- The Washington Times - Friday, December 26, 2008

By NFL standards, last year’s offseason coaching moves were downright docile. Only four teams made changes - Atlanta, Miami, Baltimore and the Redskins - and all went with first-time coaches who have their teams over .500 entering the season’s final weekend.

While not close to the purge of 2006 (10 teams), next month could be interesting - anywhere from four to eight teams will be looking for a new coach.

The list below doesn’t even include two 2007 playoff teams who already have 10 losses this year (Green Bay and Jacksonville), a team (Philadelphia) whose coach benched his starting quarterback for a half last month, one that already has its successor (Seattle), another (Denver) that is on the brink of a colossal collapse and an organization (Cincinnati) that is simply too cheap to pay a coach for not working.

* Dick Jauron, Buffalo: He was in extension talks when the Bills started 5-1, but Buffalo has managed to top the Redskins in the Fast First Half/Stinky Second Half Dept. Buffalo is 2-7 in its last nine games.

Verdict: Gone. The Bills lost at home to Cleveland and San Francisco, for crying out loud.

* Romeo Crennel, Cleveland: Twice, he’s gotten too much credit - when he was New England’s defensive coordinator during its three Super Bowl victories and when the Browns went 10-6 last year. Reality set in this year with a 5-10 mark.

Verdict: Gone. Paging Bill Cowher.

* Wade Phillips, Dallas: Phillips has nothing to do with an offense that can’t really run it (19th in NFL) and a quarterback (Tony Romo) who remains prone to interceptions. The Cowboys can still get into the playoffs with a win Sunday in Philadelphia.

Verdict: Stays. If Jason Garrett’s offense were rolling and the defense were bad, Phillips would be in more trouble, but that’s not the case.

* Rod Marinelli, Detroit: Where to start? He’s part of the first 0-15 team in NFL history and has a great chance to finish 0-16. The Lions are terrible on offense (30th) and defense (last), and the man who hired him (Matt Millen) has been fired.

Verdict: Gone. Ownership has endorsed Martin Mayhew and Tom Lewand as the brain trust for 2009. At least let them hire their own coach.

* Herm Edwards, Kansas City: He’s playing to win the games, but Edwards entered the year knowing full well the Chiefs wouldn’t be very good. But this bad (2-13)?

Verdict: Stays. Carl Peterson is out, so the new president and general manager will keep Edwards to use 2009 as an evaluation year.

* Tom Cable, Oakland: Since taking over for Lane Kiffin, Cable is 3-8, and the Raiders are in the group with Detroit, St. Louis and Seattle for worst team honors. An experienced coach is needed to rebuild and deal with Al Davis.

Verdict: Gone … maybe. Can anybody ever know what Al is thinking?

* Mike Singletary, San Francisco: The 49ers are 4-4 since he took over, and his decision to insert Shaun Hill at quarterback (12 touchdowns, seven interceptions) begs the question of why Mike Nolan didn’t make the same decision. The players seem to believe in him.

Verdict: Staying. A published report Thursday said Singletary will get the full-time job.

* Jim Haslett, St. Louis: After wins over the Redskins and Dallas, he appeared to be a front-runner. St. Louis hasn’t won since. New GM Billy Devaney (a scout during Bobby Beathard’s Redskins years) figures to bring in his own guy.

Final verdict: Gone. It’s time to start over.

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