27 July 2010
Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears
The Bears have not made the playoffs since losing to the Colts in Super Bowl XLI. During Smith's tenure, the Bears only have 3 winning seasons and have made the playoffs just twice. Their defense, one that was rode to the Super bowl despite Rex Grossman being an absolute train wreck at quarterback, has slowly aged and it relying on a very risky signing of Julius Peppers to rebound as well as the return of Brian Urlacher from a serious injury from last year. The offense, well, is Jay Cutler throwing up bombs, most of which were intercepted. Now with Mike Martz as the offensive coordinator, Cutler will continue to live and die with the risky deep pass, leading to a lot of interceptions.
Basically, Smith needs to make the playoffs to return, but that won't be very likely in a very strong NFC.
Jack Del Rio, Jacksonville Jaguars
Del Rio's team in Jacksonville have been maddeningly inconsistent. They had really good teams in 2005 and in 2007, but after those years missed the playoffs. And last year, with the team looking at the playoffs at 7-5, they lost the last four games, including the finale to the Browns, who were quite pitiful last year. The defensive was not very good and only had 14 sacks, fifth worst total in a season all time. The offense, despite Maurice Jones-Drew breaking out big time, was somewhat mediocre due to the struggles of David Garrard. And his team has been clearly passed by the Houston Texans. Now it is looking like they will be stuck in the AFC South cellar, with Del Rio likely getting the axe, just like his punter in 2003.
Wade Phillips, Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys finally won a playoff game last year, defeating the free falling Philadelphia Eagles in the wild card round last year. Then they got smacked by the Vikings to end their season. The Cowboys do have the caliber to win the Super Bowl and there is nothing Jerry Jones will like more than to play in the Super Bowl in his palace. so basically it is Super Bowl or bust, and it is doubtful to see Phillips get any more reprieves.
Tom Coughlin, New York Giants
Normally, a coach that wins the Super Bowl usually gets a good four or five years, win or lose. Let's not forget that Jon Gruden has some mediocre teams in Tampa following the Super Bowl. But the way the Giants ended last season, quitting on the football field and barely giving an effort and getting smoked by the Panthers (in their final home game at Giants Stadium) and the Vikings, was an absolute disgrace. Their defense, particulary the line, that had led them to the Super Bowl fell apart. So did the running game. What was even worse was the fact that they were 6-0 to start the season, and to only go 2-8 the rest of the way is very better. Part of it was questionable coaching and part of it was the players. The worse thing is that the Giants were clearly passed by the Jets as the elite team in New York sports landscape.
To put it shortly, if the Giants miss the playoffs again, Coughlin is gone.
Tom Cable, Oakland Raiders
Somehow, Cable has survived rumors of punching an assistant coach during an altercation and multiple accounts of being abusive to the women in his life, Cable still has a job. Then again, can we really be shocked that a violent and abusive man is the head coach of the Oakland Raiders? Anyways, coaching for the Raiders means you are always on a short leash, and only one coach has been with the team for more than two seasons since the first Art Shell tenure. And the Raiders have not been very good the last few years and look like more of the same this year. Al Davis made an excellent hire (for once) in Hue Jackson to be offensive coordiantor and he could be waiting in the wings should Cable falter.