As the song goes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Everyone is in the holiday spirit with Hanukkah and Christmas just passing, but that will be short-lived for those in the NFL.
Just days after Christmas has concluded, the dark clouds will begin to approach and then, as the new year is ushered in, many across the NFL will likely be ushered out. That is, of course, because Black Monday is right around the corner and as the name indicates, it’s one of the most difficult days on the league calendar.
This year, as many as 10 coaches could be sent on their way, joining two who have already been sent packing in Hue Jackson (Cleveland Browns) and Mike McCarthy (Green Bay Packers). Here’s a look at the 10 head coaches or coordinators who could be given the boot only days after Christmas.
10. Doug Marrone, Jacksonville Jaguars
This space could have just as easily gone to Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, but early indications are that he’ll return to the team in 2019. That leaves Doug Marrone, who is also likely to return in 2019, but he may be on shakier ground than Rivera. The Jaguars opened the season with Super Bowl aspirations, but have completely fallen apart. They’ve gone 2-9 over the last 11 games, falling out of contention and once again looking like bottom of the NFL barrel. And with Tom Coughlin still calling most of the shots, that sort of futility will not stand for very long. If Marrone is brought back in 2019, it could be his last hurrah unless he manages to win 10 games and return to the playoffs.
9. Jay Gruden, Washington Redskins
It wasn’t all that long ago the Washington Redskins were leading the NFC East and looked like a shoo-in for the playoffs. Three quarterbacks later, the Redskins are losers of five of their last six games, have lost their stranglehold on the NFC East, have been eliminated from the playoffs and will barely hold off the New York Giants to avoid a basement finish. And following their latest crushing loss, safety D.J. Swearinger ripped defensive coordinator Greg Manusky and the coaching staff, leading to his release. But the veteran’s outburst and subsequent release shouldn’t be swept under the rug as it raises a huge red flag — a fractured locker-room and the beginning of a revolt against those in charge. Things are toxic in DC, and Gruden may pay the ultimate consequences as a result.