Reaching a Super Bowl or past success means nothing in modern sports. What counts is today, or maximum the last couple of years. Andy Reid and Lovie Smith have been a long time in Philadelphia and Chicago, but haven’t been able to match their previous accomplishments. Same goes for Ken Whisenhunt and Norv Turner, while Romeo Crennel seemed to be in a doomed situation from the get go.
Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles
The past means nothing. Andy Reid made the postseason nine times between 2000 and 2010, including five NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl. He had a 130-93-1 record and six division titles in what is probably the toughest in the league. It didn’t help him as the Eagles completely collapsed over the last couple of season. What began as an 8-8 bump in the road in 2011 turned into a landslide no one could stop – not changing the quarterbacks or his staff, as the Eagles stumbled to a 4-12 record after a 3-1 start.
Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears
After nine season as the head coach of the Chicago Bears, it was time for Lovie Smith to go. Surprising as it was, even a 10 win season couldn’t save him. Smith had an 81-63 record with the Bears, but missing the postseason the last couple of years with two collapses – finishing 8-8 in 2011 after a 7-3 start and finishing 10-6 after a 7-1 start were too much to ignore for Bears ownership, seeing only three postseason appearances under the coach who led them to a Super Bowl in 2006.
Norv Turner, San Diego Chargers
Turner was always fighting against his own past. Few understood why the Chargers chose to hire a head coach who made the playoffs just once in his previous nine season with the Redskins and Raiders. He began his time in San Diego with three consecutive postseason appearances, but seemed to take a step backwards each year. The Chargers failed to make the playoffs over the last three seasons, and Turner, with a total 55-40 record, was sent home along with A.J. Smith, the General Manager.
Ken Whisenhunt, Arizona Cardinals
Like Lovie Smith, Whisenhunt is another head coach that has a Super Bowl with his former team, but that past couldn’t hide the fact of failing to make the postseason over the last three years. Worst, the Cardinals suffered two 5-11 seasons, and this year seemed to be the last final straw. After a 4-0 start based on some excellent defense, the lack of quality at quarterback and horrendous offensive line play cost Whisenhunt his job, which makes some wonder if all the success was mostly thanks to Kurt Warner, and not the heralded offensive mind of his head coach. His GM since 2007, Rod Graves, was also let go.
Romeo Crennel, Kansas City Chiefs
This was pretty much a given a long long time ago. Crennel took over in 2011 for Todd Haley, but his two wins from his interim period of three games were equal to his win total over the course of an entire season. They say there’s talent in Kansas City, but nothing was there to bring it together. The low points of the season had nothing to do with him, as the crowd cheered Matt Cassel when he got injured, and the Jovan Belcher murder-suicide story. Surprisingly, General Manager Scott Pioli survived the 2-14 year.