The New York Jets, the Detroit Lions and the Cleveland Browns fire their head coaches after a poor NFL regular season.
Three NFL head coaches sacked
NEW YORK // Eric Mangini of the New York Jets, whose team crumbled down the stretch of a once-promising season, was among three NFL head coaches relieved of their duties. Rod Marinelli, coach of the woeful Detroit Lions and Romeo Crennel of the Cleveland Browns were also sacked one day after the regular season ended. While the Lions became the first team to lose all 16 games in a season, the Jets lost four of their final five games to finish 9-7 and out of the playoffs for a second straight year.
New York, despite acquiring the future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre during an off-season spending spree, lost their chance for a postseason berth by losing to the Miami Dolphins 24-17 on Sunday. "We don't take this decision lightly," the Jets owner Woody Johnson IV said. "We respect Eric for what he's done. But we want to build on the successful foundation that he's laid." Mangini, 37, had a 23-26 win/loss record during his three seasons on the Jets' sidelines. The club opened the 2008 campaign 8-3 under the 39-year-old Favre before their late-season collapse.
"No one's worked harder than Eric," said the Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum. "No one's been more loyal. Obviously I have a close, personal relationship with him. "That makes the decision for Woody and I that much harder. But at the end of the day, we had to make the decision that we felt was the right one, not the easy one." None of the teams named successors to their fired coaches. The Lions owner William Clay Ford axed the Marinelli, 59 one day after Detroit's 31-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers which sealed their ignominious place in the record books.
"We didn't succeed on the field in terms of our record," Marinelli said. "But they succeeded in everything I wanted them to do. "We came a long way in terms of how to be a football team. The record doesn't show it. But it's a start, it's a foundation." Detroit replaces the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who went 0-14 in their inaugural season, as the NFL's benchmark for futility. In three seasons in Detroit, Marinelli posted a 10-38 record and departs having won just once in his last 24 games.
Crennel, 61, had a 24-40 record during four seasons with Cleveland. The Browns were 10-6 a year ago but slumped to 4-12 in 2008, ending the season with six straight losses. *Reuters