Monday, January 02, 2006

NFL house cleaning begins

Let the blood letting begin. After the final seconds clicked off the game clocks around the NFL on Sunday, teams began finalizing the fates of several head coaches. Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Tice was the first to get the axe, after team owner Zygi Wilf canned Tice an hour after the Vikings win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

The New Orleans Saints dismissed Jim Haslett, the Houston Texans dumped Dom Capers, the Green Bay Packers pulled the plug on Mike Sherman and the St Louis Rams decided not to see if Mike Martz’s ticker will be healthy enough to return the Rams to the playoffs next season.

Dick Vermeil did the Kansas City Chiefs a favor by resigning, opting not to give it another go. Haslett is already rumored to be a front runner for either the Rams or Chiefs job. If either of those teams decides to give one of the other dismissed retreads a try, then they deserve all the misery that can be expected.

Herman Edwards of the New York Jets and Norv Turner of the Oakland Raiders should be right behind the first group of firing fodder. Of the names mentioned, only Tice had a winning record this season, guiding the Vikings to a 9-7 record, missing the playoffs by a single game in the standings.

The combined record of the five coaches fired was 24-56. Without the Vikings, that record would have amounted to a 15-49 debacle. A .234 winning percentage between five teams is downright awful, but the scary part is that only the Texans, Packers and Saints finished last in their respective divisions.

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