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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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Posnanski: Is Mangini the worst coaching hire ever?

Joe Posnanski of SI.com says it’s not fan hyperbole to suggest that the Cleveland Browns made the worst coaching hire of the last 25 years in Eric Mangini.

But here’s the thing: Based on the Twitter responses I’ve seen … I’m actually starting to believe that I’m right. I’m actually starting to believe that Mangini really was the worst head coach hire in 25 years. The responses have mostly been to list other coaches who were worse hires than Mangini. But you know what? I don’t think any of those hires WERE worse than Mangini. Remember:

1. Mangini had just been fired in New York, where he had done a terrible job. He had a losing record. His team had collapsed down the stretch, he had alienated his players, he was a pain in the neck to deal with. Point is: He’d already PROVEN how much damage he could do as a coach.

2. He came right out of the school of Bill Belichick … and that didn’t work THE FIRST TIME in Cleveland. It seems to me that Cleveland is a working-class town and Browns fans want a working-class coach — not some pompous know-it-all who doesn’t feel like he should have to explain to the commoners what he’s doing.

3. What had he ever done to convince anyone he could be a head coach in the first place? Why, because he was a defensive coordinator for the Patriots under Belichick for one season? The Browns had JUST HIRED Romeo Crennel, who was ALSO defensive coordinator under Belichick. Attention Cleveland Browns owners, here’s a good hint: BILL BELICHICK IS HIS OWN DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR.

4. Basically the first thing Mangini did — first thing — was have them tear down a mural of great Cleveland Browns players on the wall in the Browns offices. Now, there are differing opinions about what really happened, whose fault it really was, does it all matter, etc. You know what? The Cleveland Browns have never been to a Super Bowl. Never. Not one. But Browns fans still have a whole lot of pride. Browns fans grow up on a glorious history. If you allow something stupid like that to happen on your watch … just a horrendous hire.

Posnanski continues by diving into some other bad coaching hires, although he dismisses each one by saying they were still better than the Browns’ hiring of Mangini.

It’s hard to argue with Posnanski based on how Mangini’s tenure in Cleveland has started. But the only problem I have with his argument is that any coach that has worked under Belichick is going to be sought after to some degree, even if that coach failed in his previous job. And let’s not forget that Mangini won his first year in New York, which made him enticing to employers.

That said, if the Browns continue to lose the way they have in the first couple weeks, it will be hard to justify why they took a chance on Mangini in the offseason. People in Cleveland are going to grow tired of his act, just as the fans in New York did.

Browns hire Eric Mangini

It’s official Browns fans:

Eric Mangini completed his rise from Browns ball boy and public relations intern Wednesday, when he reached agreement on a contract to become the team’s fourth coach since 1999.

Mangini went 23-25 with the New York Jets, including a 10-6 playoff season in his first year in 2006. In 2008, the Jets started 8-3 but finished 9-7 as quarterback Brett Favre faded down the stretch.

Mangini, who turns 38 on Jan. 19, was the first person Lerner interviewed after firing coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Phil Savage after a 4-12 season and 24-40 record over four years.

A protege of former Browns coach Bill Belichick and a graduate of Belichick’s alma mater Wesleyan University, Mangini worked with Belichick for 10 years, including one in Cleveland (1995) and three with the Jets when Belichick was assistant head coach under Bill Parcells.

Mangini could also consider keeping Crennel on as an assistant since they worked together for seven years with the Jets and Patriots.

I shared my thoughts on the subject here.

Browns to hire Mangini by end of week?

Rotoworld.com (via ESPN’s John Clayton) says that Eric Mangini could be hired by the Browns as early as this week.

ESPN’s John Clayton believes that the Browns could hold a presser by as early as Thursday to announce their new head coach.
Eric Mangini is already trying to poach the Jets’ coaching staff for assistants, so it’s clear that a deal is imminent. Mangini’s top choice to run the offense is Bill Callahan. He may target Romeo Crennel to call the defense.

Depending on who becomes their next GM, this is a good move. There’s no doubt Mangini learned a few things in New York – namely what happens when other teams figure out how to scheme against him. And despite popular opinion, the Browns aren’t a total mess. They have a young quarterback that has showed potential, a solid offensive line and a couple of defensive players in Shaun Rogers, Sean Jones and Eric Wright to build around. They just need a coach that will demonstrate leadership and that will instill direction.

Mangini should be instrumental in turning around the defense, although the same thing was said when Romeo Crennel was hired. Still, this is a sound move because he’s a good football coach and he’s one of the more creative young minds in the NFL.

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