Every year head coaches enter the season on the chopping block. Projecting the five hottest seats around the league is a different task. Most coaches don’t usually don’t get fired in their first or second coaching season so most of those names are likely safe. The same can be said for coaches that made the postseason this past season as those guys are likely safe as well. A lack of wins or lack of player development can doom a coach. With that being said, who are the five coaches that should be on the hot seat heading into the 2017 NFL season?
5. Todd Bowles (New York Jets)
I actually feel really bad for Todd Bowles. I don’t think there’s any question Bowles is a head coach, it’s just a matter of having virtually no talent to work with. Bowles is a defensive minded head coach and ran a really tight ship with the Cardinals before being hired by the Jets. Sure the Jets were 28th in points allowed in 2016 (25.6 points per game allowed) but does he have any talent outside of Leonard Williams? The Jets have begun the tanking process where the defense figures to be worse. Sheldon Richardson was the latest defection as they clearly are in the market for a top draft pick.
Bowles figures to be the likely fall guy for the mess in New York. Bowles, of course, isn’t an offensive coach but the Christian Hackenberg’s, Bryce Petty’s, and Josh McCown’s of the world will likely cost him his job. This should prove as a cautionary tale; never take a head coaching job without the right pieces in place. He was destined to fail before he ever took the job.
4. Doug Marrone (Jacksonville Jaguars)
Yes, I know, Marrone was just hired. That doesn’t make his job safe by any means. Tom Coughlin was hired to turn the franchise around. Marrone was simply kept on board after finishing the season as the interim head coach after Gus Bradley was let go. Marrone is an offensive line guru by trade. He isn’t an elite play caller by any means. With Blake Bortles as his quarterback, Jacksonville is going to go through a complete restart sooner rather than later.
The fall guy for the Bortles disaster will likely be David Caldwell who has been awful since taking over as GM. The Jaguars are 17-63 since 2012. Something has to change. With a new general manager likely in place at the end of this year, Marrone’s job will likely cease to exit with a new regime. Oh, by the way, his career record in the NFL as a head coach is 16-18. He wasn’t the long term answer anyway.
3. Hue Jackson (Cleveland Browns)
Some coaches are just never meant to be head coaches. Look no further than Hue Jackson. After doing some magnificent things with the Andy Dalton in Cincinnati, Jackson has failed in Cleveland. Part of this is obviously failing to find a quarterback. Jackson could have simply picked Carson Wentz a year ago but obviously, that wasn’t good enough apparently.
Now he will roll the dice on DeShone Kizer, a player that probably will never make it. Kizer completed 58.7 percent of his throws in college. That’s not a good omen for making it in the NFL. Now Kizer is the opening day starter and will cost Jackson his job if he doesn’t catch on right away. Good luck this season Hue! You’re going to need it.
2. Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati Bengals)
The Bengals have one of the longest droughts in the NFL. Cincy has not won a playoff game since 1990. Ask yourself this, what is Marvin Lewis doing right? I’m sorry but to not win a playoff game in over 15 years flat out isn’t acceptable. Whether it’s not controlling Vontaze Burfict or lack of control over the franchise in general, Marvin Lewis has to go.
- Chuck Pagano (Indianapolis Colts)
It’s fair to wonder whether Andrew Luck is being kept hostage at this point. No quarterback has been hit more since he entered the league. Luck is also 27-2 when Indy holds the opponents to 20 points or less. Guess who runs that dreaded defense? Oh that’s right Chuck Pagano. Luck clearly isn’t getting proper on either side of the ball. It’s time to get Luck an elite play caller. Oh wait, they could have just hired Kyle Shanahan this offseason (Indy is a mess).