Bears dump John Fox and Lions ditch Caldwell
NEW YORK - Reuters
The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions rang in the New Year by firing their head coaches, while Arizona Cardinals’ Bruce Arians ended a stellar career when he announced his retirement on Jan. 1 after five years at the helm.
However, on what traditionally has become known as “Black Monday,” the carnage was relatively light in the National Football League.
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 publicly searching for a new head coach.
The New York Giants ditched head coach Ben McAdoo four weeks ago and on Dec. 31 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 on Jan. 1, 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 recently, 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.
Fox, meanwhile, 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,” he said in a statement released by the team.