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NFL Coaching Carousel

As the NFL’s regular season ended after week 17, seven teams, all who failed to make the playoffs, decided to part ways with their head coaches.

Cleveland, Detroit, Tampa Bay, Washington, Houston, Minnesota, and Tennessee all fired their head coaches after disappointing 2013 seasons.

As the coaching carousel spins, let’s take a look at the moves each team has made in replacing their field general.

Cleveland Browns

Fired: Rob Chudzinski

Hired: Mike Pettine

2013 record: 4-12

Cleveland has not rocked in a while, especially not since this happened. The Browns fired head coach Rob Chudzinski after just one season after a 4-12 record.

According to ESPN, the Browns have hired Bill’s defensive coordinator Mike Pettine to replace Chudzinski. Pettine spent the previous four seasons as the Jet’s defensive coordinator. This will be his first stint as a head coach.

Detroit Lions

Fired Jim Schwartz

Hired: Jim Caldwell

2013 record: 7-9

After going 7-5 and being right in the hunt for the NFC North Divisional Title, the Lions collapsed, losing their last four games to finish the season at 7-9. In a division that saw the Packers win with a record of 8-7-1, Lions fans were disgusted to see their team miss the playoffs by 1.5 games., The Lions fired head coach Jim Schwartz after five seasons in Detroit. Schwartz led the Lions to their only playoff appearance of this century in 2011, where they lost to New Orleans. But with weapons like Calvin Johnson Jr. and Matt Stafford, the Lions felt it was time to part ways with Schwartz in hopes of turning the team around.

Detroit has hired the Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell as their new head coach.

Before helping lead the Ravens to a Superbowl victory last season, Caldwell held head coaching jobs for the Indianapolis Colts, which he also led to a Superbowl in 2009, and at Wake Forest from 1993 to 2000.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fired: Greg Schiano

Hired: Lovie Smith

2013 record: 4-12

Greg Schiano’s intense, “iron fist” style of coach

ing was not the recipe the Buccaneers needed to correct the recent failure of the team. The Bucs fired Schiano after going 11-21 in his only two seasons with the team. Numerous reports throughout the year detailed that Schiano’s “my way or the highway” routine did not sit well with the players, which may have lead to the team’s decision to let him go.

The Bucs hired Lovie Smith, former Chicago Bears head coach, in hopes of turning this dismal franchise around. Smith, who led to Bears to the Superbowl in 2006, returns to the NFL after a year off from coaching.

Buccaneers management and players have expressed their happiness on their new head coach, and hope to see improvement in the 2014 season.


Washington Redskins

Fired: Mike Shanahan

Hired: Jay Gruden

2013 record: 3-13

Mike Shanahan seemed to be in hot water since last season. With rumors and speculation on how he handled Robert Griffin III’s injury in last year’s playoff loss to the Seahawks, Shanahan kept calm, and prepared for the 2013 season.

After seeing a successful season last year with rookie quarterback RGIII under center, the Redskins were unsure of how this season would go with their QB coming off ACL reconstruction. RGIII seemed ready at the start the first game of the season, but he never seemed like himself as the season played out and the Redskins kept losing. Shanahan eventually benched him in favor of backup Kirk Cousins, mostly because the team had zero chance at the playoffs, and to protect and rest their franchise quarterback from injury.

The Redskins finished the season with a record of 3-13, the second worst in the NFL, which led to the decision to fire Shanahan after four seasons with the team, and a combined record of 24-40.

Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden was hired as Shanahan’s replacement in Washington. Jay, brother of former Superbowl champion coach and ESPN analyst Jon Gruden, had some success as the OC in Cincinnati, as they won the AFC North this past season.

This will be Gruden’s first stint as a head coach in the NFL.

Houston Texans

Fired: Gary Kubiak

Hired: Bill O’Brien

2013 record: 2-14

We are… Houston? Former Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien takes over the helm of 2013’s worst team in the league.

After two straight AFC South divisional titles in 2011 and 2012, the Texans fell to the bottom of league standings in 2013. The team finished the season with a 2-14 record, tying the team’s worst record since the Texan’s franchise began in 2002.

The Texans fired head coach Gary Kubiak midseason, after the team struggled to a 2-11 record. Kubiak served as head coach of the team for the past 8 seasons.

Bill O’Brien will take over the league’s worst team of 2013, after having success at Penn State University in the midst of the Sandusky scandal.

O’Brien had previous NFL coaching positions with the New England Patriots from 2007 to 2011, serving as an offensive assistant, wide receivers coach, and offensive coordinator.

Minnesota Vikings

Fired: Leslie Frazier

Hired: Mike Zimmer

2013 record: 5-10

The Vikings fired head coach Leslie Frazier after a disappointing record of 21-32 in his four seasons with the team.

Adrian Peterson’s comeback from ACL surgery and MVP season in 2012 has been the only thing Viking’s fans have had to cheer about in recent years, as the team struggled to a 5-10 record this past season.

The Vikings have hired Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer to replace Frazier. Zimmer spent the last five seasons as the Bengals defensive coordinator. This will be his first head-coaching job.

Tennessee Titans 

Fired: Mike Munchak

Hired: Ken Whisenhunt

2013 record: 7-9

The Titans fired head coach Mike Munchak after serving three years with the team. Munchak’s only winning season with the team was his first season as head coach in 2011, when they went 9-7. The team then stumbled to a 6-10 record in 2012, and a 7-9 record this season.

According to multiple reports, the Titans have hired San Diego’s offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, who helped lead the Chargers to the playoffs this season.

The Titans have not had a playoff appearance since the 2008 season.