Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders, Broncos: A Closer Look at Some Inevitable Coaching Changes

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Look around the NFL and you will find no worse division than the AFC West. There’s no sense in debating, it’s a fact. Outside of the Denver Broncos, the division is just awful. Nowhere else in the league does the second place team have to win out to avoid finishing with a losing record, while the bottom two teams are both all but assured a top-5 draft pick with three weeks remaining.

Undoubtedly, the end of the season will bring a shuffle of head coaches in and out of the division. With a division this bad, it’s never too early to preview the head coach changes that will come at season’s end.

Norv Turner, San Diego – There have already been reports surfacing that Turner will be let go after the season, which have come to the surprise of no one. This will be the third consecutive year that the Chargers will miss the playoffs under Turner, which is beyond unacceptable in a division so bad, so there’s no reason why an NFL franchise would hold onto a coach under those circumstances. Turner could have been fired after last season, or even after the team’s week 6 collapse against the Broncos, so the surprise won’t be that Turner will get fired, it’s that he’s hung on to his job this long.

Romeo Crennel, Kansas City – Crennel’s tenure as the head coach of the Chiefs got off to a promising start late last year; however, he won as many games in three weeks last year as he’s won in the first 13 weeks of this season. Crennel displayed great leadership following Todd Haley’s termination last season and in the aftermath of the Jovan Belcher tragedy this season, but when the team’s overall performance is evaluated following the season, it’ll become apparent that Crennel has no business being an NFL head coach, in Kansas City or anywhere else. He will; however, get a job somewhere as a defensive coordinator, a title that suits him well.

Dennis Allen, Oakland – After just one year as a coordinator in the NFL, Allen was given a head coaching job, and it’s clear from his one season in Oakland that he’s in over his head as an NFL head coach. Owner Mark Davis has been outspoken in his displeasure in the direction of the team, pointing the finger directly at Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie, which has put both on the hot seat. In a lot of ways the Raiders have regressed over the course of the season, losing their last six games. Allen may be a good head coach one day, but he just isn’t one yet, and Davis doesn’t seem like he’ll be patient with Allen and give him more time to turn things around in Oakland.

Jack Del Rio, Denver – While everyone else on this list is moving out, Del Rio may very well be moving up into a head coaching position. Del Rio is bound to end up on the short list of some of the head coaching vacancies this offseason, whether in the AFC West or elsewhere. Outside of Von Miller and Champ Bailey, the Denver defense isn’t loaded with big-name players, but Del Rio has turned it into one of the top scoring defenses in the NFL. Del Rio also has more than eight years of head coaching experience from his days in Jacksonville, and after a year away from being the man in charge there should be a team out there that will make Del Rio their head coach for 2013.