Check your thermometers folks. As we descend further into the cold winter months, some coaches instead are starting to feel the heat. Let’s check in on some of the fearless leaders who started the year without much job-security, or ones whose teams’ poor performances have warmed their seats up.
Todd Bowles, New York Jets
Bowles has done better with this Jets team than anyone ever expected. A loss to the Buccaneers confirmed that even in the weak AFC that there would be no Cinderella playoff appearance for the Jets, but 7-9 isn’t out of the question. This is a team that was widely considered to have one of the worst rosters in the last decade in August. I guess that’s why we play the games right?
Verdict: Retained as Head Coach
Ben McAdoo, New York Giants
Contrary to what you may have believed in August, it’s the other New York HC that will likely get canned. Barring some unprecedented disaster, it seems that McAdoo will at least get to coach the rest of the season. He’s as good as gone though, and an organizational re-boot is coming this off-season for the G-Men.
Dirk Koetter, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This season could not have possibly gone worse for the Buccaneers. I hate myself for falling into the trap of them on Hard Knocks. All the warning signs were there. Dirk Koetter being HC/OC and Mike Smith being the DC should have tipped me off. Jameis’ act is getting tired, and I guess he groped an Uber driver? It’s starting to look like all of the concerns from Florida State have followed him to the league, and I think it’s fair to question whether Winston is the future.
Verdict: Call your realtor
Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis Colts
This has gotta be the year he hits the road right? This man has been feeling the heat ever since the AFC Championship blow-out they received at the hands of the Patriots, and I think now with the new GM Chris Ballard in place he finally is let go. It was a nice story for a season there, #ChuckStrong, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that Chuck Pagano is not a good coach.
Verdict: Gone as a Home Run Derby ball
Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals
One of the longest tenured coaching jobs has yielded little reward. Andy Dalton may not be the guy, the O-line is awful, and I’d bet my Christmas money John Ross never plays a full 16 game season. I think there needs to be some new blood in Cincinnati, but I doubt Mike Brown will pull the trigger.
Mike Mularkey, Tennessee Titans
This may come as a surprise to some, but I believe that the Titans are one of the worst 6-4 teams I have ever seen. I have no faith that they could win a big game on the road, and the defense, especially the secondary, is tough to watch. The Titans have one of the easiest remaining schedules with games against the Texans, Colts, 49ers, Cardinals, Rams, and Jaguars. If they somehow fail to go 10-6 and miss the playoffs, I would move on from Mularkey.
Verdict: I think he’ll be retained, but he’s gone if they miss the playoffs
Hue Jackson, Cleveland Browns
Oh Hue. All you had to do was go 4-12 to keep your job. Unfortunately you and the front office have now traded out of the picks that netted Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson, and you’re 1-24 in you’re last 25. Yikes. This is one of the hardest coaches to predict, but ultimately I think Haslam wants continuity and keeps Jackson. Of course, barring he doesn’t go 0-16.
John Fox, Chicago Bears
Did the John Fox-era Bears even happen? This is a serious question. Talk about a hire that was going nowhere fast from the start. Trubisky hasn’t performed well enough to save Fox, and Pace may be right behind him. It’s questionable whether Fox was dealt a fair hand, but the whole challenge-the-TD-then-end-up-losing-the-ball fiasco epitomized the John Fox experience.
Verdict: Make that Portillo’s order to go.