1. The first day after Week 17 in the NFL where many head coaches, their staffs, and general mangers are handed pink slips.
2. Typically the first step in what is known as a “rebuilding phase” for struggling professional franchises.
“It must be Black Monday, coaches and GM’s are getting pink slips like it’s cut day during training camp.”
For as many as 13 NFL franchises, Black Monday is a serious possibility as 20 teams have already began their offseasons.
In Baltimore, Ravens fans are spoiled when it comes to major overhauls in the leadership positions of the franchise. Consistent performances on the field have lead to a solid infrastructure within the organization. Ted Marchibroda and Brian Billick remain as the only two head coaches fired by the Ravens. In cities like Cleveland – where they will be looking for their SIXTH head coach since 1999 – Browns fans will experience that within two calendar years. During the 17-year history of the Baltimore Ravens, one man’s finger prints have remained on the franchise, thus making it one of the top consistant performers in the NFL.
That man: GM Ozzie Newsome.
However, “The Wizard” won’t be around forever. And when he does finally decide to leave Charm City…
Eric DeCosta is Newsome’s understudy and will dictate whether or not a more active Baltimore Black Monday becomes a common occurrence. Around the league, DeCosta is looked at as one of the top general manager candidates but remains firmly entrenched within the Ravens organization after being told he’s the “GM in waiting” by owner Steve Bisciotti.
DeCosta has already turned down multiple offers – and multiple millions of dollars – from teams like the Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears to become the general manager elsewhere. Luckily for the Ravens, DeCosta’s wife is from the area and Maryland is the only home his children have ever known.
Newsome is already enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a tight ends but has had a career off the gridiron in an office that is just as impressive. Even though he’s never made his intentions to retire public, for DeCosta to constantly stick around and wait, one has to believe that Ozzie has at least thought about an exit strategy.
The “rebuilding phase” is a time period all too familiar with fans in Nashville, Oakland, Cleveland, Kansas City, etc. Because the Ravens are such a young franchise and have been so good from the start, Black Monday is a day on the calendar that most around here don’t even pay attention to.
Black Monday will come for John Harbaugh at some point in his career – coaches are hired to be fired, as the saying goes. Harbs, though, is definitely safe for a while, after taking his team to the playoffs in each of his first five seasons.
Even though Harbaugh wasn’t the Ravens’ front office’s first choice during their search back in early 2008, there aren’t too many fans in Baltimore still upset that Jason Garrett turned down Ozzie and Eric.
Think of the way Newsome found Harbaugh. Think back to how he selected two future Hall of Fame players with his first two draft selections in Baltimore. Sometimes luck is just on your side.
The Ravens have been both lucky and good since coming to town.
Let the coaching carousel turn elsewhere.
The Ravens have another playoff game to prepare for.