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Black Monday is upon us

Cleveland Browns head coach Eric Mangini stands on

Cleveland Browns head coach Eric Mangini stands on the sidelines in the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals. (Dec. 19, 2010) Credit: AP

Tom Coughlin was one of the lucky ones. At least he found out shortly before the Giants took the field on Sunday against the Redskins that he'd be back next season, after persistent speculation about his immediate future. Giants president and co-owner John Mara said after the Giants' 17-14 win over Washington that Coughlin would return for an eight season with the team. 

Others won't be as fortunate. On a day that has been dubbed "Black Monday" because it's generally the time when coaches on the hot seat are told that they're out, there could be plenty of action: 

* John Fox will clean out his office today in Carolina, although the move is hardly a surprise. Team owner Jerry Richardson indicated last week that Fox would not be retained. Among the candidates mentioned as potential replacements: Cardinals assistant head coach Russ Grimm, Raiders offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, and Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. 

* Eric Mangini will meet with team president Mike Holmgren, and it's expected that Holmgren will show the coach the door after two seasons. (10:31 a.m. update: He did just that.) Mangini's Browns were ripped by the Steelers yesterday, 41-9, at home. Among the candidates mentioned as potential replacements: Holmgren himself, Fox and Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, who has done a masterful job in helping Michael Vick emerge as one of the league's top quarterbacks. 

* Tony Sparano faces an uncertain future in Miami in the wake of a 38-7 shellacking in New England. The Dolphins were expected to challenge for a playoff spot, but instead sputtered to a 7-9 record. The fact that Bill Parcells, who hired Sparano, has stepped aside as the Dolphins' director of football operations doesn't help Sparano's cause. 

* Marvin Lewis is unlikely to be back next season as the Bengals' coach, although he may not be unemployed for long. Lewis has been mentioned as a candidate to succeed Michael Haywood as the Pitt coach after Haywood was dismissed following his arrest on domestic abuse charges. 

* Tom Cable could be out in Oakland, with reports suggesting that Al Davis will make yet another coaching change. Forget the fact that Cable was the only coach to sweep the division this season; it looks like the impetuous owner might be looking in a different direction. 

* Jeff Fisher might be done in Tennessee, after coaching the Titans/Oilers since the 1994 season. Team owner Bud Adams will meet in Houston today with team officials to discuss Fisher's status, but indications are that Fisher will be out. 

* Mike Singletary is already out in San Francisco, and the 49ers are targeting Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, the former NFL quarterback. 

* Eric Studesville, who took over on an interim basis for Josh McDaniels, will be a candidate for the permanent job, but the Broncos are expected to look elsewhere to find a successor for Josh McDaniels. 

* Jack Del Rio is expected to return in Jacksonville, although team owner Wayne Weaver indicated before the season he'd be willing to make a change if his team under-performed, so we'll keep an eye on this situation. The Jaguars nearly beat the Colts two weeks ago in a game that could have decided the AFC South crown. Instead, Indianapolis won the game and went on to win the division, while the Jaguars finished 8-8. 

* Gary Kubiak appears to have survived another season in Houston, with team owner Bob McNair having the patience of Job with a coach who has had only one winning season in five years on the job. Kubiak is expected to hire Wade Phillips as his defensive coordinator, with the thought being that Kubiak can continue to oversee a highly productive offense while Phillips fixes one of the worst pass defenses in football. 

* Jason Garrett appears to have locked up the job in Dallas after taking over for Phillips on an interim basis, but Cowboys owner Jerry Jones insists he hasn't made any final determinations. 

* Leslie Frazier will likely have the "interim" tag removed this week as the Vikings' head coach. 

New York Sports