The end of the 2012 NFL regular season means the playoffs are about to begin, but it also means Black Monday is here. Every year, the Monday after the close of the regular season is the busiest day of the year for teams to fire their head coaches. This year is no different as we have already seen several coaches shown the door. These include Romeo Crennel (Chiefs), Chan Gailey (Bills), Andy Reid (Eagles), Pat Shurmur (Browns), Lovie Smith (Bears), Norv Turner (Chargers) and Ken Whisenhunt (Cardinals). Ron Rivera (Panthers) is also on the hot seat, so we'll see if he makes it through the New Year.
This means it is time for job interviews around the NFL. For the San Francisco 49ers, their recent run of success means Jim Harbaugh's coaching staff will be a prime candidate for poaching. The 49ers win over the Cardinals and the Packers loss to the Vikings earned San Francisco a first round bye. The "downside", if you will, to that bye is that 49ers assistant coaches can be interviewed this week for head coaching vacancies. Here is the rundown of pertinent dates:
January 6 - Assistant coaches under contract with playoff teams that have byes in "Wild Card" weekend can be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of the Wild Card games. Teams must ask for permission to interview.
January 13 - Assistant coaches under contract with playoff teams that won Wild Card games may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of Divisional Playoff games.
January 27 - Assistant coaches whose team is participating in the Super Bowl, that has previously interviewed for another team's head coaching job may have a second interview with the same team no later than the Sunday prior to the Super Bowl.
We'll have to wait and see what this means for current 49ers assistants. Greg Roman, Vic Fangio and Brad Seely could all emerge as candidates for head coaching positions. Roman interviewed for the Penn State job last year, and there were some rumblings he was interested in the Tennessee job this year. Brad Seely interviewed with the Indianpolis Colts last season.
I figure Roman to be the favorite among that group to land a head coaching job, but you never know who might pique the interest of another team. We'll likely find out very quickly if 49ers coaches are candidates elsewhere.
It is also worth noting that Director of Player Personnel Tom Gamble is considered by many to be a front-runner for the Jacksonville Jaguars GM position. We'll keep an eye on that, but in the meantime, check out Big Cat Country for more details on their developing GM search. Adam Schefter also just tweeted out that the Jaguars and Jets both have asked permission to interview Gamble.