05 August 2011

NFL Coaching Hot Seat, 2011 Edition

It is never too early to speculate which NFL coaches are on the hot seat. The problem from the many coaches that are in fear of losing their jobs is that the lockout does not help their chances much due to the lost time that these coaches could have sorely used. Which coaches are on the verge of losing their jobs during or after the 2011 NFL season? Let's take a took.

Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals
It was a real surprise that Lewis was brought back after the disappointing 2010 for the club in which some thought they could have contended for the playoffs. However, owner Mike Brown is not known for making smart, obvious decisions.
Even worse for Lewis, this team could be even worse than last year's team that finished 4-12. Carson Palmer is refusing to report to camp and maintains that he is retired until the Bengals trade or release him. Unsurprisingly, Brown refuses to do anything. Now the Bengals are going to have to rely on rookie Andy Dalton more than they would probably like. Now I would be stunned if they brought back Lewis but we've been down that road before.

Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys
I know that Garrett did a really good job after he took over for the hapless Wade Phillips down the stretch. Plus he did so with Tony Romo injured. But expectations are high as usual for the self-proclaimed America's Team. The offense should be very good, although it does always sink or swim with the inconsistent at times Romo. The defense, however, could be a disaster. If the Cowboys stumble and fail to reach the playoffs, don't be surprised if Jerry Jones pulls the plug with such attractive unexomplyed coaches such as Jeff Fisher, Jon Gruden, and Bill Cowher on the market.

Gary Kubiak, Houston Texans
Many are surprised that Kubiak is still around in Houston as he has to get this team to the playoffs, despite showing so much promise over the last couple of years. This appears to be his final chance. The offense will be fantastic once again as Kubiak is a very strong offensive coach as well as having the pieces in place in Matt Schaub, Arian Foster, and Andre Johnson. The hapless defense, which is converting to a 3-4 under new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, will be the key. The team did a great job in the draft getting key pieces such as 3-4 defensive end J.J. Watt and edge rusher Brooks Reed as well as in free agency, bringing in key upgrades to a putrid secondary with Jonathan Joseph and Danieal Manning. There shall be no excuse for missing the playoffs.

Jack Del Rio, Jacksonville Jaguars
Del Rio has gotten this club close to breaking though in his eight year tenure but has only made the playoffs twice and not since 2007. Del Rio and the club as a whole has been hurt by the inconsistent play of quarterback David Garrard over the past few years, which has helped to negate the awesome play of Maurice Jones-Drew. So Del Rio's tenure is Jacksonville may rely on rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert and if you are relying on a rookie for job security, that is never a good sign.

Tony Sparano, Miami Dolphins
You know your job security is not safe when your owner is openly wooing one of the top coaches in college football to take over your job. Stephen Ross' pursuit of Jim Harbaugh failed miserably and he was forced to save face and gave Sparano a pretty half-assed contract extension. Sparano did a terrific job in his debut season, getting a one win team from the previous year into the playoffs but the team has disappointed the last two seasons. The team will only go as far as Chad Henne will take them, especially as the team chose not to bring in Kyle Orton.

Tom Coughlin, New York Giants
The Giants have generally disappointed since winning the Super Bowl and have not made the playoffs since 2008. The Giants organization has wisely chosen to stick by Coughlin but as the team looks to be a playoff contender again, they might be willing to pull the trigger if the club disappoints again. All the pieces appear to be in place, although Eli Manning has to cut down on his interceptions, which ballooned to a ridiculous level last year. The oldest coach in the NFL may also retire after the season, so it all could be moot.

Norv Turner, San Diego Chargers
It's pretty much common knowledge that Turner is one of the worst coaches in the NFL, if not the worst. No one has a worse winning percentage that has coached 200 games or more than Turner. But even after a year in which his team got off to a slow start and never recovered, disappointing all the way to missing the playoffs despite being in a division they were clearly the most talented team in, G.M. A.J. Smith chose to bring back Turner anyways. Ever wonder why Smith is never considered to be one of the best general managers in the NFL? Anyways, bank on Turner getting the hook if the team underachieves again.

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