We are ten weeks into the NFL season, and it is starting to feel like we can figure out which coaches are safe and which may have their jobs at stake. Of those coaches who are on the hot seat, they fall into three separate divisions: some are as good as gone; others are safer than any of us think, and there are all of those in-between. Who falls into what category? How long is it going to take any of them to get canned? Here are two that fall into each of the three different categories:
Safer Than We Think:
Jeff Fisher: The Rams have looked absolutely atrocious up until this point in the season, and it is inexplicable how it took them this long to start No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff. They have been mired in mediocrity for the past several seasons and have not come anywhere close to improving. Still, Fisher will keep his job after the season expires, into next season and maybe even beyond that. Ownership is stubborn and blind, believing that there have been improvements that not even the most intelligent NFL fan could see. As much as people may think Fisher is on the hot seat, he’ll be just fine.
Todd Bowles: The Jets have sucked this year and head into a week 11 bye with a record of 3-7. The quarterback situation is pretty ugly, and the secondary has taken a major hit because of the regression of Darelle Revis. No one can place any of this on Bowles, however, and unlike Fisher, he deserves to keep his job. That team almost made the playoffs last year with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm – the same Ryan Fitzpatrick who looks like he’s some random guy they picked up off the street to play QB this season. Some people may believe Bowles needs to go, but those who do don’t understand the situation he is in.
John Fox: In Chicago, football is as bad as it has ever been, and they have a similar QB situation to the Jets. Fox doesn’t appear to be a good fit for that team, and his timeline for winning and theirs don’t mesh well. He could rebuild and help them get back to relevancy; it just doesn’t seem like it is going to happen. Nevertheless, I’m not the one in charge of that team and I don’t know what ownership’s intentions are going forward. I just think it’s 50-50 whether he stays or goes.
Marvin Lewis: Lewis has had a lot of time in Cincinnati and still hasn’t won a playoff game. It seems like his leash in unlimited there, so it’s difficult to tell if they will move on from him at all. Right now, it seems like they are not going back to the playoffs, so maybe that’s enough for ownership to move on from him once and for all. Problem is regardless of whether or not they make the postseason, he doesn’t get them anywhere anyways. We’ll have to see what their owners decide is the best decision for their team; Lewis may or may not be involved heading forward, but it’s tough to tell one way or another.
As Good As Gone:
Gus Bradley: This head coach knows his time in Jacksonville is limited. He’s been there for a few years now and they have gone nowhere. They spent a lot this offseason and have had high draft picks several years now, and it just isn’t working out. Bortles looks terrible after appearing to make strides last year, and the defense isn’t as good as it should be with a defensive-minded coach. I like Bradley, but he has to go.
Mike McCarthy: This one may come as a shock, and people think he probably belongs in one of the previous categories. Just one problem with that: the Packers are not a good team, and that primarily falls on him. He has a better defense than people believe, and as much as injuries have piled up, they have Aaron Rodgers and enough talent to be better than 4-5 through ten weeks. Plus, the players play with the least amount of energy of any team across the entire league, and that is his fault for not inspiring enough confidence and motivation into his guys. McCarthy is an intelligent football coach, but his time in Green Bay has come.
Cover photo courtesy larrybrownsports.com.