By my count, there could be as many as 11 new NFL coaches in 2018. Here’s a breakdown of the hot seat:
Put the House on the Market:
Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis. They haven’t had Andrew Luck all season, but that’s hardly an excuse for the last three seasons of ineptitude. The Colts have the worst point differential in the NFL.
Hue Jackson, Cleveland. Come on, you’re not going to argue this, are you?
Ben McAdoo, New York Giants. From the playoffs to 1-8? The team has quit on their coach, and that ain’t changing in the offseason.
Dirk Koetter, Tampa Bay. All the pieces in place. They have plenty of playoff talent.
Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati. Same hot seat, same story – ownership is reluctant to pull the plug. Imagine keeping your job after 15 years and 0 playoff wins and an 0-7 playoff record.
Todd Bowles, New York Jets. The 4-6 hot start stunned everyone, but four of their final six games are against teams with winning records, and the other two are at Denver and vs the Chargers. If the Jets close 0-6, is Bowles coming back?
It’s Been Ugly, But They Should Survive:
Adam Gase, Miami. Went to the playoffs last year, and won’t this year. Injuries have hurt, but that organization has been an embarrassment for years.
Bruce Arians, Arizona. Frankly, it feels like he could retire rather than return.
John Fox, Chicago. The Bears have actually exceeded expectations so far, but how they finish will matter significantly.
Mike McCarthy. Green Bay. The lack of talent on the roster is alarming, but McCarthy is lucky he got that win in Chicago. That should keep the masses at bay for a few weeks.
Bill O’Brien, Houston. Somehow is getting a pass for picking Tom Savage to start the season. He took wins from the team with poor decisions against New England and Seattle.
But here’s where it gets tricky. So you’ve got 11 jobs that could be open. More realistically, it’ll be five or so. Before these franchises fire their coach, you’ve got to have an idea of who you want to replace them with.
And that’s the big question: Where are the next batch of coaches?
Josh McDaniels is a no-brainer. The Jets should be in play, but he’s not going to want to come without a QB. What other big names are out there? It’s been an unimpressive year for offensive and defensive coordinators. It used to be that you needed a few years of success before making the leap; is Jim Bob Cooter of the Lions really going to be in high demand?
Todd Wash, the defensive coordinator of the Jaguars has been terrific. But is it something he’s done – he was in Seattle for a couple years – or is this defense just loaded?
Both of the Eagles coordinators – Frank Reich and Jim Schwartz – will generate plenty of chatter, but again, we’re talking about a head coaching job. Schwartz spent five years in Detroit and had one winning season (29-51 overall).
Perhaps the NFL looks to the college ranks. Can someone pry Jim Harbaugh from Michigan if it loses to Ohio State? Chip Kelly is in the announcing booth, would he go back to the NFL? (Signs point to him at UCLA, but it’s early.) David Shaw’s almost certainly not leaving Stanford.
A word of caution before the coaching carousel starts spinning: You better have some real strong candidates lined up before hiring a coach.