Which coaches will be victims of “Black Monday” in the NFL?

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin watches from the sideline during the first quarter in their NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Maryland January 2, 2011. REUTERS/Molly Riley (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Today is “Black Monday” in the NFL, otherwise known as it’ll-be-interesting-to-see-if-I-still-have-a-job-by-the-end-of-the-day…day.

Below is a look at the coaches who are on the hot seat and what the latest rumors are about their job status with their respective team.

Tom Coughlin, Giants
Giants fans hoping that their team would drop-kick Coughlin and hire either Bill Cowher or former defensive coordinator John Fox might not see their wish granted. CEO John Mara was adamant Sunday night that Coughlin would return as the team’s head coach in 2011. The Giants have missed the playoffs the past two seasons but under Coughlin, they’ve made the postseason four times in the last six years. I would venture to say that Coughlin has one more year left before his Super Bowl credit runs out.

Jeff Fisher, Titans
Owner Bud Adams will meet with Jeff Fisher on Monday to discuss his future with the team. This one could get tricky, as Adams loves Vince Young but Fisher would rather stick his fingers down a garbage disposal than have to suffer another year with Young in his locker room. If Adams sides with VY, then Fisher will likely walk. If Adams sticks with Fisher, then Young’s time in Tennessee is over. The NFL Network reported today that if Fisher does leave Tennessee, then he might join the broadcast booth for a year so he can weigh his options.

Eric Mangini, Browns
Mangini had one year to wow Mike Holmgren and that didn’t happen. Holmgren was hoping that the momentum the Browns built at the end of last season would carry over into 2010 under Mangini but it didn’t. The team appears to be ready to move in another direction and word is that Fox is at the top of Holmgren’s wish list. Apparently Holmgren wants to turn Cleveland into the Carolina of the North, so Browns fans should be prepared for another season of Jake Delhomme. (I’m kidding! I’m sure Fox has gotten over his Jake Delhomme obsession by now…)

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2010 Year-End Sports Review: What We Think Will Happen

What do we think will happen in 2011? Ha! We’re glad you asked. As part of our 2010 Year End Sports Review, we see good things ahead for Duke, the Celtics and the Saints. We see cursed days ahead for the Phillies and Giants, and one Florida Gator-sized reunion in Denver. We also like Carmelo to play for the…hey, why are we telling you all this? Read for yourself below, lazy. (And have an open mind – we had some fun with this section.)

Contributors: Anthony Stalter, John Paulsen, Paul Costanzo, Drew Ellis and Mike Farley

You think he’s gone? He’s not gone. He’s never gone!

Brett Favre has duped us before with his retirement talk, so why should we buy what he’s selling now? Lord Favre says 2010 will be his final season, but after spending a couple of months on his ranch next summer, he’ll get the itch to return. And some team will welcome him back. And the media will torture us with their 24-hour Favre watch. And the dreaded cycle of death will continue. So which lucky team will have No. 4 in uniform next season? While we wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Favre returning to the Vikings for one more year now that Brad Childress is gone, that’s not a very fun projection. Thus, what about Da Raaaaaaaiders? Huh? Can you see it now? Lord Favre and Al Davis at the podium holding up their pointer fingers and saying, “Just win baby.” No? Ah, you’re no fun.

Carmelo will be a Knickerbocker next year.

Book ‘em, Danno. The writing is on the wall. He hasn’t signed the three-year extension that the Nuggets offered last summer and has reportedly decided that the only team he’ll agree to be traded to is the New York Knicks. This means that if the Nuggets are hoping to get something substantial for him, they’ll have to move him before the February trade deadline. Since there appears to be only one team in the running, the deal isn’t going to be very good. We wouldn’t want to be Nugget fans right now — the rebuilding process is about to begin.
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Report: Cowher unlikely to coach in 2010

According to a report by ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, former Steelers’ head coach Bill Cowher is unlikely to return to the sidelines in 2010.

Despite being part of a meeting with the Buffalo Bills last week, it does not appear as if Bill Cowher will coach in the NFL next season, a source close to the situation told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Sources recently told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen it is believed that owner Ralph Wilson Jr. and team president Russ Brandon met last week with Cowher to gauge his potential interest in returning to coaching.

Cowher reiterated on CBS’ “The NFL Today” on Sunday that he is “not going to talk about any jobs during the regular season.”

The Bills also met with Mike Shanahan after Dick Jauron was fired in November.

I wonder how much this has to do with the job openings that are immediately available to Cowher. It appears that Mike Shanahan is headed for Washington, so with that job off the market Cowher is left with Buffalo and maybe Tampa Bay as choices. He’s been linked to the Panthers in years past, but Carolina has already publicly stated that John Fox and his staff will be back in 2010.

Who knows though – things could change quickly. It’s the first day after the regular season, so more firings could be coming soon. I wonder if the Bears’ job could entice Cowher if Chicago decides to part ways with Lovie Smith (and the McCaskeys open up their wallets, of course).

Report: Cowher interested in Bills job

According to Buffalo Sports Daily, former Pittsburgh head coach Bill Cowher is interested in the Bills’ open coaching position.

Capaccio, who was broadcasting live his UStream “Buffalo Bills Now!” show Tuesday evening when an excessive amount of listeners forced the site to crash, spoke with me moments ago by telephone.

The source, which Capaccio says is not someone inside the Buffalo Bills organization but rather a source who knows Cowher, says that “I wouldn’t be surprised if they are talking today.”

He went on to mention Cowher will continue to monitor other situations, most notably Tampa Bay and Carolina, but in no way, shape or form has he written off Buffalo as a possible destination. This contradicts several reports that claim Cowher has snubbed the Bills in their efforts to pursue him.

He also went on to say Cowher wouldn’t necessarily demand a general manager role and/or complete control of the team, provided the right people were in place for him to work with.

Cowher would spurn all other offers to coach in Buffalo and wouldn’t want complete control of the team in the process? That’s certainly thinking outside the box.

With the regular season coming to an end, I’m sure we’ll hear more reports and rumors like the one above. Half the league has been out of playoff contention for weeks and head coaching rumors are about the only hot news some teams have. I highly doubt “The Chin” would want to coach the Bills if he didn’t have complete control of the team (and why wouldn’t the Bills want to give him complete control?), but hey, you never know.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Cower to the Jets?

Bob Glauber of Newsday writes that if the Jets fire head coach Eric Mangini that they should pursue Bill Cowher.

What better coach to replace him than Cowher, a perennial winner with the Steelers who captured Super Bowl XL after the 2005 season, then stepped away a year later. Cowher was 166-99-1 during his run with the Steelers from 1992-2006 and consistently was one of the top coaches in the league. In his 15 seasons, the Steelers won eight division titles, went to the playoffs 10 times, played 21 postseason games, made the AFC Championship Game six times and played in two Super Bowls, winning one.

Playoff disappointments? Sure. But I’d take that resume any day to lead a Jets team sorely in need of an elite coach to push it in the right direction.

Cowher is just the kind of emotional sparkplug the Jets need, a guy who will get in players’ faces the way few coaches can. He’s a major contrast with the placid Mangini, who too often shows no emotion in a game that thrives on it. If players reflect the personality of their coach, then the Jets have adopted Mangini’s flat-line temperament.

What concept – hire the best head coach available to replace the deadbeat that currently holds the position. This is a nice idea, but unfortunately for Glauber and the Jets, the Browns, Rams and every other team that is soon to have a head coaching vacancy is thinking the same thing.

If (and that’s a big if) Cowher decides to come out of retirement and return to the NFL, he’s going to want complete control. The situation is going to have to be perfect and I just don’t know if the Jets or Browns job will entice him enough to return.

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