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A huge weekend of playoff-like games awaits Sunday. On Monday, 20 teams will start looking toward next season..
We'll all have the big moves covered on Around the League, starting on Black Monday, when many NFL head-coaching changes are expected. (Less talked about: Black Tuesday and Wednesday to follow)..
This page will be a one-stop shop for links to all the latest news from the Around the League page. For now, let's take a look at what teams we'll be tracking next week for potential moves and whether or not they're likely to make a head-coaching change..
Ken Whisenhunt took the Cardinals to the Super Bowl not so long ago, but he has struggled to find anything resembling offensive consistency since. Whether it's personnel problems or Whisenhunt's coaching that is up for debate, he certainly has had a big say in the Cardinals' quarterback decisions.
Chances for a change: Stronger than you think. Defensive coordinator Ray Horton and former Cardinals assistant Todd Haley are two potential hires with whom the Bidwill family feels comfortable. It's also quite possible that general manager Rod Graves will lose his job, with Whisenhunt staying and someone receiving a promotion from within the personnel department..
Chan Gailey has shown little progress in three years under GM Buddy Nix. The team changes its defensive plans every year, and Gailey's offense isn't as tough to prepare for as it used to be. Owner Ralph Wilson might not want to swallow the remaining money on Gailey's contract.
Chances for a change: Nothing would surprise us here, but the Buffalo News reported Sunday that a "full housecleaning" could be on the way. Nix seemingly would have a better chance of staying than Gailey..
Ron Rivera has struggled to win close games during his tenure and isn't a natural in game management. A strong closing stretch could save his job, but the Panthers will hire a new GM after the season.
Chances of a change: Strong. A new GM almost always means a new head coach. Yahoo! Sports, however, hears some early buzz that Rivera could stay..
The Bears hired a new GM (Phil Emery) last offseason. Missing the playoffs after a 7-1 start conceivably could put coach Lovie Smith in jeopardy.
Chances of a change: Growing. NFL Network's Michael Lombardi said Sunday that sources around the NFL believe Smith "could be in jeopardy" whether or not the Bears make the playoffs..
Pat Shurmur's team probably is better than its 5-10 record indicates. And it probably doesn't matter. Shurmur isn't an inspiring offensive mind. Like Rivera, Shurmur struggles with in-game situations.
Chances of a change: The Plain Dealer reported Saturday night that Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert will lose their jobs Monday..
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has intimated that he hasn't even thought about changing head coaches. Fox Sports insider and NFL Network contributor Jay Glazer says coach Jason Garrett is safe, even if the team loses Sunday night and misses the playoffs.
Chances of a change: Minimal. If Glazer says Garrett is safe, he's safe..
Jim Schwartz and GM Martin Mayhew pulled off one of the best rebuilding efforts of all time after taking over the 0-16 Lions. And then the bottom fell out for a talented roster this year.
Chances of a change: Growing. Multiple outlets said earlier in the week that Schwartz was safe, but ESPN reported Sunday that Lions ownership is so disturbed with the team's culture, it could make a change. Schwartz is signed through 2015, but that might not matter..
Mike Mularkey was hired just last year, but his boss (GM Gene Smith) is on the way out. Mularkey wasn't able to develop young quarterback Blaine Gabbert. All signs point to new owner Shad Khan making a change in the front office.
Chances of a change: Good. See Rivera. When a new decision-maker arrives, a new coach is likely to follow..
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs were a popular playoff pick before the season (sorry). They are without question the worst team in the NFL. When that happens, change almost is automatic.
Chances of a change: All but certain. Even though GM Scott Pioli is expected to stay, NFL.com's Steve Wyche reported that coach Romeo Crennel is likely to be fired..
New York Jets
Rex Ryan has made a pre-emptive strike by reportedly telling people he'd rather be fired than stay without major changes to the offensive coaching staff and personnel. Ryan reportedly wants to stay, just under his own terms. He has more leverage than you think. The Jets announced Ryan will meet with the media at 4:45 p.m. ET Monday.
Chances of a change: Small. Look for a change at offensive coordinator and in the front office. Ryan might wind up with more power than ever..
The Andy Reid era with the Philadelphia Eagles is over. NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported that Reid was informed by Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie during a meeting Friday that Sunday's game against the New York Giants would be his last as coach, according to two sources. The Eagles are expected to formally announce the firing Monday.
The Eagles strongly denied the report, saying Lurie and Reid will meet Monday.
Chances of a change: 100 percent..
San Diego Chargers
Chargers owner Dean Spanos surprisingly gave coach Norv Turner another season to turn things around after a dismal 2011. Things only got worse. Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego reported that GM A.J. Smith and Turner will be let go at season's end.
Chances of a change: All but certain. This one should happen right away..
Titans owner Bud Adams is mad about his team's performance and wants answers. Television ratings are down, and ticket sales are likely to follow. Coach Mike Munchak already changed offensive coordinators and could change the defense, if he is allowed to keep his job..
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The Buffalo Bills have hired former New York Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine to be their defensive coordinator, a source told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen.
Pettine, whose contract had expired with the Jets, agreed to a three-year deal with Buffalo to work on new coach Doug Marrone's staff.
Posted: 1/9/2013 9:13 PM
The San Diego Chargers have a new general manager: Tom Telesco. Telesco comes from the Colts, where he was vice president of football operations.
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