Ed:This post was originally written around Week 12 of the 2014 season.
It seemed last about half the coaches in the league were on the hot seat a few weeks ago. Now we’re down to 3 or 4. It appears that teams are starting to figure out that sticking with a coach through a few (or more!) bad seasons is worth it in the long run. That’s the way the Steelers have always run. The Cowboys have turned a lot of heads with their season even after Jason Garret has been on the hot seat for several years.
Of course, there are always a couple of surprises every year.
Jim Harbaugh has been gone ever since the 49er’s leaked the information that they were ready to trade him to the Cleveland Browns last year. Michigan is making a MAJOR push to get him to come coach there. It would probably the best situation for him, because college players are more amenable to dictatorial style coaches. However, that would be a huge ego-burst to him as he thinks he is a super-bowl winning coach in the NFL. If he had actually won the SB against the Ravens, it would make it a lot easier. I hope but don’t expect him to take the wiser course.
Everybody is expecting Rex Ryan to be fired, but I’m not positive that he will be. I AM positive that the GM John Idzik will be gone, but Woody Johnson has always liked having Rex as his coach. After people from iaround the league proclaimed how great of a job he did last year guiding the Jets to 8-8, he was kept to most other people’s surprise. This past off-season was even worse than most for the Jets and this year’s team is even worse. Johnson could see that and blame the GM. Probably not, but I wouldn’t be shocked.
The other coach who everyone has being gone is Marc Trestman in Chicago. It seems like either him or Jay Cutler are leaving, but it’s likely that the McCaskey’s clean house with GM Emery going too. It’s too expensive to get rid of Cutler right now and who are they going to replace him with? NFL starting quality QB’s are pretty rare about now with at least four teams in desperate need (Buffalo, Houston, Tampa Bay, Cleveland and Tennessee, at the least)
I have no idea what Tom Coughlin‘s fate in New York will be. The team finally starting executing Offensive Coordinator Bob McAdoo’s offense, so maybe Coughlin will feel like he can retire having left the team in good stead. Then again, maybe the Giants will want him to stay so that they can keep McAdoo’s offense (Seems like there should be another way of doing that).
Mike Smith – Atlanta Falcons Both of these coaches were gone a few weeks ago. Now the
Ron Rivera – Carolina Panthers winner of their week 17 match-up wins the division. Will the other one get fired? Will the one who wins the division get fired.
Sean Payton – Things have gone slightly differently in New Orleans than people thought. Don’t be surprised to see a major shake-up
Joe Philbin – Miami. Who knows? Owner Stephen Ross has announced that Philbin will return
As for the rookie coaches:
Pettine in Cleveland has been a real find. B+
Caldwell in Detroit has stabilized that team. We’ll see a) how the do in the play-offs and b) how much more undisciplined they are next year. A-
O’Brian has also done a good job despite losing 3 QB’s. B
Lovie Smith has stunk things up in TB. I’ve never been a fan of Lovie as a head coach D+
Wisenhunt hasn’t done well. Why did he choose Tennessee over Detroit again? C-
Mike Zimmer didn’t start well, but his team has been getting better. B-
Jay Gruden in DC has been a mess – as is to be expected with the worst owner in the NFL. I don’t expect him to get fired after this year, but things have got to get better. Right?
Chip Kelley – QB issues. missed playoffs
Gus Bradley – Forced to start raw rookie QB. Bottom 5 team
Bruce Arians – Coach of the Year despite losing several starting QB’s
Mike McCoy – On the cusp of the playoffs again
Chuck Pagano – Won their division again with Luck.
Doug Marone – A dominating defense let done by an ordinary offense led by a retread QB. Missed playoffs, but there conflict between the coach and the GM and a new owner.
Andy Reid – Can still make the playoffs, but need alot of help.
And the (current) best coaches: