Black Monday in NFL: 7 coaches, 4 GMs fired

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Black Monday in NFL: 7 coaches, 4 GMs fired

After a season in which no coaches were fired during the season, the NFL exploded in a spasm of dismissals Monday.

No fewer than seven head coaches and four general managers were given the axe, and the carnage may not be over. The status of some others -- like Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey and Chiefs GM Scott Pioli -- are still up in the air.

A complete list of coachGM firings, listing alphabetically by team:

Coach Ken Whisenhunt and GM Rod Graves, Arizona Cardinals (NBC's Pro Football Talk)
In the end, this move mostly comes down to the inability of Graves and Whisenhunt to find a competent starting quarterback.

Coach Chan Gailey, Buffalo Bills (AP)
Buffalo finished 6-10, and Gailey leaves with a 16-32 record. There was no immediate word on the status of general manager Buddy Nix.

Coach Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears (CSN Chicago)
Hired in 2004, Smith led the 2006 team to the Super Bowl, but he also saw his team collapse in the second half of the past two seasons. He was let go with a year left on his contract, ending a nine-year run that produced an 81-63 record, three division titles and two appearances in the NFC championship game. (ALSO FROM CSN CHICAGO: Bears players angry, stunned, reeling in aftermath of Smith firing)

Coach Pat Shurmer and GM Tom Heckert, Cleveland Browns (AP)
One day after another dismal season ended with a loss in Pittsburgh, the Browns fired coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert, the first moves in an expected overhaul by new owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner.

GM Gene Smith, Jacksonville Jaguars (AP)
The Jaguars fired general manager Gene Smith on Monday after four disappointing seasons, including the worst year (2-14) in franchise history in 2012. Coach Mike Mularkey could be next; owner Shad Khan is waiting to decide Mularkey's fate until he hires a new general manager, which could happen this week.

Coach Romeo Crennel, Kansas City Chiefs (AP)
The Kansas City Chiefs fired coach Romeo Crennel on Monday, but made no move on embattled general manager Scott Pioli -- though owner Clark Hunt warned "there may be additional changes to come" -- despite a 2-14 season marked by blowout losses, fan rebellion and a murder-suicide involving one of their players.

Coach Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles (CSN Philly)
The man who had benefitted from so many good decisions in his first dozen years made one poor judgment call after another. Instead of making another Super Bowl run, the Eagles spiraled downward and missed the postseason in each of the next two years, leaving owner Jeffrey Lurie no choice but to dismiss Reid with one year left on the coachs contract. (ALSO FROM CSN PHILLY: Owner Jeffrey Lurie explains reasons for Andy Reid's firing)

GM Mike Tannenbaum, New York Jets (AP)
The Jets fired Tannenbaum, their general manager for the last seven years, after a dismal 6-10 season, but owner Woody Johnson announced that Rex Ryan will be back for a fifth season as the team's coach.

Coach Norv Turner and GM A.J. Smith, San Diego Chargers (AP)
Coming after a season of stunning come-from-ahead losses and increasing fan anger, the firings complete a startling fall for a team that won the AFC West from 2006-09. The Chargers are the third team to fire Turner, who has an overall head coaching record of 114-122-1.

Chara ‘feels better’ as he closes in on return, but won’t play in Buffalo

Chara ‘feels better’ as he closes in on return, but won’t play in Buffalo

BRIGHTON, Mass. – Zdeno Chara said he is “feeling better” after going through a full practice with the Bruins, but the captain won’t be making the one game road trip to Buffalo for Saturday afternoon’s matinee game vs. the Sabres. 

Chara was going through line rushes and battle drills with the rest of his teammates while practicing for the second day in a row, but made it clear that his lower body injury hasn’t been cleared for game action yet. 

“It’s day-to-day. It feels better…yeah. But it’s still day-to-day,” said a rather laconic Chara when it came to questions about his injury. “It would feel much better [to play] than it feels [not playing].”

Claude Julien said his 39-year-old defenseman has moved into true “day-to-day” status as he nears a return after missing what will be his sixth game in a row on Saturday afternoon, but that he isn’t quite ready to go just yet.

“[Chara] and [Noel] Acciari won’t be on the trip,” said Julien. “I think [Chara] is getting pretty close. When you see him at practice things are going pretty well for him. I think that the term day-to-day is fitting for him right now. A lot of times when we say day-to-day we don’t know whether it’s going to be two days, three days or even a week. But in his case I would say that day-to-day is really day-to-day now with him.” 

One thing the Bruins can be heartened by is that they’ve managed to survive without Chara: the B’s have gone 2-2-1 and allowed just nine goals in the five games since their No. 1 defenseman went down. They have been able to continue collecting points in sometimes ugly, workmanlike fashion. 

That gives the Bruins the luxury of not rushing their D-man along before he’s ready and gives some of their other defensemen added confidence that they can effectively do the job with or without their 6-foot-9 stopper. 

Slater missing from start of Patriots practice

Slater missing from start of Patriots practice

FOXBORO -- The Patriots were without two key members of their special teams units at Friday's practice. 

Both Matthew Slater (foot) and Jordan Richards (knee) were not spotted at the start of the team's most recent workout. Defensive lineman Woodrow Hamilton (illness) was also missing. 

Hamilton and Richards did not participate in Thursday's practice. Slater was present on Wednesday and Thursday after missing Sunday's game against the Jets. 

The Patriots did have a Gronkowski back on the field Friday, but it wasn't Rob, who was expected to undergo back surgery in Los Angeles. It was fullback Glenn Gronkowski, who has apparently been re-signed to the Patriots practice squad for his fourth go-round on New England's 10-man unit. Practice-squad tight end Kennard Backman, who has not been at Patriots practice since Wednesday, has likely been released in order to make room for Gronkowski.