Football on Field

NFL’s Black Monday: Who’s Gone?

Every year the day following the conclusion to the regular NFL season sees multiple franchises let go of key personnel, paving a way for new staff to begin their preparations for the next season and beyond. This year, the Jets, Jaguars and Chargers all fired their head coaches on the day now known as ‘Black Monday’

The Los Angeles Chargers announced that they were parting ways with head coach Anthony Lynn after four seasons at the helm of the team. Lynn was hired as Mike McCoy’s replacement and led the team to a 9-7 record in his first season before taking them to the playoffs the following year after a 12-4 regular season record.

The Chargers would get beaten by the Patriots in the Divisional Round that year and that effort was followed up by a 5-11 season in 2019. After replacing the ageing Philip Rivers, Lynn was given another chance with Taylor then Herbert at quarterback and despite finishing the season with four consecutive wins, the team slumped to a 7-9 record.

In an official team statement posted to Twitter, owner Dean Spanos said: “This morning I informed Anthony Lynn that we have made the decision to part ways with him as our head coach. I’m not sure there is another person in this league more respected as a human being than Anthony, and I want to sincerely express my deepest gratitude for his leadership during a time of great change for our organization.

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“As we all know, this is a results-driven business and, simply put, the results of the past two years have fallen short of expectations. Moving forward, we will redouble our efforts to both build and maintain a Championship-calibre program. We have been innovative in many facets of our organization in recent years, and we need to carry that over to our entire operation.

“Our fans need to know that the Los Angeles Chargers are committed to consistent, winning football. The search for a new head coach will begin immediately.”

Meanwhile the Jacksonville Jaguars announced the firing of head coach Doug Marrone early on Monday, barely 12 hours after the team suffered their 15th consecutive defeat. Many suggested that this move should have come a year earlier in 2019 but owner Shad Khan gave Marrone the opportunity to reach the playoffs for the second time in four years. This is the first time Marrone has been fired after three decades of coaching.

“I am committed and determined to deliver winning football to the City of Jacksonville,” Shad Khan said in a statement. “Realizing that goal requires a fresh start throughout our football operations, and with that in mind I spoke this morning with Doug Marrone to express my gratitude for his hard work over the past four seasons as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“I’ll always appreciate Doug’s passion, grit and class, and I’m confident he will enjoy success in the next chapter of his career. As the search for our new general manager continues, now the quest begins to find a head coach who shares my ambition for the Jacksonville Jaguars and our fans, whose loyalty and faith are overdue to be rewarded.”

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“We are in a better position today than we were a year ago,” Khan claimed. “What has evaded the Jags is a franchise quarterback,” he admitted, pointing out the six different starting QBs over the past three years. “We have the ability to make a choice and it will define the franchise moving forward.”

The Jets actually fired their head coach Sunday night, letting Adam Gase go after the former Denver Broncos offensive coordinator led the team to a 9-23 during his two-year tenure. This year the team started 0-13 and looked destined to achieve the rare winless season before two victories in their final three games.

“This evening, I informed Adam Gase he will no longer serve as the Head Coach of the Jets. During his time here, I had the pleasure to get to know Adam and his wonderful family and wish them nothing but the best moving forward. While my sincere intentions are to have stability in our organization – especially in our leadership positions – it is clear the best decision for the Jets is to move in a different direction. We knew there was a lot of work that needed to be done when Adam joined us in 2019. Our strong finish last year was encouraging, but unfortunately, we did not sustain that positive momentum or see the progress we all expected this season,” Jets chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson said in a statement.

“To our fans, it is obvious we have not been good enough. We are committed to building a strong organization, on and off the field, and will continue to provide the necessary resources to field a team that you can be proud of.”

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