Two games in and it is already time to discuss NFL head coaches on the hot seat. Every year there are a handful of NFL head coaches that are fighting to keep their jobs. Needless to say there are bound to be some NFL openings in 2011.
Every head coach is on the hot seat for a different reason. Some have just had too many losing seasons and can’t seem to get it done. Some NFL head coaches are guys with great regular season records, but can’t get it done in the postseason. Some NFL head coaches aren’t maximizing the talent they inherited. Regardless, there are some hot seats in the NFL in 2010.
Wade Phillips, Dallas Cowboys – Like another head coach on this list, Wade Phillips has lasted longer than most people expected. In any other city, Wade Phillips would probably be appreciated by his fan base. In Dallas where the expectations every year are Super Bowl or bust, Wade Phillips just isn’t getting it done.
Wade Watch 0-2
Jack Del Rio, Jacksonville Jaguars – Okay, I understand why Wade still has a job in the NFL. I have no idea how Jack Del Rio still has a head coaching job in the NFL. Del Rio has a few years left on his contract, yet there is only so much that one organization can possibly take right? Especially after the debacle in San Diego!
It is hard to say how much impact Jack has had on the Jaguars’ poor play over the last few years. In all fairness, other than his running backs he hasn’t had any franchise players on offense. He has only had one winning record in his last four years. Something has to give. My money is on Jacksonville being in the hunt for a head coach come 2011.
Del Rio Watch 1-1
Norv Turner, San Diego Chargers – Every year someone writes one of these lists, Norv Turner and Wade Phillips wind up on top. For Norv Turner it is a completely different situation than what Wade has in Dallas. Turner inherited a team that was an arguable Super Bowl favorite, had a franchise QB, a franchise RB, a ferocious defense, and a loyal fan base. The expectations on Norv Turner while arguably unfair, were enormous from jump street.
The Chargers under Norv have been a heartbreaker for most San Diego fans. Norv teases you with a big run in the regular season, a postseason bye-week, and then a heart breaking performance. Last year’s AFC divisional round loss to the New York Jets should have been the final nail in the straw.
For the record Norv Turner has been extended through 2013. Yet I still have to believe he is on the hot seat. The Chargers fired Marty Schottenheimer with time left on his contract. I can’t believe they would let precious years pass from their QB in favor of keeping around an overrated head coach.
Norv Watch 1-1
Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears – It seemed like yesterday that the Chicago Bears were the most dominant defense in the NFL. If you put into perspective that the Bears defense carried this team to the Super Bowl with nothing on offense, you will understand how great this team once was. Those days are long removed from Lovie’s coaching tenure.
The downside of going to the Super Bowl and not winning is that Lovie set the bar incredibly high for himself. He has had only one winning season since that run, and it wasn’t even a double digit win. The Bears spent a lot of money on Jay Cutler and so far he has been a big bust. If Julius Peppers can’t get it done, Lovie is on his way out of Chicago.
Look, so far the Chicago Bears look like a team to be reckoned with. The defense looks reborn and the offense looks lights out. But, as we all know it is a long season and coaches aren’t hired or fired based on two games. Yes, he is moving further out of the woods but he isn’t quite out yet.
Lovie Watch 2-0
I don’t think that the Giants misfortunes over the last two seasons should rest all on Coughlin’s shoulders. The Giants have been decimated by injuries over the last few years. It shouldn’t be an excuse, but in this case it is valid. Now, should the Giants remain relatively healthy this season and not make the playoffs than that is on the coach. I think he is better than his record the last few years. But injuries or not, I can’t imagine that New York is going to put up with another disappointing season. Especially with the competition they are facing in their own market to be the number one team.
Coughlin Watch 1-1
John Fox, Carolina Panthers – Technically John Fox isn’t on the hot seat. John Fox is entering the last year of his contract. So in essence if Fox doesn’t return to the Panthers, it isn’t as if he was fired. But most preseason lists of this nature have him on theirs so why buck the trend?
I think that if not for the impending NFL lockout, Fox would be gone. The writing has been on the walls for the last two years for Bill Cowher to come in and take over the team. But why pay Bill a king’s ransom for a season that is in jeopardy next year? The smart business move would be to let Fox coach out his contract, leave the position dormant, and then hire someone once the NFL and NFLPA settle their dispute. That is the only reason I can even fathom that John Fox is back in Carolina.
Fox Watch 0-2
I know, I know Tom Cable isn’t on the list. Until Al Davis does something sane, I’ll bet on the insane which would be keeping Tom Cable around.
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