'Black Monday' for 6 NFL coaches fired before 10 am; Lions' pair with 'Patriots Pedigree' safe?


It was "Black Monday" for six more NFL head coaches who lost their jobs one day after the end of the 2018 season. It brings the total to eight who have been fired for not getting their teams among the NFL's elite 12 preparing to play post-season football this winter.

Count the Detroit Lions in the un-elite group for the second straight season. After back-to-back 9-7 records cost Jim Caldwell his job last year, new man Matt Patricia is now on the hot seat. So, too, is General Manager Bob Quinn.

Many are calling for both to be fired. People even showed up at Ford Field with paper bags over their heads last week in Detroit when the Lions lost in a horrible effort against the Minnesota Vikings.

Caldwell was canned despite making the playoffs twice. His first team was 11-5 before a 7-9 season preceded the back-to-back 9-7 campaigns. Quinn tried to convince fans that Caldwell was fired for not winning a Super Bowl. Quinn quipped that it was a move to "get the Lions to the next level."

The former Patriots exec brought in former long-time Patriots assistant Patricia in hopes he could work some magic here.

The problem, however, is that the only magic act now is that the Lions have disappeared from the conversation when sizing up Super Bowl title contenders. You get no shot if you're not even in the playoffs.

Caldwell is a guy who twice experienced Super Bowls elsewhere. Regressing from a 9-7 record to 6-10 makes Yours Truly look pretty smart for saying it was a mistake to fire Caldwell. I said he won with less talent than teams behind the Lions in the standings.

Bob Quinn promised fans the move was to improve the Lions when Caldwell was let go.

When asked on Sunday by a TV reporter if she was pleased with the team's progress under Matt Patricia, owner Martha Ford's reply was a three-word vote of confidence. "Yes I am."

Um, 6-10 is okay with you Martha? 

If you really think so, you are out of touch with the people sitting below your luxury box at Ford Field.

Not since 1957 have the Lions won the NFL championship. Super Bowl games have too many roman numerals for me to count, and we've never won one yet. They created this match-up of NFC champions against AFC champions way back in 1967, and the Lions have never been at the party. Heck, they've only won one playoff football game in my lifetime, and I'm getting to be a pretty old guy.

Some suggest dumping both Patricia and Quinn, but Martha's vote of confidence proves that's not gonna happen. Some suggest trading away Matthew Stafford, possibly trading up in the June draft to obtain Ohio State phenom Duane Haskins as their next quarterback. You don't win it all with a rookie in the NFL and the only other logical choice to go after (if they could move Stafford and his huge contract) would be to sign Eagles'  Super Bowl hero Nick Foles when he becomes a free agent after the season. Bad as he is, I think Stafford is a better option than an aging Foles who had a far superior supporting cast in Philadelphia a year ago when taking them to the Super Bowl after starter Carson Wentz went down with an injury.

One thing is for sure. My decree on day one after Patricia was announced to all the "Patriots Pedigree" crap stands firm. Getting some "Patriots Pedigree" would have been signing up Tom Brady as quarterback and Bill Belichick as head coach. Quinn has been quiet all season and Patricia hasn't done himself any favors with his odd leadership style.

Patricia made his team practice outside in the bitter cold before a big game that was indoors. His game clock management at times has been questionable, yet he has taken no blame for mistakes when quizzed about it by media members. 

Miami Dolphins fire former MSU offensive coaching guru Adam Gase after second straight losing season


Former MSU Assistant Adam Gase

Fired by Miami Dolphins


CCN Executive Editor

MIAMI (CCN) —  An offensive coaching guru with ties to Ypsilanti and East Lansing has been fired by the Miami Dolphins. Ypsilanti native Adam Gase was fired Monday after the team finished his third season as head coach with a 7-9 record when losing 42-17 Sunday at Buffalo to the Bills. 

Miami was 6-10 under Gase last season after a 10-6 record in his rookie campaign when losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs. His 23-25 record as a head coach followed tremendous success as an offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos. He was also on the staff of the Detroit Lions from 2003 until 2007 under the regimes of Steve Mariucci and Rob Marinelli after getting his coaching career start as an assistant at MSU. He left the Spartans with Nick Saban when he went to LSU in 2000.

Gase also worked as an assistant in the NFL for both the San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears before going to Denver under John Fox and Gary Kubiak .

Gase, who played at MSU and earned a degree there, has already been mentioned as a potential answer to solving the offensive woes for the Michigan Wolverines and as a top target of NFL teams looking for a new offensive coordinator, including the Detroit Lions.

“I want to thank Adam for his hard work and dedication to the Miami Dolphins,” said Miami owner Stephen Ross who is a fellow Michigan native and UM graduate who has been a leading donor to the university in Ann Arbor. “This decision was not easy as he gave everything he had to the organization," Ross added at a press conference. "I wish him and his family the best going forward.”

Gase got himself on the radar as an innovative offensive guru after Payton Manning credited Gase with helping him to a record-setting 2013 season when passing for a record 55 touchdowns (breaking Tom Brady's 2007 record of 50) while throwing for 5,477 yards to break the 2011 record of Drew Brees by a single yard. Manning also broke one Dan Marino record and tied others — his 9 4-TD games destroyed Marino's record of 6 in 1984, his 15 two-TD games tied Marino's 1984 record and his four 400-yard passing games tied another 1984 Marino mark. Kubiac retained Gase as Denver's offensive coordinator when taking over the Broncos in 2015 when they went on to win the 2016 Super Bowl.

The Dolphins became the eighth NFL team in the market for a new head coach. The others include the Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Benglas and New York Jets. Six teams fired their coaches before 10 am  on Monday (see story below on your mobile device or at left on your laptop or PC). The Packers and Browns fired their coaches before the end of the regular season.


Sunday's Week #17 NFL Scores:

Detroit Lions 31, Green Bay Packers 0

Philadelphia Eagles 24, Washington Redskins 0

Chicago Bears 24, Minnesota Vikings 10

Indianapolis Colts 33, Tennessee Titans 17

Baltimore Ravens 26, Cleveland Browns 24

Buffalo Bills 42, Miami Dolphins 17

New England Patriots 38, New York Jets 3

Los Angeles Chargers 23, Denver Broncos 9

Kansas City Chiefs 35, Oakland Raiders 3

Los Angeles Rams 43, San Francisco 49ers 32

Dallas Cowboys 36, New York Giants 35

Carolina Panthers 33, New Orleans Saints 14

Houston Texans 20, Jacksonville Jaguars 3

Atlanta Falcons 34, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32

Seattle Seahawks 27, Arizona Cardinals 24

Pittsburgh Steelers 16, Cincinnati Bengals 13

AFC Wild Card Playoff Games

Colts at Texans (Sat 4:35 pm)

Chargers at Ravens (Sun 1 pm)

NFC Wild Card Playoff Games

Seahawks at Cowboys (Sat 8:15 pm)

Eagles at Bears (Sun 4:40 pm)

Opening Round Byes

Chiefs & Patriots in AFC

Rams & Saints in NFC