Five head coaches were fired near or at the end of the 2016 NFL season: Chip Kelly (49ers), Mike McCoy (Chargers), Rex Ryan (Bills), Gus Bradley (Jaguars) and Jeff Fisher (Rams). They may not be the last.
Chip Kelly, San Francisco 49ers
After a 2-14 season in San Francisco, Kelly isn’t getting another head coaching gig in the NFL, not until he becomes a coordinator for a few years or heads back to college. His firing highlights two things: His inability to translate what has been described as offensive genius into the NFL except for one season, and the complete trainwreck that is the 49ers organization. Kelly is 28-35 in the NFL as a head coach, making the playoffs just once in four seasons.
Mike McCoy, San Diego Chargers
McCoy started his time with the Chargers making the playoffs and even winning a game, posting two consecutive 9-7 seasons. Injuries or not, the Chargers were too talented to win just nine games over the last two seasons, so following a 5-11 year in 2016 while even the Oakland Raiders make the playoffs, the Chargers fired McCoy, who has a 27-37 record in his four years in Southern California.
Rex Ryan, Buffalo Bills
While no one expected Kelly to do anything this season with the 49ers, Ryan should have been turning the Bills into a playoff team. Instead, their and his drought of not making the postseason continues, with Ryan unable to build on his first season in Buffalo. He was fired after going 7-8 through week 16, which means he hasn’t had a winning season as a head coach since 2010, and ends his tenure in Buffalo with a 15-16 record, twice finishing third in the AFC.
Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars
This was going to be the season the Jags burst out of the AFC South, and Blake Bortles becomes a close-to-elite quarterback. Instead, Bortles regressed and suddenly doesn’t seem like the franchise QB anymore, while the Jags crashed to where they normally reside: Finishing bottom of the AFC South at 3-13, with Bradley fired after a 2-12 record this season. Overall, he was just 14-48 in four years with the Jags, his best season being a 5-win year in 2015.
Jeff Fisher, Los Angeles Rams
We started with a dysfunctional organization and we end with one too. The Rams were actually giving Fisher, someone who never had a better year than 7-9 with the franchise, another extension. For a month, the Rams seemed to be capable of overcoming a terrible offense, going 3-1 to start the season. Fisher was finally going to end his 3-1 BS, as he referred to it on Hard Knocks before the season. But the Rams lost eight of the next nine games, with the emergence of Jared Goff not actually helping them. Fisher was fired after a 31-45-1 tenure which began in 2012, and was probably his last as a head coach in this league.
Might be, especially after the playoffs. Right now, Chuck Pagano, Marvin Lewis and John Fox should watch out, but who knows how things develop in a cruel and unforgiving market.