Former Hilltopper Crennel Among Three NFL Coaches Canned

By: Dave Goldberg, Associated Press
By: Dave Goldberg, Associated Press

The day after the NFL regular season, the winless Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns and New York Jets are looking for new coaches. Rod Marinelli was fired by the Lions on Monday after an 0-16 season and Romeo Crennel was let go as expected by the Browns. In a mild surprise, Eric Mangini was fired by the New York Jets, who lost four of their last five games and failed to make the playoffs with Brett Favre at quarterback.

Three coaches were fired during the regular season — Mike Nolan in San Francisco, Scott Linehan in St. Louis and Lane Kiffin in Oakland.

Mike Singletary replaced Nolan and will be retained after the 49ers went 5-4 in their final nine games. Interims Jim Haslett in St. Louis and Tom Cable in Oakland are on shakier ground.

Marinelli was 10-38 in his three-year stay, winning only one his last 24 games after the team started 6-2 in 2007. Marinelli was hired by Matt Millen, who was fired as team president three months ago.

Crennel, whose Browns finished 4-12 after going 10-6 last season, was dismissed after a 31-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Also, general manager Phil Savage was fired Sunday.

Crennel was 24-40 in four seasons and had been at risk last season before the team turned around. The Browns were hurt by injuries, including two that ended the season of quarterbacks Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn.

It also didn't help that they lost twice to the rival Steelers — Crennel was 0-8 against them and the only Browns coach never to beat Pittsburgh.

Mangini, dubbed "Mangenious" after taking the Jets to the playoffs as a 35-year-old rookie coach in 2006, was fired after his team lost four of its last five following an 8-3 start. The losses came after consecutive road wins over New England and Tennessee.

The Jets spent millions in the offseason and traded for the 39-year-old Favre after the quarterback unretired from the Green Bay Packers. But Favre threw just two touchdown passes and nine interceptions in those final five games and complained of back, neck and should pain.

"I don't think it was one thing," owner Woody Johnson said in announcing his coach's firing. "We had to go in a different direction. There's nothing specific. It's just a call we made. Hopefully, it's correct."


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