Wed, Jan 03, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Bears, Lions dump coaches, Cardinals’ Bruce Arians retires

Reuters

The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions rang in the New Year by firing their head coaches, while the Arizona Cardinals’ Bruce Arians ended a stellar career when he announced his retirement on Monday after five years at the helm.

However, on what has become known as “Black Monday,” the carnage was relatively light.

John Fox was sent packing following three seasons at the Bears, while Detroit sacked Jim Caldwell after four campaigns, bringing to six the number of teams searching for a new head coach.

The New York Giants ditched head coach Ben McAdoo four weeks ago. On Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts dumped head coach Chuck Pagano after six seasons and the Oakland Raiders dispensed with Jack del Rio following three campaigns.

Del Rio’s departure was perhaps the only surprise, with the others widely expected, but it was not one-way traffic to the exit door, with Hue Jackson retaining his position at the Cleveland Browns, despite presiding over a winless season.

An emotional Arians announced his retirement after compiling a 49-30-1 record at Arizona.

“The tears you see are really tears of joy, peace,” said the 65-year-old, who has suffered some health problems, including a kidney cancer scare. “I’ll miss the players. I’ll miss coming out of the locker room, hearing the national anthem, because it still gets me.”

Before becoming a head coach, Arians built a strong resume as an assistant coach, including two Super Bowl rings during his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he helped develop Ben Roethlisberger into a champion quarterback.

Meanwhile, Fox departs Chicago after a 5-11 season and a 14-34 overall record.

“Today is the tough part of our results-oriented business, but I wish the Bears organization the best for years to come,” Fox said in a statement.

Fox previously spent four seasons in Denver, guiding the team to a losing Super Bowl appearance in 2013-2014.

Caldwell leaves Detroit after compiling a 36-28 record, the first head coach at the franchise to compile a winning record since the early 1970s.

“I believe Jim is one of the finest leaders we’ve ever had as our head coach,” Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford said in a statement.

Jackson has been retained by the Browns, receiving a vote of confidence from owner Jimmy Haslam.

The Browns have the first and fourth overall picks in this year’s draft, decisions that could decide the long-term fate of Jackson, who is 1-35 in Cleveland.

“It’s not going to be words,” Jackson said. “It’s going to be actions and it’s going to be what we do. I think being 0-16, the stigma that comes with that is that we are going to have to do some recruiting everywhere.”

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