NFL Wire News

Five NFL teams are looking for new coaches


Five teams are looking for new coaches this week after four more parted with their former leaders on the dark NFL day known as Black Monday.

The San Francisco 49ers split with Jim Harbaugh, the New York Jets fired Rex Ryan, the Atlanta Falcons dismissed Mike Smith and the Chicago Bears released Marc Trestman.

In addition, general managers John Idzik (Jets) and Phil Emery (Bears) were let go.

The Oakland Raiders also are expected to find a new coach after finishing the season with Tony Sparano in charge. They fired Dennis Allen in September.

SAN FRANCISCO: Shortly after the 49ers’ final game Sunday, the team issued a statement saying Harbaugh and the team mutually agreed to separate and that Harbaugh was free to “consider his next coaching opportunity without any restraints.”

Harbaugh is expected to be announced Tuesday as coach of the Michigan Wolverines, his alma mater.

The 49ers went to three straight NFC Championship Games under Harbaugh, but they finished 8-8 this season amid plenty of distractions, including reports of a rift between Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke.

The 49ers already have requested permission to interview Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Arizona DC Todd Bowles and Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase.

NEW YORK JETS: Just as Harbaugh’s departure was long predicted, so was the firing of Ryan and Idzik in New York.

The Jets finished 4-12 this season and out of the playoffs for the fourth straight year under Ryan.

“We’re in the win business,” owner Woody Johnson said Monday. “We’re not winning.

Johnson confirmed that former NFL general managers Ron Wolf and Charley Casserly are advising him in a coaching search that is already under way.

“We will consider all options to improve the Jets,” Johnson said.

Quinn reportedly is on the Jets’ radar.

ATLANTA: The Falcons fired Smith after a 6-10 campaign and a 10-22 record over the past two seasons.

“Smitty’s contributions to our club, team and city over the last seven years are numerous,” owner Arthur Blank said in a statement. “His accomplishments on the field made him the most successful coach in the 49-year history of the Falcons, and we are grateful for the foundation he has laid for us for the future.”

“This was not a decision based on one season,” Blank said. “He was the most successful coach in the history of this franchise.”

The Falcons went to the playoffs in four of Smith’s seven seasons, including the 2012 NFC Championship game.

“It’s about winning football games,” Smith said Sunday. “And that’s how you’re judged. I understand that.”

Blank retained general manager Thomas Dimitroff, who will take part in the team’s coaching search.

The Falcons reportedly have asked for permission to talk to Quinn, Bowles, Gase and Detroit defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.

CHICAGO: The Bears are looking for a new GM and coach largely because Jay Cutler did not develop under Trestman after Emery signed the quarterback to a $126 million contract.

Emery was 23-25 in three seasons with the Bears, firing Lovie Smith after a 10-6 season in 2012 and replacing him with Trestman.

Trestman was hired in a winding interview process that included more than 12 candidates. The other finalist for the opening was Bruce Arians, who has gone 21-11 in two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals and has them back in the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

Trestman said Sunday he planned to return, but a 6-10 finish and drama-filled season topped by the benching of Cutler sealed his fate. The Bears lost five straight games to end the season and eight of their final 10.

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