Yesterday was every coach’s (the ones on the hot seat) worst nightmare. Football fans and NFL fans know the Monday after the last regular season Sunday is known as, “Black Monday.” Black Monday is when coaches who are on the hot seat tend to get fired, and teams look to go into a new direction for the next season right away. Before Black Monday, there were three coaches fired during the season- Raiders head coach, Jon Gruden, Jaguars head coach, Urban Meyer, and Broncos head coach, Vic Fangio was fired Sunday morning, the day after the Broncos last game of the season (an early Black Monday firing.)
The first coach fired on Black Monday happened to be Vikings head coach, Mike Zimmer. In addition to firing Zimmer, the Vikings also moved on from general manager Rick Spielman. The second firing of the day came out of Chicago and saw Matt Nagy out as the Bears head coach. The third and most surprising of the day was the firing of Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores after finishing the season 9-8.
Let’s take a look at each head coach who was fired on Black Monday.
Zimmer served as the Minnesota Vikings head coach from 2014-2021 for the last eight seasons and made had three playoff appearances. The Vikings were NFC North champs in Zimmer’s second and fourth season, including a personal best 13-3 record in 2017. Zimmer’s record as the Vikings head coach was 72-56-1 with a 2-3 playoff record. The Vikings made the NFC Championship once during Zimmer’s tenure. Before joining Minnesota, Zimmer served as the Bengals defensive coordinator from 2008-2013.
Matt Nagy took over as the head coach for the Bears in 2018. Nagy had his best season, the season he took over, amassing a 12-4 record and winning the NFC North. They got upset by the Eagles and were knocked out of the first round. The next three seasons Nagy wouldn’t eclipse an 8-8 record but made it back to the playoffs in 2020 where they lost again in the wild-card round to the Saints. After a disappointing 6-11 season this year, the Bears decided to move on and fired Nagy. Nagy went 34-31 with an 0-2 playoff record in his tenure with the Bears.
The most unexpected head-coach firing of the season came when news broke that the Dolphins were moving on from Brian Flores. Flores wasn’t a big name on the hot-seat, and many people were shocked that the Dolphins decided to move on. Flores took over duties as head coach in 2019 with a very young, underwhelming roster. In his second season, he led the Dolphins to a 10-6 record with a rookie quarterback (Tua) playing most of the season. After starting the season 1-7, the Dolphins would go on to win eight of their last nine games while being on an eight-game win streak. Flores finished with a 24-25 record while beating Bill Belichick three out of four times.
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