In the NFL, coaching changes don’t always guarantee success

By Vincent Bonsignore

                       We knew black Monday was upon us, so no sense being surprised so many NFL coaches and executives are being shown the door today.

With so much parity in the NFL and so much at stake financially, patience gives way to anxiety and angst to make the leap from the lower and middle of the pack to relevance and playoff contention.

But while fan bases across the league are celebrating the end of one tenure while embracing the promise and hope of a bright future under new leadership, keep in mind only one team made the leap to the playoffs after replacing their head coach at the end of last season.

That would be the Detroit Lions under new coach Jim Caldwell.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans all made head coaching changes but saw only moderate improvement – if any at all.

So be careful what you are celebrating today. Success in the NFL is rarely about change, it’s about continuity.

It’s not just about hiring a new coach. It’s hiring the right coach and giving him sufficient tools and time to succeed.

That said, here is a look at what’s gone down so far on a busy Monday around the NFL.

In New York, head coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik were both fired.

As expected, the Chicago Bears let go of Marc Trestman, who was not able to elevate mercurial quarterback Jay Cutler to the next level as expected. General manager Phile Emery was also fired.

In Atlanta, Mike Smith’s defensive shortcomings with the Falcons cost him his job.

Meanwhile, it’s all but guaranteed 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh is headed to the University of Michigan after he and San Francisco mutually agreed to part ways. The 49ers immediately begin the search for a new coach.

The Oakland Raiders desperately wanted Harbaugh, according to reports, but will now look elsewhere.

That’s it – up to the minute anyway. But with so many teams with itchy trigger fingers after failing to make the playoffs or finishing subpar seasons, don’t be surprised if other moves happen in the next few days. In other words, you might want to check back a little later.