These analysis are based on what might happen if the proverbial wheels come off and the team tanks in 2013 (kind of like what Oakland did in 2000 under Bill Callahan or what New Orleans did last year). Even SuperBowl winning coaches can get fired in that situation, but if a coach has been good enough for long enough he’s still safe.
90% New York Jets – Rex Ryan (4)
Rex has one year to show his new GM that he’s the Head Coach he wants going forward. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the personnel to do it. It would take at least a strong push for the play-offs to give him another year.
85% Carolina – Ron Rivera
75% Dallas – Jason Garrett
How long will Jerry Jones put up with a GM who has shown such incompetence? A long time if it’s himself. My guess is that Jason Garrett gets at least one more year to try to do something with JJ’s team. I’m not sure he’ll be able to.
75% Tennessee – Mike Munchak(2?)
I’m not sure of why Bud Adams had Coach Munchak fire his OC instead of firing him outright last year, but I don’t see him performing any better this year than he has so far
70% Detroit – Jim Schwartz
I’m not sure how impatient the GM in Detroit is, but if either Matthew Stafford or Calvin Johnson get hurt for any length of time the odds of Schwartz coaching this team next year drop dramatically.
70% Oakland – Dennis Allen(2)
The more things change, the more they stay the same in Oakland. Owner Marc Davis fired previous Head Coach Hue Jackson for demonstrating that he was capable of leading the team without undue influence from the owner. So how long will he hang on to his current lapdog of a HC when they start losing again?
Indianapolis – Chuck Pagano (2*)
Miami – Joe Philbin
Minnesota – Leslie Frazier
Houston – Gary Kubiak
St Louis – Jeff Fisher (2/)
Tampa Bay – Greg Schiano (3?)
Washington – Mike Shanahan (4/)
Seattle – Pete Carroll (3?/)
Denver – John Fox (2/)
If any of the following coaches are released, it would be a major shock (almost as much as Marty Schottenheimer being fired after going 14-2 in the regular season.) Still only 2 would have no chance of being fired. For any of the rest, it would take a Bill Callahan type meltdown or another year like the Saints had last year to be fired.
San Francisco – Jim Harbaugh (3)
Can Colin Kaepernick hold up for an entire year. Will other teams be able to neutralize him now that they have 9 (?) games of tape on him? Of all the coaches in this section, Jim Harbaugh has the least tenure and highest risk of a team meltdown.
Cincinnati – Marvin Lewis (15?)
After two straight play-off appearances, No way that Mike Brown fires Lewis after holding on to him for the previous x mostly fruitless years.
Pittsburgh – Mike Tomlin
2 SuperBowls, including winning in 2007 & 2010
The Steelers have shown real weaknesses over the past couple of years. I think that Ken Wisenhunt’s and Bruce Arians’s brilliant work as OC’s was able to keep this team from showing its wear. But with Arians being dismissed after 2011, and Todd Haley not able to pick up the slack, the Steelers missed the play-offs for only the 2nd (?) time in Tomlin’s tenure. With a lack of talent across the board and their best players banged up (Rothlisberger, Palamalu) or gone, Tomlin will have to show just how good of a HC he is this year. With a Bengal team that has made two straight play-off appearances and a rejuvenated Cleveland Browns squad, the Steelers may have a hard time avoiding the cellar in the AFC North.
New Orleans – Sean Payton
Sean Payton would have an even lower chance of getting fired except for the BountyGate scandal last year. Last year was the sort of year that gets even the best coaches fired. However, Bensen has enough sense to keep going with Payton regardless. Regardless, he has shown himself to be an extremely effective coach and has a SB win. However, another year like 2012 and he may be gone.
New York Giants – Tom Coughlin (?/)
Tom Coughlin lasted 5? years in Jacksonville with more than a little success, but eventually wore out his welcome with his strict discipline. He has reportedly lessened that since his first few tumultuous years in NYC. Regardless, he would have almost certainly been fired after the 200x season, if they hadn’t gone on a tear and won the SB. He has now won 2, but the Giants’ uneven play and frequent lackluster performances might make the change.
Green Bay – Mike McCarthy
Atlanta – Mike Smith (6)
Mike Smith has a similar trajectory as John Harbaugh, but without the clear success. A disastrous year might cause management to decide that he had gone as far as he could and make a change.
New England – Bill Belicheck (14?/)
3 SB championships in his first 4 years, but only 2 appearances in the 10 years since and the SpyGate scandal. Still, the Patriots are one of the most successful teams year in year out. Although Belicheck might be getting to the point where he wears out his welcome, I don’t think he’s there yet. The only thing that might tip this over the line this year is the Aaron Hernandez situation, but it seems as if Mr. Kraft was at least as responsible for allowing them to draft him and unwisely renegotiating his contract. No chance.
Baltimore – John Harbaugh (6)
5 Playoff appearances in 5 years. Defending SB champs. No chance.
First Year Coaches:
(<25%)in order of likely-hood of being fired after one year.
Cleveland – Chudhinski (1)
The new owners and front office in Cleveland have a much more aggressive stance to making the Browns winners again. Although there’s no reason to think that this coaching staff won’t be able to get this team pointed in the right direction, it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if they don’t like what they see after one year and pull the plug on Chuzinski.
Buffalo – Navarro (1)
Jacksonville – Gus Bradley (1)
I would think that the Jags front office know what they have as far as personnel, so even going 0-16 might not get Gus fired. It depends on how much they like his coaching style and if he’s able to develop some of his young talent.
San Diego – Mike McCoy (1)
It’s doubtful that McCoy has the experience or demeanor to lead a NFL franchise at this stage in his career. And after A.J. Smith/Norv Turner turned this team into also-rans, I don’t see him successfully reviving it anytime soon. Nevertheless, Spanos has not shown himself to make quick decisions (or waste money).
Kansas City – Andy Reid (1/)
It would be a major upset if Coach Reid were fired after one year, but with the way the Chiefs have played over the last several years, patience is wearing thin and another year like last year may not be good enough.
Philadelphia – Chip Kelly (1)
Although it wouldn’t be the first (or last) time that a highly regarded college head coach bombed in the NFL, I see Chip Kelly getting more than one year to implement his scheme with the Eagles.
Chicago – Marc Trestman (1)
Lovie Smith probably had no real chance of staying on as head coach 1 year into the tenure of a new GM without a strong play-off run. Trestman comes with several years of NFL experience and as head coach of the CFL champions. He’ll be given more than a year or 2 to get this team performing consistently.
Arizona – Bruce Arians (1)
After successfully getting the Steelers into the playoffs as their Offensive Coordinator for several years, Arians was essentially fired for not running an acceptable style of offense for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Hired as the Offensive Coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts last year, he was unexpectedly elevated to the role of Acting Head Coach when Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with cancer and unable to lead the team. He only took a team with a depleted roster and a rookie QB to a 11-5 record and a spot in the play-offs. How he ended up in Arizona instead of Chicago or San Diego where he would have competed for a spot in the SB is anyone’s guess. P.S. The Bidwell’s don’t like spending money on fired head coaches either (or anyone else, apparently).
Note that occasionally NFL Head Coaches do retire voluntarily. Chances that a head coach will retire:
(25%) Tom Coughlin (67) – At 67, Coughlin is the oldest Head Coach by 5 years. Who knows how much longer he can keep it up. After 2 Super Bowls with the Giants, he doesn’t have much left to prove.
Chuck Pagano (medical) – Here’s hoping that that doesn’t happen.
(10%) John Fox (59) – 3 years into a new coaching gig in Denver, he doesn’t appear to want to give it up anytime soon.
(0%) If Andy Reid (55) didn’t retire after last year (or after his family issues in recent years), he won’t anytime soon.
(0%) Bill Belicheck (61) won’t leave until he goes out in a box.
Pete Carroll (62) – Finally having success as a NFL Head Coach, even as the 2nd oldest current HC, Carroll won’t be voluntarily retiring anytime soon.
Bruce Arians (60) – First Permanent Head Coaching job after x years as an top notch coordinator.
Marc Trestman (57) – Finally a NFL Head Coaching job after years of paying his dues as a NFL coordinator, college head coach (??), CFL.
Other older Head Coaches:
(10%) Mike Shanahan (60)
(5%) Jeff Fisher (56)
(5%) Marvin Lewis (54)