Friday, May 6, 2011

Looking Forward: NFL Coaches on the hot seat

While we wait for the lockout mess to be settled (who knows when that will be) I was thinking about coaching changes next season in the NFL. Two hot commodities- Bill Cowher and Jeff Fisher- have said they are looking to return to the coaching ranks in 2012, so I'm trying to figure out what teams might be in contention for these coaches.

On the Hotseat

Tony Sparano, Miami Dolphins- Almost fired when the bidding war for Jim Harbaugh's service opened up. He got a nice new contract out of the deal, but ownership cannot be happy with his performance. Could very well be the first to go when Cowher decides he likes the sunshine of Miami.

Gary Kubiak, Houston Texans- Seems like his name always pops up when the topic of coaching changes arises. Is Wade Phillips enough to help him keep his job? I got a feeling that this may be his last chance before the Texans make a move.

Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals- Almost walked after last season and signed a 1-year deal with the understanding that Mike Brown will make drastic changes to the way the organization is ran. Brown's poor leadership has already cost them their franchise QB. This may be the only instance of a coach firing the owner. The problem with Cincinnati is not their coaching. If he leaves, Lewis will be a hot commodity.

Hue Jackson. Oakland Raiders- Normally you do not consider a coach on the hot seat before he coaches his first ever NFL game, but we are talking about Al Davis here. Who knows what goes through his mind.

Jack Del Rio, Jacksonville Jaguars- His name has been popping up in coaching change rumors the last couple of seasons. If Jacksonville fails to make the playoffs again this year, look for him to be gone.

Could heat up

Ken Whisenhunt, Arizona Cardinals- Needs a big free agency in this off-season to reach 8-8 in 2011. Not really on the hot seat right now, but he has to let ownership know that he has a plan to move forward or he could be.

Norv Turner, San Diego Chargers- Could be bumped to the front of the hot list if he starts out slow in 2011 and misses the playoffs again. Turner has a habit of being a lack-luster head coach and I am surprised that he keeps finding jobs. He never seems to be able to get over the hump. San Diego might be the prime landing spot for Jeff Fisher, who has strong SoCal ties and is from nearby Culver City.