in a statement. “As the search for our new general manager continues, now begins the search for a head coach who shares my ambition for the Jacksonville Jaguars and our fans, whose loyalty and faith must be rewarded.”
Despite Jacksonville’s recent struggles, the coaching vacancy is attractive. The Jaguars have five of the top 65 picks in the 2021 draft, including the No. 1 overall pick, and nearly $100 million in cap space to help rebuild. Clemson star Lawrence is considered a dunk to land in Jacksonville and serve as the centerpiece of the team’s latest rebuild.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism