The 8 NFL Coaches Most Likely To Get Fired This Season
Being named the head coach for one of the 32 franchises in the National Football League is the absolute peak of the football coaching industry. NFL coaches have one of the most prestigious jobs in all of professional sports. It is the highest level of the most popular sport in the United States, and these jobs usually comes with seven-figure salaries.
Unfortunately, there are also aspects of being a head coach in the NFL that make the position one of the most stressful jobs in the world. It’s not uncommon for NFL coaches to work 80-plus hours per week. They often have to fire members of their coaching staff, and every September they have to end the NFL dreams of dozens of players. While those factors are undoubtedly stress inducing, none of them compare to the extremely fickle job security NFL coaches face on a weekly basis.
There are a handful of coaches around the league who can sleep comfortably at night knowing that their jobs are safe. But for most, the pressure is on to win this year. With that being said, here is a look at eight NFL coaches who are entering the 2016 NFL season firmly entrenched in the hot seat.
1. Rex Ryan, Buffalo Bills
Buffalo owners Terrence and Kim Pegula have already made it clear to Rex Ryan and General Manager Doug Whaley that their jobs are on the line in 2016. If the Bills make it to the AFC Playoffs, both will keep their jobs. If the Bills miss the playoffs, Ryan and Whaley will be unemployed next offseason.
When you look at their roster, there is no doubt that the Bills have the talent to contend for a spot in the postseason in 2016. To do so, they need a strong performance out of quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who is in a contract year; they will need several players to stay healthy at key positions (defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, wide receiver Sammy Watkins, running back LeSean McCoy, and defensive end Jerry Hughes to name a few); and they will need to catch a couple of favorable breaks throughout the season. Otherwise, 2016 may be the last time we see Ryan coaching in the NFL.
2. Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars
The time has come for Gus Bradley to put up or shut up. The Jaguars have put together one of the most talented young rosters in the league, and the pressure will be on Bradley to bring his team together and make a run at a postseason berth in 2016. If the Jaguars turn in another disappointing season with a sub-.500 record, Bradley will almost surely hit the unemployment line next offseason.
3. Jeff Fisher, Los Angeles Rams
It could be just us, but it seems like Jeff Fisher has been in the hot seat ever since his last couple seasons as the head coach of the Tennessee Titans. After four-straight losing seasons in four years on the job with the Rams, it’s safe to say that Fisher is coaching for his job in 2016.
He has an immensely talented young roster to work with, and it appears as though the Rams finally have a franchise quarterback in rookie Jared Goff. Still, when the dust settles on the 2016 NFL season, if the Rams do not have a winning record, Fisher will likely be looking for a new job during the offseason.
4. Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys
After a disastrous 2015 season, everybody in Dallas is feeling the pressure to win in 2016. With only one winning season in his five years as the team’s full-time head coach, Jason Garrett is likely feeling more heat than anybody.
After losing several key players to injuries in 2015, the Cowboys will be at full-strength this year (assuming they are fortunate enough to have all of their key players stay healthy during training camp). Anything short of a playoff appearance could result in Garrett losing his job next offseason. While we are willing to give Garrett a pass for the 2015 season, this team is simply too talented to not be a serious NFC contender in 2016.
5. Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals
Marvin Lewis is entering his 14th season as the Bengals head coach, which makes him the second-longest tenured coach in the league (behind Bill Belichick). He has led the franchise to five straight (and seven total) playoff appearances during his time in Cincinnati, but his teams have yet to record a postseason win. While there is no denying that Lewis has built the Bengals into a perennial contender in the AFC North, he likely must win a playoff game to keep his job.
6. Mike McCoy, San Diego Chargers
After leading the Chargers to two straight winning seasons and a playoff victory in his first two years on the job, Mike McCoy saw his team struggle to a 4-12 overall record in 2015. Seeing as how the franchise thought long and hard about firing him this past offseason, it’s safe to assume that McCoy is feeling the heat to return the Chargers to playoff contention in 2016.
7. Jim Caldwell, Detroit Lions
In a lot of ways, we are somewhat shocked that Jim Caldwell didn’t lose his job after the 2015 season. After the Lions got off to a 1-7 start, they rallied to go 6-2 in the second half of the season, which is likely what saved Caldwell’s job. The team eventually fired General Manager Martin Mayhew, and despite loads of speculation about their plans to also fire Caldwell, they chose to retain the 61-year-old coach for another season. Nevertheless, given how close they came to firing him this offseason, it is clear that Caldwell needs a strong season in 2016 to keep his job.
8. Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers
You may find Mike McCarthy’s inclusion on this list somewhat surprising given the Packers’ run of success (104-55-1 overall record, five NFC North titles, and one Super Bowl title) with him as their head coach. However, the Packers have made early, and highly disappointing, exits from the NFC Playoffs in each of the five seasons following their triumph over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV.
If you need further proof that Green Bay’s recent postseason track record is unacceptable, just consider the fact that they seriously considered making a coaching change earlier this offseason. Furthermore, the only thing that really kept the Packers competitive in 2015 was having one of the best quarterback in the game, Aaron Rodgers, leading their offense.