Exactly a year later, the "Music City Miracle" is still wreaking havoc on the Buffalo Bills.
Wade Phillips was fired for refusing to give up on the special teams coach he hired in the wake of the Jan. 8, 2000, loss to Tennessee that eliminated the Bills from last year's playoffs.
Bills' owner Ralph Wilson said Monday he considered the firing of Ronnie Jones, in his first year as special teams coach, "imperative for the improvement of our team."
"Buffalo special teams' record was among the worst in the National Football League last season," Wilson said. "I felt we needed a change and that my request was reasonable. . . . I did not want to release Wade, but his refusal left me with no option."
This season, the Bills finished 8-8 and, for the first time since the 1997 season, missed the playoffs.
Phillips' dismissal Sunday night followed the firing of general manager John Butler last month.
"First of all I'd like to thank Mr. Ralph Wilson for giving me the opportunity to coach the Buffalo Bills," Phillips said. "I'm especially proud of my coaching staff and proud of my players. I want to also thank a great general manager, John Butler, who was a big factor in those wins for us."
New Washington Redskin Coach Marty Schottenheimer made room for his new regime, firing six coaches and allowing defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes to look for work elsewhere.
A news release by the team said Rhodes has "indicated his preference to seek opportunities outside of the Washington Redskins' organization. After careful consideration, Coach Schottenheimer granted Rhodes permission."
The coaches fired were Russ Grimm, offensive line; Rich Olson, quarterbacks; Pat Flaherty, special teams and tight ends; Kirby Wilson, running backs; Rubin Carter, defensive line, and Ron Meeks, defensive backs.
Tennessee's Steve McNair is likely to replace Denver Bronco starting quarterback Brian Griese in this year's Pro Bowl.
Griese missed six of Denver's final seven games because of a separated right shoulder. He will have surgery Wednesday, and will likely need about four months to recover.
The NFL is expected to announce this week that McNair will take Griese's place on the AFC team in the Feb. 4 game.
Former NFL linebacker and TV commentator Matt Millen was hired for a front-office job with the Detroit Lions, but team chairman and President William Clay Ford refused to give any specifics.
The Lions had tentative plans for a news conference today.
The 42-year-old Millen has been an NFL analyst for Fox Sports since 1994.