Houston (CBS HOUSTON) – The Monday following the final Sunday of NFL regular season games is usually the day that coaches and general managers find out whether or not they will return to their teams when training camp begins. We gave this fateful day a name and called it “Black Monday”. The only problem is that no one waits for this day anymore.
Before Week 17 was officially over, two head coaches were kicked to the curb. Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy and 49ers Head Coach Chip Kelly. The only coach that was relieved of his duties on the hollowed day was Broncos Head Coach Gary Kubiak, and he retired at his own will.
This list of premature firings doesn’t include former head coaches Jeff Fisher of the Rams, Gus Bradley of the Jaguars and Rex Ryan of the Bills. These guys couldn’t even finish the season before they were axed. So let’s accept the fact that Black Monday’s weight is that of a feather, and the guillotine awaits any coach at any moment.
With this knowledge, it leads us to wonder if there is any drop of patience left in NFL offices. And with that being said, it raises questions about Texans Coach Bill O’Brien’s future in Houston. Before you bite off a piece of that debate, sprinkle on reports from Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer that the Texans and Bill O’Brien will mutually part ways if there is another first round playoff exit.
Whether or not you care that the sacred day of “Black Monday” has been diminished by anxious general managers, the fact that coaches can be ousted so quickly should not come as a shock. The idea that Bill O’Brien would be the ‘surprise firing’ of the season is a fallacy. No job is safe anymore.
A (9-7) record for three straight seasons with two straight division titles would register as a success for a coach who has made a playoff run in those seasons. By now though, I think we’ve learned that the only thing saving any coach from the noose is a Super Bowl. Without a ring and a Lombardi trophy on its way to Houston, Bill O’Brien is as good as gone.
The bar is set remarkably high in this day and age. It isn’t just wins anymore; it’s big wins, ‘statement’ wins, deep playoff wins. Even with those victories, a fan base can become fickle, disgruntled and want change.
By many standards, none of those kinds of wins are in Bill O’Brien’s possession. With or without a victory against the Oakland Raiders in the wild card round Saturday, it doesn’t seem like Bill will be around Houston much longer. If we follow the previously explained instructions set forth by the fans’ standards of winning, wish Bill O’Brien the best in finding a new job.