Chronic losing is the kryptonite of any coach’s career. While some coaches have the clout to withstand the ebb and flow of this young football season, others do not. This is my list of NFL coaches who are already on the hot seat.
5. Dallas Cowboys head coach, Jason Garrett
The Cowboys are 1-1 and look to be a more organized team since Garrett gave up the offensive play-calling duties. As long as this team continues to look the part of a playoff-bound team, Garrett’s job is safe. A two-game losing streak and Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones will get very nervous. With the talent assembled, this is a make-or-break season for Garrett. Should the Cowboys go on a slide or look like they’re going to fall short of making the playoffs, Garrett will find his way out of Dallas.
4. New York Giants head coach, Tom Coughlin
I don’t understand it, but it is the nature of the beast for New York sports teams. To Coughlin’s detriment, his success has spoiled fans.
Before Coughlin arrived the Giants were inconsistent. He resurrected the Giants and yet any season the Giants struggle or dare not make the playoffs, there is talk of firing Coughlin. At 0-2, that talk has already started and will only intensify as the season continues. Fair or not, Coughlin may be in trouble.
3. Cincinnati Bengals head coach, Marvin Lewis
This is a tough spot for Lewis. On paper and on the field, he has a very talented team. For whatever reason, this team found a way to lose opening weekend to the Chicago Bears. The Bengals are 1-1, but there are great expectations. As the featured team on HBO’s Hard Knocks, Lewis must keep up with the added pressure to succeed this year. Making the playoffs is not going to be enough. Should the Bengals not win in the playoffs this year, Lewis might join the other unemployed coaches.
2. Cleveland Browns head coach, Rob Chudzinski
Cleveland is where talent goes to die. After leaving the Carolina Panthers, Chudzinski jumped at a chance to be the Browns coach. In two games Chudzinski’s team has scored 16 points. Considered an offensive expert coming out of Carolina, Chudzinski was brought in to breathe life into a lifeless offense. Thus far, he has failed to do so. The honeymoon in Cleveland is short-lived and no head coach is safe if fans and the owner don’t begin to see hope for a better future. The Browns are already on the draft clock and so is Chudzinski’s head coaching job.
Carolina Panthers head coach,
If 2-14 record in games decided by seven points or less was the only stat we had to judge a coach’s success or failure they’d probably be unemployed. That is the record Rivera has amassed while leading the Panthers. He doesn’t throw the ball, play defense or contribute on the field in any way, but for now, Rivera is the head coach. Every loss is credited to him and he has not found a way to get the Panthers to win close games yet. Short of fixing everything that ails the Panthers, Rivera’s future as a head coach is bleak.
No matter how the season plays out, several coaches will find themselves in the unemployment line. Fans and owners are unforgiving and impatient. Not everyone is meant to be a head coach in the NFL.