The teams that have already fired the HC:
Cowboys – The Boys will most likely stay with Interim Head Coach (IHC) Garrett. The team has played much better under Garrett than under Phillips. However, owner Jones would love to get a big name guy but none of them will take the job because of Jones history of interference with the day to day operations of the team.
Vikings – IHC Frazier is 50/50 to keep his job in 2011. The team has not improved much after the change but Frazier has had a lot of issues to work through. While the team is talented, it is older and the window on the Vikes getting to a Super Bowl is closing fast.
Broncos – IHC Studesville is not likely to be the 2011 HC. He has been a RB coach for most of his career. Because of the debacle that Owner Bowlen caused by hiring the badly over matched McDaniels, the Broncos need a name brand with HC experience. He is not likely to get the “big 2” (Gruden and Cowher) and will probably have to settle with someone like Kubiak.
The teams that will have coaching changes:
Panthers – HC Fox’s contract expires at the end of the year and he has been told it will not be extended. However Fox has a good enough rep that he will get another HC job very soon. The Panthers are a fairly attractive team with the 1st pick (IF Stanford QB Luck comes out) and some quality pieces. But it is several years away from contending.
49ers – HC Singletary got the job as an IHC but the team never came around for him. Frankly most of the problem is lack of talent. QB Alex Smith, a former 1st overall pick, has been a large part of the lack of production. High draft picks have failed to produce on both the O and D lines. But except for QB, this team has some great players like RB Gore, WR Crabtree and LB Willis.
Texans – This team under HC Kubiak has been the pick for the last 4 years to unseat the Colts in the AFC South. It has not happened. After a couple of 8-8 seasons, the wheels came off this year. The team has a solid O but the D is filled with high picks that have not developed. It is attractive because it is young and has some talent. It is also in a division that is rebuilding with the Colts window closing and the Titans and Panthers getting new coaches this year.
Titans – HC Fisher’s contract expires and there will be a new HC here next year. The problem has been more a difference of opinion between the Owner Adams and Fisher. Adams wants QB Young to be the guy but Young and the HC do not get along at all. Fisher will be hired by another team immediately if he is not extended by the Titans.
Bengals – HC Lewis is history. The Bengals won the Division by sweeping the games within it. This year they have won only 3 games. Lewis will get a job elsewhere as a DC but not as a HC. Mike Brown is going to have a real problem bring in a top prospect because of the history of this franchise. In addition, the entire team is going to be blown up particularly on O. It is a L O N G way from being competitive.
Browns – HC Mangini will be history at the end of the season unless Pres. Holmgren can’t get a name brand. The team has regressed this year despite having gotten a steal at QB with McCoy in the 3rd round. The most likely to replace him is Holmgren as HC or Gruden if the team can sign him.
Teams that will possibly fire their coaches:
Chargers – HC Turner will have to not only make the playoffs but get past the 1st round or 2 to keep his job. The team has always started slowly under Turner and this year has stumbled late in the season.
Raiders – The team is improved at 7-7 but HC Cable may still get the boot if for no other reason than Al Davis is still running the operation. Anything is possible
Dolphins – The team has regressed under HC Sparano this year. The players are not preforming up to their draft projections. QB Henne is seen now as a bust as was QB Beck, WR Ginn and other first and second round picks by GM Ireland. The recent losses combined with the mention of Miami by Cowher as a job he was interested in has destabilized the Dolphin situation. At this point I estimate there is only a 50% chance there will be changes in Miami. However, it is one to watch.
Redskins – There are serious problems between the Owner Snyder and HC Shanahan. Snyder brought QB McNabb in and the coach benched him. Snyder gave him an extension then the HC told him he would not play the rest of the year. The same thing happened with DT Haynesworth. Snyder traded for him, the coach refused to play him. The Owner gave him a huge roster bonus but he seldom got on the field. Battles between a coach and the owner always end one way–the HC gets canned. It may not happen this year but this is a situation to watch.
Giants – HC Coughlin is not on the hot seat yet but after the D allowed the comeback against the hated Eagles, the seat did get a little warmer. Another factor is former Steeler Coach Cowher saying that job would be one he would seriously consider. If the Giants don’t make the playoffs, Coughlin’s seat will get a lot warmer.
Chiefs – There are rumors of a possible change in KC not despite the team’s turnaround but because of it. Last year this same team under HC Haley went 4-12. This year with 2 quality coordinators, the team is 9-5. I hear that ownership is wondering if Haley was ready. Another problem seems to be the difference between 2 coordinators coming from the Belichick tree and HC Haley being a Parcells guy. I am hearing that the coordinators feel like they are carrying an unprepared HC.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. His first non-fiction work is at the publisher now and he has also published several novels on
and edits .
Also listen to the best Sports Talk anywhere on the Internet and hear my league news and draft analysis on Tuesdays on https://www.cleveland.com/dsn/2010/11/dsn_video_live_stream.html
- Bill Cowher: Will He Coach the Miami Dolphins in 2011? (bleacherreport.com)
- Bill Cowher: 10 Reasons He Should Stay Retired For One More Year (bleacherreport.com)
- N.F.L. Fast Forward: Coaching Carousel Already in Full Spin (nytimes.com)
- Bill Cowher: Where Does Popular Coach Land In 2011? (bleacherreport.com)