As we prepare for the start of the 2012 NFL regular season, it might be time to project out and look at which coaches are on the hottest seats for the upcoming season. The NFL saw seven coaches lose their job after the 2011 season and a similar number of coaches could be looking for work if they have another unsuccessful season in 2012. NFL stands for Not For Long, and several veteran head coaches could find that out after this season.
Third-Degree Burns Hot Seat-
Norv Turner, San Diego Chargers- The Chargers have been a very disappointing team for the last few seasons and many fans were calling the Turner’s job after last year. This very well could be the very last opportunity that he has to keep his job. If the Chargers don’t drive deep into the playoffs this season, there could be a new sheriff in San Diego next season.
Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles- Reid might have received a promotion of sorts this year, but that title won’t help him keep his job next year if the Eagles don’t reach the playoffs. Philadelphia was one of the league’s biggest disappointments last year but the team did finish strong down the stretch. Last year, Vince Young anointed the Eagles as the Dream Team and this year QB Michael Vick labeled the Eagles a dynasty. Perhaps a few less predictions and a little more performance on the field would save Reid’s job after 2012.
Rex Ryan, New York Jets- Talk about making predictions, Ryan is the king. His act might be getting old in New York as the Jets saw their stadium partners hoist the Lombardi Trophy last season. Ryan is a very entertaining coach and appears to be the kind of guy you wouldn’t mind sharing a beer with. However, his personality won’t be enough to keep him around if the Jets fail to reach the playoffs this year.
Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys-There have been rumblings this offseason from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones about the possibility that the window of opportunity for Dallas to reach the Super Bowl is closing. Jones has never been known for his patience and Garret is entering his third season with a 13-11 record. If Dallas fails to reach the post-season this year, I fully expect Jones to make a coaching change. Could he possibly coax Jon Gruden out of the broadcast booth and back to the sidelines in 2013?
Not Feeling the Flames but Simmering Hot Seat-
Pat Shurmur, Cleveland Browns- Forbes magazine announced last week that the Browns are being sold and the sale could be completed by the start of the regular season. Former Eagles president Joe Banner is reportedly part of the new group purchasing the Browns. Banner’s relationship with Shurmur from their days in Philadelphia means his job is safe for the time being. However, he should consider this season as an audition for the possibility of remaining as the Cleveland head coach.
Wouldn’t Be Shocked Hot Seat-
Mike Smith, Atlanta Falcons- Mike Smith has now led the Falcons to four consecutive winning seasons during his time in Atlanta. The problem is, he hasn’t won a playoff game. Think Smith is safe? Think again. The San Diego Chargers fired head coach Marty Schottenheimer after posting a 14-2 record in 2006. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired Tony Dungy after three straight trips to the playoffs and replaced him with Jon Gruden.
Leslie Frazier, Minnesota Vikings- Frazier enters the 2012 season with now having the benefit of a full offseason to work with his team in his coaching career. How effective will RB Adrian Peterson be this season coming off a serious knee injury? Is Christian Ponder a starting caliber quarterback? If the Vikings don’t make significant strides this year, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Vikings go another direction at head coach.
Filed under: NFL