Prior to the 2009 season, a staggering 8 new head coaches were hired, 10 if you include Tom Cable and Mike Singletary, who had their interim tags removed. Eight of the ten have already been canned. Some lasted three years. Others didn’t even get three. Here’s that list:
|Rex Ryan||Jets||Not canned|
|Jim Schwartz||Lions||Not canned|
Sometime back around Week 14 this season, if you would have asked me which NFC East coach I thought was the safest, my answer would have been Mike Shanahan, due partly to the notion that turning Redskins around was going to take some time, but also in large part to the fact that he signed a 5 year deal worth around $7 million per season. Unlike NFL players, you can’t just cut coaches and not pay them anymore. You have to eat that cost if you cut bait with a coach that’s still under contract.
But as the above chart shows, patience in the NFL is most certainly not a virtue. Mike Shanahan is entering the pivotal “Year 3” of his supposed 5-year plan. None of the above coaches had a deal as lucrative or as long as Shanny’s, which differentiates him to a degree, but what if the Redskins slog their way through another 5 or 6 win season in 2012? Is he going to see a 4th? If the above pattern is any indication, he may not.
(QUICK UPDATE – As one of my readers in the comment section was so kind to point out in such a polite manner, I missed Jim Mora, bringing the total number of new head coaches in 2009 to 11, not 10. Mora lasted only one year. An extremely heartfelt and sincere “You’re an internet god” to “Jake from Wisconsin” for pointing out this failure of epic proportions in blogging history.)