It is inevitable at this time of the year that the term “hot seat” starts getting mentioned entirely too often. Tis’ the season for owner overreactions and angry radio station call-ins. With that in mind I thought I’d take a look at all the coaches that are in danger of losing their jobs and decide whether or not I would fire them. I don’t want to make the case that I should be an owner however, because let’s face it; I’m always at risk of going on a bender and renaming my franchise the Dung Beetles. (Note: I’m excluding interim coaches as I’m making the assumption that they will be replaced.)
Raheem Morris, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: It seems like I’m in the minority here, but I wouldn’t fire Raheem. Keep in mind that this is his third year on the job. The second year he lead the Bucs to a 10-6 record and got some buzz as a coach of the year candidate. In the last year did he forget how to coach? I doubt it. Could he have coached better? Of course. But I’m almost never in favor of firing a coach a year removed from a good season unless there is an extreme situation. Now if they come out and go 3-13 next year? Fine, fire him. Either 2010 or 2011 was a fluke and I’d like to find out which one before I make a coaching change.
Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys owner has already given Jason a vote of confidence. But guess what? Jerry Jones is fucking crazy! Garrett could mishandle the defensive line rotation this week and end up without a job. I realize that this is Jerry’s football team and by all means he can do whatever he likes with his money, but until he lets his head coach look like an authority figure to his players that coach will never be truly effective. Just the same, Jason has made some mistakes this season but a firing here would be hasty.
Tom Coughlin, New York Giants: I think that in order for Coughlin to save his job he might have to take this Giants team to the Super Bowl. Fast starts and late season slides have become an alarming trend. I will blame individual seasons on the players not producing, but over a longer timeline you have to start looking elsewhere, you have to start looking at the coaching staff. I think Tom is a good coach and will land a head coaching gig for a younger team, but this New York job just doesn’t seem right for him anymore.
Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles: I will have to agree with the “Fire Andy” chants. To me the Juan Castillo defensive coordinator hiring is so bad by itself that it constitutes termination. Andy has won a lot in the city of Philadelphia but with all the pieces in place to have a truly dominant team, how on earth do you put this high priced defense in the hands of an offensive line coach? There will never be an answer to this question that makes sense.
Mike Shanahan, Washington Redskins: The entire NFC East made it! Nate and I disagree about this, but I think Shanahan is still a brilliant coach. Should he really be on this list? I’m not sure, but he has the crazy owner factor. Daniel Snyder likes to fire head coaches because he has the patience of an infant. He’s always whining and crying for reasons that he can’t really articulate because he doesn’t actually know anything about football. If Shanahan is fired two years in to this experiment it will be a mistake, but nothing really surprises me anymore.
Steve Spagnuolo, St. Louis Rams: It’s not even worth speculating whether he should or shouldn’t be, because it is such a certainty at this point. I’ve always wanted to go to work on my last day knowing I was going to be fired before they tell me. My advice for Steve is to poop somewhere inappropriate, or call flea flickers every single play of the season finale. But in all seriousness, this guy is a great defensive mind and will be a coordinator somewhere.
Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis Colts: Jim Caldwell’s timeout in the wildcard round last year against the Jets was once of the worst coaching errors I have seen in all my time watching pro football. His explanation was even worse. This game alone is not why Caldwell should be fired, but its at least part of the evidence. He had a chance this season to prove that Peyton Manning was not the only reason for this team’s success the last several seasons, and he fell flat on his face. It seemed to me that Jim Caldwell was always a place holder until they found their next long term coach after Dungy, and he just blended in and stuck around too long. It’s time to start that search.
Norv Turner, San Diego Chargers: Tom Coughlin and Norv Turner should be co-head coaches somewhere. Tom starts fast and ends slow, while Norv has the opposite problem. I’m not sure whether they’d go 16-0 or 0-16, but I’m willing to give the experiment a shot. And oh yeah, fire this guy. Please.
Rex Ryan, New York Jets: I don’t think Rex is actually on the hot seat, but I will call it a mildly warm seat. I’m making up that term because I want to say a few disparaging things about the Jets leader. There is a danger with coaches like Rex Ryan that rely on mind games and trash talk to constantly motivate their players. Eventually players stop listening and it just because a bunch of ridiculous noise. The Jets were lucky to even make it into the playoffs the last few years and then won a few road games. This is not a recipe for success. The team has a falsely inflated sense of confidence because of their coach’s bravado, and they haven’t done all that much to earn it. Perhaps the biggest victim is Mark Sanchez, a guy that we expect entirely too much out of because of his head coach’s comments. It is slowly destroying chipping away at his confidence. Rex Ryan should not be fired, but he should think about changing his methods before it is too late.
Someone I forgot? Someone I was too hard on? Let me know in the comments section.