Who's on the hot seat? These 7 NFL head coaches are in greatest danger of being fired.
The NFL's coaching carousel began its annual rotation with the firing of Hue Jackson in Cleveland halfway through the Browns' season.
Gregg Williams was elevated from defensive coordinator to interim head coach upon Jackson's dismissal, and he has led the Browns to a 1-1 record since then. But it would take something improbable for Williams to keep the job on more than an interim basis. General Manager John Dorsey almost certainly wants to bring in a new head coach of his choosing, and it would make sense for the Browns to hire an offensive-minded coach to oversee the development of quarterback Baker Mayfield.
So the Browns are likely to be in the coaching market after the season, and they undoubtedly won't be alone. Here are the head coaches most in jeopardy of being ousted by season's end or soon thereafter.
* John Harbaugh, Ravens: It was clear from the outset of the season that the jobs of Harbaugh and his quarterback, Joe Flacco, were on the line this season. The Ravens have gone three seasons without reaching the AFC playoffs, and owner Steve Bisciotti said publicly after last season that he'd considered firing Harbaugh then. The team used a first-round draft pick on quarterback Lamar Jackson, putting Flacco under similarly heightened scrutiny.
Harbaugh is a respected coach and probably would land another NFL head coaching job if he's fired in Baltimore. But his message perhaps has grown a bit stale inside the organization, and another non-playoff season could leave the Ravens to hit the reset button with Harbaugh and Flacco.
* Todd Bowles, Jets: Bowles's exit is feeling increasingly inevitable with the Jets on a four-game losing streak to drop their record to 3-7. The issue could end up being whether General Manager Mike Maccagnan is retained or joins Bowles in being ousted. The way of the NFL these days is to bring in a young, offensive-minded head coach to be in charge of getting the most out of a prized young quarterback. It has worked for the Los Angeles Rams with Sean McVay, their second-year coach, and quarterback Jared Goff, and it's working now for the Bears with Matt Nagy, their rookie coach, and second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
* Dirk Koetter, Buccaneers: When the Buccaneers fired Lovie Smith and promoted Koetter from offensive coordinator to head coach following quarterback Jameis Winston's rookie season, the idea was to ensure that Koetter remained in Tampa and provided stability for Winston. It's not working. The Buccaneers aren't winning. Winston has been benched, leaving his future with the franchise uncertain with one season remaining on his contract after the team exercised the fifth-year option in his original rookie deal.
* Mike McCarthy, Packers: This will be the most interesting head coaching decision of all if the Packers don't regroup and reach the NFC playoffs. McCarthy, like Harbaugh, is a former Super Bowl-winning coach. He is in his 13th season with the Packers and, until last season, had taken Green Bay to eight straight postseason appearances. But the Packers went 7-9 last year while playing much of the way without quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and now they're 4-4-1. Will another season of Rodgers's prime slip away without a run at another Super Bowl? If so, the Packers will have a decision to make.
* Jason Garrett, Cowboys: The Cowboys steadied themselves with Sunday night's win at Philadelphia, quieting some of the speculation that Garrett could be on his way out sooner rather than later. But that could be only temporary. Owner Jerry Jones has been patient with Garrett, and there are some within the league who believe that Garrett's job security is based partially on the fact that he is so willing to accept Jones's special brand of input. But Jones's patience might not last if the Cowboys don't get back into the playoffs.
* Vance Joseph, Broncos: The Broncos are 3-6 this season after going 5-11 last season in Joseph's first year in Denver. It can be argued that the bigger issue with the Broncos is front office executive John Elway's inability to put a productive quarterback in place. But Joseph can't fire Elway.
* Marvin Lewis, Bengals: The Bengals are coming unglued in a once-promising season, with three losses in four games to drop their record to 5-4. The defense has fallen apart and the offense is playing without injured wide receiver A.J. Green. The Bengals play in Baltimore this Sunday, and the outlook will become that much more ominous for the loser of that game. Lewis fired defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and is taking over command of the defense. He also added Jackson to his coaching staff. Owner Mike Brown has struck with Lewis despite the inability of the Bengals to get a single playoff victory with Lewis as their coach and Andy Dalton as their quarterback.
Lewis's detractors always must keep in mind that he inherited a laughingstock of a team and transformed it into an annual contender and regular postseason participant. Eventually, those who want to see Lewis on his way out of Cincinnati will get their way. But that doesn't mean that it necessarily will happen after this season.
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|Publication:||Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)|
|Date:||Nov 15, 2018|
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