Like it or not, part of life in the NFL is head coaches sitting on the hot seat and getting fired. It’s a never ending cycle, as new coaches sometimes only get two or three years to prove that they’re moving a franchise in the right direction, while even established coaches don’t get cut a lot of slack when their teams have a big dip in win total. Even with eight new coaches in the league this year, there are plenty of head coaches that are feeling the heat heading into the 2013 season. Let’s take a look at the coaches in the NFL that are on the hot seat, as the season gets under way.
Dennis Allen, Oakland – This is just Allen’s second year as the Raider’s head coach, but if they end up being the worst team in the NFL, which is a distinct possibility, it could be his last. Allen’s specialty is defense, and at the very least he needs to make the Raiders decent on that side of the ball. Oakland is bound to have problems on offense, especially with some uncertainty at the quarterback position, but if Allen can make the Raiders competitive by playing good defense, he should give himself another year to turn things around; if not, Allen could be out of his job in Oakland.
Jason Garrett, Dallas – Jerry Jones insists that he views Jason Garrett as the Cowboy’s coach for the long-term, but anybody who’s familiar with Jones knows that the 8-8 record Dallas has had the last two seasons is unacceptable in his eyes. Jones is the one calling the shots, even more so than Garrett, but if the Cowboys struggle Jones isn’t going to fire himself, which will leave Garrett to face the consequences, which could mean losing his job. With all the micro managing that Jones does, Garrett isn’t exactly set up for success in 2013, but that won’t matter if the Cowboys don’t win 10 games and get to the playoffs this season.
Mike Munchak, Tennessee – The Titans fired their general manager after last season, which usually puts a lot of heat on the head coach the following season. Tennessee has been known as a patient franchise, but that doesn’t mean Munchak will get a pass if the Titans don’t show improvement and compete for a playoff spot. A lot is riding on the shoulders of third-year quarterback Jake Locker, but if he struggles, Munchak might have to make a change at that position in order to help save his job.
Ron Rivera, Carolina – Rivera won six games in his first season as a head coach in 2011 and then won seven last season, needing a late-season surge to get to that mark. Now Rivera is in that all-important third year, when something has to give. The Panthers are in a division that will be tough to win, but where second place is up for grabs, and Rivera needs to make sure Carolina wins that battle for second place in the NFC South in order to secure his job.
Rex Ryan, New York Jets – No one is feeling the heat more heading into the 2013 season than Ryan. After taking the Jets to the AFC Championship Game in each of his first two seasons, Ryan has been absent from the playoffs the past two seasons, despite offering guarantees that promised substantial postseason success. The only thing that matters in the NFL is what you’ve done lately, and if the Jets miss the playoffs for the third straight year, there’s little chance Ryan will survive.
Jim Schwartz, Detroit – Schwartz deserves a lot of credit for taking over a team that went winless the year before he took over and taking them to the playoffs in his third season. However, going from a 10-6 playoff team to an abysmal 4-12 team last year is a huge drop off. During his four-year tenure, the Lions are 20 games below .500, which isn’t entirely his fault, but it’s hard to ignore. If Schwartz can’t get the Lions back to at least 8-8 this season, then the 2011 season will look like nothing more than an aberration, which could mean the end of Schwartz in Detroit.