TEMPE, Ariz. – Dennis Green was fired as coach of the Arizona Cardinals on Monday after he failed to turn the downtrodden franchise into a winner in three seasons on the job.
Green was dismissed one day after the Cardinals concluded a 5-11 season with a 27-20 loss at San Diego. He finished with a 16-32 record at Arizona. The Cardinals will pay $2.5 million to buy out the final year of his contract.
He was the seventh coach the Cardinals have had since the franchise moved to Arizona in 1988. Green’s three teams in Arizona went 6-10, 5-11 and 5-11. He has a career NFL coaching record of 124-115.
The coach made no reference of his job status when he met with the players briefly Monday morning.
“He told us how lucky we are to be here and have such a great job and play such a great game,” quarterback Matt Leinart said, “and just to know that we’re all professionals and we all can play in this league and have a good offseason. That’s about it.”
Less than two hours later, the Cardinals put out a news release announcing Green’s dismissal.
Green’s mission was to turn around the perpetually losing Cardinals, who have had one winning season since 1984, and put a winner into the new stadium when it opened this season.
The stadium, the signing of running back Edgerrin James and the drafting of Leinart stirred up great interest in the team, which sold out every home game this year.
But after a season-opening home victory over San Francisco, the Cardinals lost eight in a row and quickly fell out of the playoff hunt. The skid included close home losses to St. Louis, Kansas City and, most memorably on a Monday night, to Chicago.
The Cardinals were pathetic long before Dennis Green came to town and I’m guessing they will be for a long time after today’s firing.
Green may find work again as an NFL head coach. I wouldn’t mind it if Miami hired him after Nick Saban leaves for Alabama. Yes I think that will happen.
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