NEW YORK – The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions rang in the New Year by firing their head coaches, while Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians ended a stellar career when he announced his retirement on Monday after five years at the helm.
However, on what traditionally has become known as “Black Monday,” the carnage was relatively light in the NFL.
John Fox was sent packing following three seasons with the Bears, while Detroit fired Jim Caldwell after four campaigns, bringing to six the number of teams publicly searching for a new head coach.
The New York Giants ditched coach Ben McAdoo four weeks ago and on Sunday the Indianapolis Colts dumped coach Chuck Pagano after six seasons and the Oakland Raiders ousted Jack Del Rio after three campaigns.
Del Rio’s departure was perhaps the only surprise, with the others widely expected.
But it was not one-way traffic to the exit door on Monday, with Hue Jackson retaining his position at the Cleveland Browns despite presiding over a winless season.
Arians announced his retirement after compiling a 49-30-1 record with Arizona.
“The tears you see are really tears of joy, peace,” said the 65-year-old, who has suffered some health problems recently, including a kidney cancer scare.
Before becoming a head coach, Arians built a strong resume as an assistant coach, including two Super Bowl rings during his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he helped develop Ben Roethlisberger into a champion quarterback.
Fox, meanwhile, departs Chicago after a 5-11 season, and a 14-34 overall record. He previously took both Carolina and Denver to Super Bowls.
Caldwell leaves Detroit after compiling a 36-28 record.
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