As always, right after the 2013 NFL regular season ended, a long list of head coaches found themselves out of a job. Gary Kubiak was fired before the season was over, but he also found himself in good company along with Jim Schwartz, Greg Schiano, Mike Shanahan, Leslie Frazier and Rob Chudzinski.
There is a chance these aren’t the last to see themselves being let go. The Dallas Cowboys still might fire Jason Garrett, and there are head coaches like Tim Coughlin who might decide to step down from his job after so many years with the New York Giants. For now, the aforementioned six are the only ones who’ll be looking for a new job from this moment.
Gary Kubiak, Houston Texans – The Texans are a very patient organization and also rank at the top for most when ranking the best available job. Kubiak got plenty of backing from the ownership in Houston, letting him go five years before making the playoffs. After going 22-10 in 2011 and 2012, making the postseason twice and winning two games, the 2013 collapse is probably mostly due to a weird quarterback situation that spun out of control. Kubiak was 2-11 when the Texans fired him, a month after he collapsed on the field at halftime of the team’s game against the Indianapolis Colts due to a transient ischemic attack. His record as head coach in Houston is 61-64, and he seems to be the leading man for the Tampa Bay job.
Rob Chudzinski, Cleveland Browns – Maybe the most surprising of firings, even though the Browns went 4-12 this season. Rarely do head coaches get just one year at a job, especially when there weren’t too many expectations from Chudzinski to win a lot, considering the talent he had and the previous seasons for the Browns. However, the first-year coach will probably move back to a coordinator role until someone else gives him a chance, while the Browns continue to look for ways to not take the franchise forward.
Jim Schwartz, Detroit Lions – There were those who were surprised Schwartz actualy kept his job after the 2012 season, when the Lions went 4-12. There’s plenty of patience in the Ford family, but a collapse from 6-3 to 7-9, while the Packers and the Bears lose their starting quarterbacks for a few games, was too much to cover up. Schwartz leaves after five seasons with the team, posting a 29-51 record, making the playoffs just once, and failing to get there this year despite a very talented squad assembled for him.
Greg Schaino, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Despite the 4-4 finish, the team starting the season at 0-8 with the media mess created by the way Schaino ousted Josh Freeman probably cost him his job. He was fired along with general manager Mark Dominik, who assembled a talented and expensive team, but botched things up in the 2013 season. Schiano spent two years with the Bucs, compiling a record of 11-21, with the franchise posting three consecutive losing seasons.
Leslie Frazier, Minnesota Vikings – Frazier took over the Vikings late in the 2010 season after Brad Childress was fired. A rough 2011 season didn’t cost him his job, but the playoff appearance from last year didn’t help him save it after going 5-10-1 this season, with the team forced to look into the draft’s quarterback selection, hoping they don’t have to go through a long rebuilding period. Frazier has been with the Vikings since 2007 as a Defensive coordinator. He posted a 21-32-1 record as their head coach.
Mike Shanahan, Washington Redskins – The Griffin-Snyder-Shanahan triangle imploded, as the Washington Redskins just couldn’t get things to work for them. It’s hard to say who is really at fault with all the spins and media versions, but the bottom line is that head coaches haven’t succeeded in Washington for quite some time, while Shanahan himself got all that he asked for and still put up a very disappointing record, not to mention a bad finish to his time in Denver. His 3-13 record in 2013 is the worst of his career, and he leaves the Redskins with one playoff appearance and an overall record of 24-40.