The Coaching Kerfuffle In The NFL
You can call Jan. 1 New Year’s Day if you like, but in the NFL it’s Black Monday. The firing of coaches begins, and this year it will sound like a 21-gun salute.
The extreme number would be 12 – 12 of 32. Twelve teams make the playoffs! And of course the rumors are already flying. Bruce Arians of the Arizona Cardinals was denying on Tuesday that he had decided to step down, though his firing is anything but assured given he lost his top two quarterbacks to injury.
So here’s our list of coaches on the hot seat. Gentlemen, get out the flame-retardant undies.
Arizona Cardinals: Likely a mutual parting. Arians gets hired immediately elsewhere, possibly Indianapolis, unless he takes a year off.
Chicago Bears: John Fox. Three years, 14-33. Bye.
Cincinnati Bengals: Marvin Lewis. Seven playoff berths in 15 years, not a single postseason win. And his contract is up. Toast.
Cleveland Browns: Hue Jackson. The owner wants to keep him, the new general manager does not. Dysfunction continues. A winless season and a two-year record of 1-30 augurs poorly. Going 0-16 would be the final nail.
Denver Broncos: Vance Joseph. One year with bad quarterbacks. Iffy.
Houston Texans: Bill O’Brien. Three years at 9-7, 4-11 with lots of injuries this go-round on both sides of the ball. He gets a pass (plenty of them if Deshaun Watson makes a successful return). Another guy haunted by bad QBs.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: They give coaches two years. Dirk Koetter has had his two and the team is 4-11 with five straight losses. TTFN. Especially if Jon Gruden decides he wants this job (again).
Indianapolis Colts: Chuck Pagano. No Andrew Luck, no luck at all. Ciao.
New York Jets: Todd Bowles. Also iffy. The team played above its talent level and hasn’t enough talent. The Jets haven’t made the playoffs in seven years.
New York Giants: Already ditched Ben McAdoo. Interim coach Steve Spagnuolo is a goner.
Tennessee Titans: Mike Mularkey’s team fell apart after a solid start but is still 8-7. He could survive.
Washington Redskins: Jay Gruden. Should finish 8-8. One playoff berth in four seasons. Considering the injuries this year, he did a decent job. 50-50. The biggest question is if QB Kirk Cousins stays, but that won’t be decided any time soon.
The NFL’s annual New Year’s resolution is a coaching revolution.
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