#NFL Coaches on the Hot Seat, plus Top Replacements
As usual, the coaching spiral continues as coaches lose, get on the hot seat and ultimately get fired. I hate that coaches lose jobs when it is not completely their fault, but that’s the nature of the beast. Who are the teams that may be looking for a new coaching hire? Who will be some prime candidates to replace some coaches on the hot seat?
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Greg Schiano)
- Washington Redskins (Mike Shanahan)
- Houston Texans (Gary Kubiak)
- Minnesota Vikings (Leslie Frazier)
Schiano has had a terrible two seasons in Tampa Bay with a 9-17 record overall. That’s a 0.346 winning percentage and that doesn’t cut it in the NFL (per Pro-Football-Reference.com). Stats-wise, his team has been underachieving and unimpressive, with his run defense in his first season ranking 1st in how many rushing yards they gave up to their opponents per game and yards per rush attempt. Also, the fan base and local media are livid with how Schiano has destroyed their once-proud franchise and ran their franchise QB Josh Freeman out of town. Freeman, by the way, is backing up Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel in Minnesota. Schiano should be gone, but who knows when it comes down to the owner and GM.
Mike Shanahan has been on the hot seat since he left Robert Griffin III in the playoffs last season, where RGIII tore his ACL and was out of commission. This year’s 3-7 record does not help his case, in addition to a historically porous defense and inconsistent offensive playcalling by his son Kyle. Too often, they would get yards on the ground to start then would pass to finish games. It did not help that the first couple games (if not the entire season), they started behind as their defense could not stop anyone. He is 24-34 overall in four years as a head coach with a 0.414 winning percentage. As a Redskins fan, believe me when I say I’ve watched enough to know he’s not cutting it.
Gary Kubiak has Matt Schaub, a veteran QB, Andre Johnson as his top wideout, and defensive lineman JJ Watt at his disposal. They started 2-o to start, but lost 9 consecutive games where Schaub threw pick-6’s in 4 consecutive games to set a NFL record. And, Kubiak suffered a heart attack during a game vs. the Colts and showed how the stress of the job can get to a head coach. I’m glad he’s recovered and easing his way back into coaching. They’re out of the playoffs right now with a 2-9 record. They should have had a better season and I would say that he will be fired at the end of the season with a 61-61 record in 8 years in Houston.
Minnesota’s Leslie Frasier, a great defensive mind, was given a terrible QB in Christian Ponder. He has an All-Pro running back in Adrian Peterson, who has labored back from a terrible knee injury to fall 9 yards short of Eric Dickerson’s all-time rushing record last season. His team has not contended with the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions or Green Bay Packers in the NFC North division during his tenure. With a 18-30 overall record, Frasier will probably be gone sooner rather than later.
Who are some of my favorite head coaching possibilities from the NFL ranks? Here’s some names that Bleacher Report suggested:
- Lovie Smith
- Jack Del Rio
- Ken Whisenhunt
I like Lovie Smith because he has a great defensive mind. He built the Chicago Bears defense into what it is today from a basic Cover 2 scheme. They made the Super Bowl with Rex Grossman as their starting QB and lost to Peyton Manning’s Colts that year. I’d love to see the Redskins hire him to fix their defense and be the first black head coach of the franchise (as they also had Doug Williams back in the day as the first black QB to win a Super Bowl).
Jack Del Rio may get the job at USC, or might not. But, he’s really improved a bad defense from the Mike Shanahan days to be relevant in the AFC West title hunt this year. He had to deal with bad management in Jacksonville as their head coach, who gave him little-to-nothing as far as talented personnel in a tough AFC division (where he had to face the Peyton Manning-led Colts and the up-and-coming Texans). He should be considered a top head coach candidate for a desperate team.
Whisenhunt has revitalized San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers’ career this year and that is no mistake. He was the Cardinals’ head coach that led them to the Super Bowl with Kurt Warner at the helm as quarterback, and then was let down by his front office who got the likes of Matt Leinart, Kevin Kolb and John Skelton to replace Warner. Rivers has cut down his interceptions from 15 last year to 8 this year and is still an effective NFL starting QB. His QBR has also jumped from 40.57 last year to 70.33 this year, due to Whisenhunt’s coaching (per Pro-Football-Reference.com).
What do you think of this list? Who did I leave out?