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Five NFL Coaches Fired

Several NFL teams decided to make coaching changes Monday -- and they wasted no time doing it.

Four coaches were fired before noon as the Chicago Bears' Dave Wannstedt, the Baltimore Ravens' Ted Marchibroda, the Carolina Panthers' Dom Capers and the Philadelphia Eagles' Ray Rhodes all were let go by their respective teams.

But the firings didn't end there as later in the afternoon the Seahawks terminated coach Dennis Erickson's contract.

A roundup of the day's firings:

Bears fire Wannstedt

LAKE FOREST, Illinois -- Dave Wannstedt was fired Monday as coach of the Chicago Bears, one day after the team finished 4-12 for the second consecutive season.

Team president Michael McCaskey said he made the move because "we didn't win enough football games."

Wannstedt was the fourth NFL coach fired Monday, the others being Dom Capers of Carolina, Ted Marchibroda of Baltimore and Ray Rhodes of Philadelphia.

Dom Capers
Dom Capers had plenty of company on the firing line Monday. (AP)

Capers let go by Panthers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Dom Capers was fired today as coach of the Carolina Panthers, who have plummeted in the two years since they came within a victory of reaching the Super Bowl.

Capers, who was 30-34 as the only coach in the team's four-year history, was released a day after the Panthers finished their worst season at 4-12.

In 1996, Capers led Carolina to a 13-5 record and the NFC West title, and was the NFL's coach of the year. But the team followed that success with a 7-9 season before falling even further this year.

Seahawks fire Erickson

KIRKLAND, Wash. -- Dennis Erickson was fired as coach of the Seattle Seahawks Monday after an 8-8 season left the team out of the playoffs for the 10th consecutive year, The Associated Press has learned.

A team source, who requested anonymity, confirmed the dismissal, which came one day after Seattle closed its season with a 28-21 loss at Denver.

The Seahawks called a news conference for this afternoon but would not immediately confirm the firing. The fate of his coaching staff was unclear.

Eagles make change, fire Rhodes

PHILADELPHIA -- Ray Rhodes was fired as coach of the Philadelphia Eagles today, ending a four-year reign that began with a coach of the year award and collapsed with a 3-13 season.

Following Rhodes' advice nd prediction, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie fired the 48-year-old coach after the team's final game, a 20-10 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday that clinched Philadelphia's first 13-loss season and worst record since 1972.

"When you don't win, changes have to be made. This is part of the business," Rhodes said at a news conference with Lurie.

Marchibroda fired as Ravens coach

BALTIMORE -- Ted Marchibroda was fired as coach of the Baltimore Ravens today after he failed to produce a winning season in his three years with the team, SportsLine has learned.

A team source confirmed that Ravens owner Art Modell dismissed Marchibroda. An official announcement was expected this afternoon, less than 24 hours after Baltimore closed a 6-10 season with a 19-10 victory over the Detroit Lions.

The game marked the conclusion of Marchibroda's three-year contract, which he signed shortly after Modell moved the franchise from Cleveland to Baltimore. The Ravens were 16-31-1 under Marchibroda, winning three straight games only once and never coming close to reaching the playoffs.

© 1998 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved

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