The NFL has been almost turned upside down the past few seasons, with the college coaching experiments and some loaded drafts. The one thing that never changes though is coaches being on the hot seat. We have seen our fair share over the past few seasons as multiple teams each year replace one coach with another.
This year is no different.
Due to the lack of some teams ability to reach deep into the playoffs I think more high profile guys will be on a hot seat. Teams such as; Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Dallas, and New Orleans, have all fallen below expectations. I think we could even see a new coach on the hot seat in Chip Kelly as he transitions to the 49ers.
5. Chip Kelly- Yes, I know this is his first year with the 49ers. He did nothing much to give anyone much faith after his tenure with the Eagles. This past draft he went and got more of his prized Oregon Ducks where he was once the head coach, and little was done in free agency. His big test will be the dual-threat Colin Kapernick. If Chip can turn him around and give the team above 6 wins, I think his job will be safe and he will be given the ability to rebuild the team. Should he fail and they end up with a top-5 pick, I cant see his stay being longer then this season or next. Chip does have the ability to try and rebuild this team, but there is not much patience in the 49ers organization. So if they falter at all he will be on the hot seat fast and in a hurry.
4. Sean Payton- This seems almost mutual with the Saints and their head coach. The Jimmy Graham trade last year seemed like a bust. Until the guy they got with the 1st round pick that came back to them, started playing well. With their QB Brees not having many years left, and a defense that was historically bad there is not much wiggle room. They did well in the draft, but lacked getting good FA`s. There are more questions about the roster then in a game of Trivial Pursuit. Most of the time that would not be held against the head coach, but with the defense getting worse and the offense not producing someone has to get the blame. There will be no shortage of teams looking for Payton if he is released from the Saints or he decides to leave. This season is based on defense in my mind. If they don’t improve Payton is out.
3. Mike McCarthy- In Green Bay they have been getting worse each year, the injury to Jordy Nelson last year didn’t help. They just cant seem to get the pieces together. Eddie Lacy started to show true from last season. I thought at the end of last season we could see him fired, as they had one of the weakest seasons in a while. There is hope for him though, the defense got better and younger this offseason and they will get Nelson back. I don’t think it will be enough to keep his job if they cant compete for a playoff bid. If they finish anything less then 9 wins I think it will be up for discussion. Rodgers has maybe 3 good seasons left in the tank before a dip in production, and they know the window is closing. The Vikings are getting much better and even the Bears, both are set to jump the Packers this season. One of the greatest offensive minds in football better have some tricks up his sleeve or he will be wearing different colors next season. I don’t think he will get another HC job if he is fired, but he will be the best candidate for any open offensive coordinator job.
2. Jim Harbaugh- His players have seen their fair share of off-field incidents, and their 1st round pick last year never saw the field. The team is in a bit of a tough spot. The offense is not good enough to compete at a high level, and the defense is transitioning still to the post-Ray Lewis and Ed Reed era. They had one of the worst seasons last year in a decade. Since the Super Bowl win a few years ago they have decline rapidly. They have not drafted well or progressed well anywhere on the field. His tenure there seems to be coming to a close, I feel the about Harbaugh this year as I did about the Steelers head coach last season. The difference was one was riddled with injuries and still performed, the other was relatively injury free and had a free fall to a top-10 pick. I cant see Harbaugh staying in the purple and black if he lands another top-10 pick next season.
1. Chuck Pagano- This should come as a surprise to almost no one. They have maybe one of the least talented rosters in the league. The experiment of Frank Gore and Andre Johnson was a massive bust last season. Not to mention Andrew Luck kept getting crushed by any defender who was rushing him, and was injured once again. If it was not for Luck, they would be the worst team in football. At least the Browns have Joe Haden. The Colts have a lot of work to do, but after so many years of success and having a true franchise QB in Andrew Luck, if they land in the top-10 area in the draft next year Pagano will be gone. It was a surprise when he got a contract extension, I will chalk it up to Luck being injured. While Pagano was a great story, great story`s don’t always make for good coaches. His coordinators don’t give him much help in progressing players it seems, and the offensive line is a massive mess. There is more destruction to be had for the Colt then wins. He above all others I think will be the first coach to get fired if things go south by week-10.