Some teams just couldn’t wait to fire their coaches, but others on the hot seat met their fate soon enough.
The NFL’s annual coaching purge kicked into high gear Monday, with four moves becoming official before noon ET. Bucs coach Dirk Koetter and Jets coach Todd Bowles already had been fired Sunday after their respective losses to close the regular season.
Browns coach Hue Jackson was fired in October, and longtime Packers coach Mike McCarthy was let go earlier this month.
Here are the coaching changes that came down on Black Monday:
The Broncos coach was the first official dismissal of the day, as consecutive losing seasons contributed to costing Joseph his job.
Denver has posted 5-11 and 6-10 records, respectively, in the last two seasons with Joseph at the helm. It’s the first time in 46 years that the Broncos experienced back-to-back losing seasons.
“It’s disappointing not being able to finish what we started, but I’m incredibly proud of the players and coaches for how they fought and worked every week,” Joseph said, in part, in a statement.
It has been reported that the Broncos have already requested permission to interview Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores and former Titans head coach and current Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak for their vacant head coaching position.
Arizona apparently has seen enough and opted to part ways with Wilks, who becomes the first one-and-done coach since the 49ers fired Chip Kelly in 2016.
*S. Wilks, Cards
•C. Kelly, 49ers, 2016
•J. Tomsula, 49ers, 2015
•M. Mularkey, Jaguars, 2012
•H. Jackson, Raiders, 2011
•J. Mora, Seahawks, 2009
•C. Cameron, Dolphins, 2007
•A. Shell, Raiders, 2006
•M. Shottenheimer, Redskins, 2001
•A. Groh, Jets, 2000
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 31, 2018
Wilks served as a defensive assistant before joining the Cardinals, but his team ranked last in a variety of offensive categories with rookie Josh Rosen at the helm: points per game (14.1), total yardage per game (241.6), passing yardage per game (157.7) and rushing yardage per game (83.9).
The Cardinals capped their 3-13 season with a loss to the Seahawks that leaves them with the first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, though Wilks won’t be around to voice his opinion on the matter.
The Bengals coach was fired after 16 seasons with the organization, ending his stint as the second-longest tenured head coach in the league.
While Lewis’ 131 career victories are the most in team history and tied for 24th in NFL history, his 122 losses bring his regular-season winning percentage down to .520. He also posted a disappointing 0-7 postseason record. Still, he did help Cincinnati secure four AFC North titles in 2005, 2009, 2013 and 2015.
“I want to thank the Bengals’ organization, the fans and the city of Cincinnati for their support,” Lewis said, in part, in a statement. “I regret I haven’t been able to provide them with the No. 1 goal of being world champions.”
The Bengals closed the season with a 16-13 loss to the Steelers on Sunday, finishing the year 6-10.
Miami didn’t see enough progress, so it decided to dump Gase after his three seasons at the helm.
The Dolphins started strong in 2018 with three straight wins, including notable victories over the Patriots and Titans, but dipped down to a 7-9 finish and missed the playoffs for a second year in a row.
It had been rumored that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was particularly unhappy with Gase after the team’s Week 16 loss to the Jaguars, and Sunday’s 42-17 loss to the Bills to end the year sealed Gase’s fate.
Gase got off to a promising start when the Dolphins went 10-6 and clinched a playoff berth in his first season, though things soured after last year’s 6-10 mark and only got worse this season.
In addition to Gase’s firing, general manager Chris Grier will oversee football operations and report directly to Ross, while executive vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum has been reassigned within the organization.