Washington: The Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions and Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired their coaches Monday after enduring miserable NFL seasons, joining the Cleveland Browns in seeking new direction in 2014.
The Browns began the sacking parade on Sunday dumping Rob Chudzinski after one season just hours after Cleveland lost 20-7 to Pittsburgh to conclude a 4-12 campaign.
On Monday, the axe fell for Washington`s Mike Shanahan after a 3-13 season, Detroit`s Jim Schwartz following a 7-9 campaign and Minnesota`s Leslie Frazier after the Vikings went 5-10 with one draw.
The Buccaneers, owned by the same Glazer family that owns English Premier League side Manchester United, went one better, firing both general manager Mark Diminik and coach Greg Schiano after a 4-12 season that began with eight losses in a row and ended with three defeats in a row.
"The results over the past two years have not lived up to our standards and we believe the time has come to find a new direction," said Buccaneers co-chairman Bryan Glazer.
Dominik had been with the team since 1995 and spent the past five years as general manager, hiring Schiano before the 2012 season. But the Bucs went 11-21 in his tenure.
"Mark has been a valued member of our organization for two decades and we respect the passion he showed for the Buccaneers during his time here," Glazer said. "We thank Greg for his hard work and effort the past two seasons, but we feel these moves are necessary in order to achieve our goals."
The Redskins lost their final eight games of the season to all-but seal Shanahan`s fate just one year after Washington went 10-6 and captured the NFC East title. The Redskins were 24-40 overall under Shanahan with only one winning season.
"Redskins fans deserve a better result," said Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. "We will focus on what it takes to build a winning team and my pledge to this organization and to this community is to continue to commit the resources and talent necessary to put this team back in the playoffs."
Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was benched for the final three games of the season after injury questions nagged him for most of the campaign.
Shanahan, who went 138-86 with two Super Bowl titles as coach of the Denver Broncos from 1995-2008 and 8-12 with the then-Los Angeles Raiders in 1988-89, had one year remaining on a five-year contract.
"We didn`t have the speed we had a year ago," Shanahan said. "It`s always tough to have depth, and that`s what I thought really hurt us this year was depth on the special teams and depth on the defense."
Even with his struggles this year, Shanahan said "I believe (the team) is better off today than four years ago."
The Lions lost six of their last seven games to fall from playoff contention and seal Schwartz`s fate.
Schwartz took over the Lions in 2009 after the team endured the worst season in NFL history at 0-16. He finished five seasons with a 29-51 mark.
"When he got here in 2009, we were coming off an 0-16 season and we have come some distance since then, but the simple fact is that we have fallen short of the expectations of our ownership," Lions president Tom Lewand said.
"They very strongly want to bring a consistently winning football team to the fans of the city of Detroit and we fell short of that and the decision that was made today was a direct reflection of falling short of that goal and, quite simply, we didn`t win enough football games."
The Vikings reached the playoffs last year but faded this season and went only 21-32 with one drawn under Frazier.
"He stepped in and established a strong positive culture here and he has been the consummate professional as our head coach," Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said. "Making this change is difficult, but what we determined is best for the organization."
The Vikings surrendered a league-high 480 points this season and went 0-7 with a draw on the road, the only NFL club not to win at least once this season away from home.
"Unfortunately, we did not achieve consistent success and did not achieve the progress we expected," Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said. "We believe a coaching change is needed to help build a successful team moving forward."