I’ve projected the Cowboys, Seahawks, and Bears to grab the remaining NFC postseason berths. If that happens, only the Bears’ Lovie Smith remains on the hot seat (Jason Garrett gets another year). In the AFC, I’m picking the Colts and Steelers to earn the last two spots.
Here are the coaches most on the hot seat now and the top reasons they could get fired. Don’t forget that coaches’ contracts are guaranteed, making these decisions harder for owners.
Certain to be let go by the end of Black Monday
1. Norv Turner, SD. People shouldn’t feel so bad for Norv Turner. Well, maybe Philip Rivers should. Norv’s made a lot of money putting together great regular season teams on a small budget.
2. Romeo Crennel, KC. Crennel went 2-1 as the interim coach, and now has coached the Chiefs to verge of their worst regular season record, tying the 2-14 put up by the 1977 and 2008 squads. They yield the 32nd-ranked scoring offense, which is on pace to be the first time the Chiefs have ever been last in the NFL in offense (they were 26th of 28 in 1979). All but two of their losses have been by at least 8 points.
3. Mike Mularkey, JAC. One more loss will ensure the worst record in franchise history.
4. Ron Rivera, CAR. He has a chance to improve on his first-year record, but the GM has been relieved of duties. I know Rivera will get defensive coordinator offers.
5. Chan Gailey, BUF. Gailey is an offensive guy and the offense has scored over 19 just once in the last five games. Across his 46 games, the Bills have scored 30+ points just 12 times.
Needing a miracle
6. Andy Reid, PHI. After 14 years of trying to win a Super Bowl with Andy Reid, they may just feel like trying someone different.
7. Pat Shurmur, CLE. Andy Reid’s former assistant made undeniable strides this season. While other coaches are accused of sometimes playing rookies so they have a scapegoat for a bad W-L record (and they dare GM’s to disrupt the player’s development by switching coaches), Shurmur played rookies from week 1 this year and they actually were in all but two games so far this year (a 14-point loss to the Giants and a 17-point loss to the Redskins). The team clearly likes to play for him.
8. Ken Whisenhunt, ARI. His team simply doesn’t compete with the 49ers, and his team’s offense has rarely been effective in these three seasons without Kurt Warner. They can win with Kevin Kolb, but he probably will need a good back-up.
Probably getting fired
9. Mike Munchak, TEN. While owner Bud Adams approaches his last years, Munchak is not cutting it. I’m not sure if he’s engineered an identity on this team. They give inconsistent effort, and the coaches don’t maximize the offensive talent.
10. Jim Schwartz, DET. Schwartz is 9-18 when you factor in playoffs since the 5-0 start to 2011.
Needs to be competitive in postseason game to keep job
11. Lovie Smith, CHI. Smith’s sole postseason win since 2006 was at home over an 8-9 Seattle Seahawks team.
Needs to be competitive in the next 2-4 games to keep job
12. Rex Ryan, NYJ. Of all the guys on this list, no one would be more desired for a defensive coordinator position than Rex. He could even receive the largest salary for a coordinator ever if he were let go.
13. Mike Smith, ATL. The stakes are high. If they go out in their first postseason game, that’s 4 one-and-done’s in 5 seasons. Matt Ryan’s having his best season and the defense’s 4th ranking could climb after Sunday’s action.
14. Leslie Frazier, MIN. He’s likely back for another season, and yet it’s hard to figure out if he’s maximizing these players. With receiver, pass protection, and quarterback issues, it feels a lot like the Jets situation where the head coach can’t make adjustments because he doesn’t know offense. Firing OC Bill Musgrave and replacing his offense with a more up-tempo, aggressive one would be a start.
Likely back in 2013, but under heavier pressure.
15. Dennis Allen, OAK. After back-to-back 8-win seasons, the Raiders can do no better than 6-10.
16. Greg Schiano, TB. The Aqib Talib trade helped torpedo their season. Schiano’s coaching style can be abrasive. He may need a new QB.
Hit “Like” or the Facebook share button if you are excited to see the coaching changes!
More recent posts:
Sports New Year’s Resolutions for 2013
The 12 Days of Christmas, Ravens Style
My Top 5 Sports Memories of 2012: A Fan’s View
Calvin Johnson Now Has the All-Time, Single-Season Record For Most Receiving Yards
Report: Eagles, Panthers Will Target Chip Kelly
Broncos Earn 3 of 4 AFC West Pro Bowl Fan Selections; Manning Top Vote-Getter
Fans Vote 6 Ravens to Top of Pro Bowl Voting; 3 Top Vote-Getters in Rest of North