The day after the end of the NFL regular season is one that coaches fear more than any other. It’s when teams unhappy with their overall results announce they are “moving in a different direction” or “looking for a fresh start” by firing their head coaches (and most likely the rest of the coaching staff).
After the longest season in NFL history, several clubs have already decided they need new leadership to take office in 2022. Here’s a rundown of the NFL coaches who made it to the end of this season, but whose teams decided they won’t. I’ll be back for another.
Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings
Zimmer was the third most victorious coach in Vikings history, compiling a 72-56-1 record over eight seasons. Despite two division titles, three playoff appearances and at least seven wins each season, it wasn’t good enough for him to keep his job.
“While these decisions are not easy, we believe it is time for new leadership to elevate our team so that we can consistently compete for championships,” Vikings owners Zigi and Mark Wilf said in a statement.
Brian Flores, Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins started Flores’ third season at Miami 1-8, but caught fire midseason and won seven in a row to return to .500. A Week 17 loss to the Tennessee Titans put an end to the team’s playoff hopes, but the Dolphins capped the season with a convincing 33-24 victory over the New England Patriots to end with a winning record.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to save Flores’ job.
In his first stint as the NFL head coach, Flores compiled a 24-25 record.
Matt Nagy, Chicago Bears
Nagy’s departure was perhaps the least surprising of all. Under fire for most of the season, the fourth-year coach had to deal with questions and speculation about his job security almost every week.
With the Bears battling for a 6-11 record, both Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace were fired on Monday.
“That’s real. That’s life. We know our record isn’t good enough. You can’t run from it,” Nagy said after Sunday’s season-ending loss to the Vikings.
Nagy was named NFL Coach of the Year in 2018 when he led the Bears to a 12-4 record and an NFC North title. However, things went downhill, despite a playoff spot last season, and he finished his four-year tenure with a 34-31 record.
Vic Fangio, Denver Broncos
Fangio never had a winning season in his three years at Denver, finishing 19-30 overall. A four-game losing streak to end the 2021 7-10 campaign likely sealed his fate. Despite constant problems as a quarterback, the Broncos fought hard to the end. falling to AFC West champion Kansas City Chiefs 28-24 on Saturday.
The The team made Fangio’s dismissal official one day later.
Since winning Super Bowl 50, the Broncos haven’t been to the playoffs in six years, the second-longest active streak behind the New York Jets.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism