Trio of NFL coaches fired
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. ó Eric Mangini had the New York Jets in first place a month ago. Four losses in five games dashed the Jets’ Super Bowl hopes with a thud and cost the coach his job.
Mangini was fired Monday, a day after New York failed to make the playoffs despite an 8-3 start.
“I feel that we let him down, and we could have done a better job of making plays,” wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery said. “It’s tough.”
Behind Brett Favre, the Jets beat New England and Tennessee on the road in consecutive weeks, raising visions among fans of the team’s first Super Bowl trip since 1969.
“We had to go in a different direction,” owner Woody Johnson said. “There’s nothing specific. It’s just a call we made. Hopefully, it’s correct.”
The 37-year-old Mangini went 23-26 in his first head coaching job.
BEREA, Ohio ó Browns owner Randy Lerner made his second major move of the offseason by firing coach Romeo Crennel, who lost 40 games in four seasons, never made the playoffs and went 0-8 against Pittsburgh, the only full-time Cleveland coach to go winless against the Steelers.
The Browns began their offseason with a disheartening loss: Bill Cowher isn’t coming to Cleveland.
During a meeting on Saturday night in New York, Cowher, who has worked as a studio analyst for CBS, informed Lerner he has no intention of returning to coaching in 2009.
“The explanation that he gave,” Lerner said, “was that he was very focused on his kids and his life in North Carolina and the way he’s living in a noncoaching or, if you will, a civilian existence.”
ALLEN PARK, Mich. ó Rod Marinelli will be remembered as the first coach of an 0-16 team in NFL history. If someone recognizes him for that dubious distinction in the future, he won’t put up a fight.
“I’d accept it and move on,” Marinelli said being fired by the Detroit Lions. “I wouldn’t give an excuse and I wouldn’t give an explanation.
“You can’t go 0-16 and expect to keep your job.”
Owner William Clay Ford elevated Tom Lewand to team president and Martin Mayhew to general manager.
Ford also dismissed defensive coordinator Joe Barry, Marinelli’s son-in-law, assistant offensive line coach Mike Barry, his son-in-law’s dad, and secondary coach Jimmy Lake.