I love Christmastime - presents, food, liquid libations aplenty, playoff football (unless you're a Bears' fan this year). But, this year, for one reason or another, has been crazy busy with a nonstop onslaught of activity driving me to the edge of madness. So, I'm pulling out my Mr. Scrooge card and asking - which NFL coaches deserve to be fired at the end of this season? Jump like Santa's belly during a hard landing.
First, let's hit the in-season casualties: Jack "Ask my OC" Del Rio (Jacksonville), Todd "Anger Management Needed" Haley, and Tony "Got Whacked" Soparano. All three coaches deserved it, although in Haley's case, his personality probably played a pretty big role in his departure. Now, for our list of guys that should be collecting severance come February:
Raheem Morris: His "youngry" team of overachievers had a terrific 2010 season, especially considering the expectations for that team. This year, "youngry" has given way to "terriawful" as the Bucs have struggled against a tougher record leaving them at 4-10 with two weeks left. While it would be a bit of a surprise to dump him one year after a solid season, he will be entering "lame-duck" status next year and the team may not want to wait and ride it out. Also, the regression of Josh Freeman has been horrid.
Jim Caldwell: I don't want to hear about how the only coach that shows even less emotion than Lovie Smith should get another year due to the Manning injury. The Colts were by far the worst team in football for the majority of the season. If management decides to draft Luck and dump Manning, they should have a good list of candidates interested in working with the next big thing under center. The current two-game winning streak they're on means nothing, either, except that the Colts are trying to play themselves out of the number one spot.
Norv Turner: Seriously, ProFootballTalk in the matter of three weeks went from "A.J. Smith and Norv Turner gone" to "winning streak could save their jobs." If I was a Chargers fan (I'd probably be the tenth since they get blacked out more than the Northeast during snowstorms) I'd be in a blinding rage over any possibility that Norv comes back. His blueprint each year is: suck at some point during the first half of the season then save/salvage said season with a few solid wins late in the year. A.J. Smith hasn't done well lately bringing in new talent, not mention he comes across as a bit of a Richard, but at least Turner should suffer the consequences of doing exactly what his teams always do. Let the man go back to what he does best - coordinate an offense, not run a team.
Tom Coughlin: Just put him out of his misery. Coughlin seems like the kind of guy that would never just up and quit; you'll have to fire him and drag him out of the building to make him stop. The Giants are underachieving again, and while they're 7-7 and could still be in the playoffs, I think its time to turn the page and let a new coach try and get this team back to the Super Bowl. And, I pray that person is Rob Ryan, because I believe having two Ryan's coaching in the same city is a sign of the apocalypse.
Steve Spaghetti: That's Spagnuolo, the 2-14 Rams' Head Coach that is challenging the Colts for the worst team in the league title and having St. Louis reconsider keeping them in their city limits. Injuries have crushed this team, but while Harbaugh is owning that division with practically the same roster he had last year, Spaghetti's team is in the crapper, which is now an annual rite (like steriod allegations or people over-referencing Festivus).
Mike Shanahan: Dan Snyder's capable of anything (and I seriously mean anything) and any person, no matter how many titles he one while riding Saint John's shoulder pads, that thinks that Rex Grossman and John Beck are good quarterback options is either a child of said players, or should get a brain scan to see if it has been replaced by a gigantic ego.
Leslie Frazier: I think he deserves another year, since apparently the wake of destruction left behind by Brad Childress was so destructive he had almost no shot at success this year. Frazier's like a chipmunk that stayed in Prypiat after the Chernobyl accident; he figured "hey, all these nuts are mine, score!" Instead, he'll out of there way sooner than he expected (although at least he did better than Alvin).
Chan Gailey: Great start to the season, then they realized they were still the Bills, and Fred Jackson got hurt, meaning all hope was lost. I really don't blame Gailey, but that whole organization needs some fresh blood (sound familiar). If your fans think they were better off in the Dick Jauron era, you know something's amiss.
Pat Shurmur: Decided to be the offensive coordinator in addition to his first-time head coaching responsibilities, which was just stupid. I know Cleveland doesn't have a lot of weapons (just Peyton Hillis, Montario Hardesty, Greg Little, some decent tight ends... wait, that's not bad) and a regressing second-year quarterback, but this season was awful to watch from afar with just boring, ugly games. And, being that I live just outside of Cleveland, I get to watch/hear about the horridness up close and personal. It's like living near a sewage dump that you smell everytime you go outside and pass on your way to work each day (wait, isn't that how most people view Cleveland?).
Hit up your contenders in the comments, and Happy Festivus everyone!