Schiano Joins Shanahan Seeking Job as Five NFL Coaches Get FiredErik Matuszewski and Mason Levinson
The Washington Redskins’ Mike Shanahan and Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Greg Schiano were among five National Football League coaches fired at season’s end, while the New York Jets’ Rex Ryan was given a reprieve.
Leslie Frazier of the Minnesota Vikings, Jim Schwartz of the Detroit Lions and the Cleveland Browns’ Rob Chudzinski also have been let go.
Shanahan was fired today after four seasons as the Redskins lost their final eight contests to finish at 3-13. Frazier was ousted following a 5-10-1 Vikings campaign that followed a 10-6 performance in 2012. Chudzinski was released yesterday after compiling a 4-12 record in his lone season with the team.
“I was shocked and disappointed to hear the news that I was fired,” Chudzinski said in a statement released by the team.
Both Schiano and Tampa Bay General Manager Mark Dominik were fired following the Buccaneers’ 4-12 season, team Co-Chairman Bryan Glazer said in a statement.
“The results over the past two years have not lived up to our standards and we believe the time has come to find a new direction,” Glazer said.
Schiano deflected questions yesterday about whether he’d be interested in the coaching job at Penn State University if it becomes available. ESPN reported that the Houston Texans are in talks to hire Penn State’s Bill O’Brien after going 2-14.
Shanahan, who won two Super Bowl titles during an 18-year stay with the Denver Broncos, went 24-40 record with one playoff appearance over four seasons with the Redskins. His future with the team was hampered by deteriorating relationships with quarterback Robert Griffin III and owner Daniel Snyder. Griffin, the No. 2 pick in the 2011 draft, was shut down three weeks ago in an attempt to protect his surgically repaired knee.
“We are going to take a smart, step-by-step approach to finding the right coach to return the Redskins to where we believe we should be,” Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen said in a statement. “We will analyze accurately and honestly all of the decisions that were made over the past year.”
Frazier, who took over for Brad Childress during the 2010 season, went 20-32-1 with the Vikings, taking the team to one playoff appearance, in 2012.
“Unfortunately, we did not achieve consistent success and did not achieve the progress we expected,” Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said in a statement. “We believe a coaching change is needed to help build a successful team moving forward.”
Schwartz, 47, led the Lions to a 7-9 record this season, his fifth with the team. He departs with a 29-51 record, having taken Detroit to one playoff appearance, during the 2011 season.
Jets owner Woody Johnson said Ryan would be back for the final year of his contract after the team finished an 8-8 season with yesterday’s 20-7 win over the Miami Dolphins. Ryan’s status was in question after John Idzik was brought in as general manager during the offseason to replace Mike Tannenbaum, who was dismissed after New York went 6-10 in 2012.
“Rex and I have had a tremendous rapport,” Idzik told reporters yesterday. “Really there was not much doubt. I know there was a lot of speculation, but the feeling we had inside was this was a pretty good pair.”
Entering the season, the Las Vegas Hotel’s SuperBook put the betting line for the Jets’ projected win total at 6 1/2. The Jets had traded away their best defensive player -- All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis -- in the offseason and started rookie Geno Smith at quarterback after losing Mark Sanchez to a season-ending injury during the preseason.
“This is a team that really came together,” said Ryan, whose team finished the season with back-to-back wins for the first time all year. “We know what everybody felt about us at the start of the season. We had seven new starters on defense, seven on offense and five rookies start. I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I thought we’d be up for it.”
Many Jets players had voiced support for Ryan over the final weeks of the regular season. Smith said players celebrated in the Jets’ locker room following yesterday’s game when Johnson told the team that Ryan, who has a 46-40 overall record, would be back in 2014.
“Every guy in that locker room was ecstatic, just jumping around, grabbing one another,” the rookie quarterback said. “You would think we had won a Super Bowl. To have our head coach back -- a guy we enjoy playing for -- is great.”
Ryan said he and the Jets won’t discuss his contract and whether the two sides will negotiate an extension.
Ryan’s five-year tenure has included highs and lows on the field and back-page tabloid headlines off it. The Jets just fell short of the Super Bowl in his first two seasons, making back-to-back American Football Conference championship games, before missing the playoffs the past three years. It’s the franchise’s first three-year playoff drought since 1992-97.
The son of former Philadelphia Eagles coach Buddy Ryan, Rex Ryan was hired by the Jets in 2009 after 10 years as an assistant with the Baltimore Ravens. Ryan was the defensive line coach when the Ravens won the Super Bowl after the 2000 season, and was the team’s defensive coordinator for four years before his arrival in New York.
In 2010, Jets coaches and players were criticized by the league for their treatment of a female reporter, and Ryan that same year drew complaints from fans and former coaches for his cursing during the team’s stint on HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” a television series that gives a behind-the-scenes look at an NFL team during training camp. That season, Ryan guaranteed that the Jets would win the Super Bowl.
Heading into this season the Jets overhauled their front office and coaching staff, firing Tannenbaum and assistants, including offensive coordinator Tony Sparano and quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh. After he announced last January that defensive coordinator Mike Pettine also wouldn’t return to the team, Ryan told reporters he’d received a “new chance” with the Jets.
Johnson said yesterday’s he’s hopeful about the future under Ryan and Idzik.
“We have a young team that is on the ascent, that is going to get even better next year,” Johnson said. “We’ve got another year with Rex and his staff and I think it’s really going to be good.”