NFL Rumors: 8 Coaches Who Could Be on the Hot Seat in 2012
Several NFL head coaches have little job security as the 2012 NFL season draws near.
From Rex Ryan and the perils of the New York Jets locker room to Norv Turner and the perennial mediocrity of his tenure with the San Diego Chargers, the job of a head coach is constantly under scrutiny.
For the following eight coaches, the 2012 season will be the last chance to get off the hot seat and back into the good graces of their respective organizations.
Let's start with a lukewarm seat in Chicago...
8. Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
The NFC North is shaping up to be one of the toughest divisions in the NFL this season, and that cannot bode well for the head coach of the Chicago Bears, Lovie Smith.
Smith has made runs to the Super Bowl and NFC Championship Game, respectively, but he is coming off an 8-8 campaign that resulted in a complete front office turnover in Chicago.
7. Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images
Jason Garrett is on the hot seat because he is the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys and is under the watchful eye of owner Jerry Jones.
Having top-tier talent and missing the playoffs as the Cowboys did in 2011 is bad—repeating that type of season in 2012 is simply unacceptable.
Garrett was a hot commodity when Jones promoted him from offensive coordinator, but his play calling and judgement have often come under scrutiny.
According to NFL.com, the Cowboys 2012 schedule will also play into the heat of Garrett's proverbial seat.
Dallas has six of their first nine games on the road to start the season. If they make it out of that stretch relatively unscathed, then Garrett can rest a little easier.
However, he will likely still need an extended playoff run to remain the head man of "America's Team."
6. Ken Whisenhunt, Arizona Cardinals
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Ken Whisenhunt enters his sixth season at the helm of the Arizona Cardinals with two playoff runs and a Super Bowl appearance under his belt.
Unfortunately, the last two seasons have been less impressive, as the Cardinals have gone 5-11 and 8-8, respectively.
Bringing in Kevin Kolb as the long-term answer at quarterback has not paid immediate dividends and their schedule this season includes the always difficult AFC East.
According to NFL.com, Whisenhunt's seat may only be warm at this point, but a poor season from Kolb and a losing record could heat things up considerably.
5. Pat Shurmur, Cleveland Browns
Rob Carr/Getty Images
The Cleveland Browns are in a precarious position at the bottom of the AFC North.
No one is expecting them to set the world on fire in 2012, but improvement is desperately needed for Pat Shurmur to keep his job as head coach.
According to the National Football Post, Shurmur is firmly riding the hot seat in 2012.
He is clearly in rebuilding mode after drafting quarterback Brandon Weeden out of Oklahoma State, but time is of the essence.
Coming off a 4-12 season and the tumultuous departure of running back Peyton Hillis, Shurmur and the Browns will need to show steps in the right direction quickly.
4. Leslie Frazier, Minnesota Vikings
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images
Leslie Frasier is in a tough spot as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.
He is leading a team with far less talent than the rest of the NFC North division, and star running back Adrian Peterson is coming off a torn ACL.
Frasier clearly has his work cut out for him in 2012, but his 6-16 record as coach has done him no favors thus far.
NFL.com reports that he is on one of the hottest seats in the league.
Frazier will need to show signs of life in order to show the fan base that he is the man for the future.
Such is the life of an NFL head coach.
3. Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
NFL.com has Reid squarely on the hot seat in 2012 after a lackluster 2011.
Last year's supposed "Dream Team" missed the playoffs, but that talent has now had a year to build chemistry and find some traction in the locker room.
Quarterback Michael Vick is healthy and there are more than enough pieces in Philly to make a run at the Lombardi Trophy.
It may take just that for Reid to stay in charge.
2. Rex Ryan, New York Jets
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
The locker room tension and seeming lack of control have put the brash head coach of the New York Jets, Rex Ryan, on the hot seat.
The Jets have been to the AFC title game twice under Ryan's tutelage, but they struggled last season and quarterback Mark Sanchez put his development in reverse.
Starting the season off strong is a must for this team, otherwise Jets fans may grow restless.
1. Norv Turner, San Diego Chargers
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Norv Turner seems destined to remain on the hot seat for all of eternity, or at least until he actually accomplishes something as coach of the San Diego Chargers.
According to ESPN, Turner is on the hot seat yet again entering 2012.
He coaches a team with tons of talent and a penchant for self destructing, making the Chargers a unit that is hard to make predictions about.
After a strong start in 2011, San Diego faltered as the season wore on and failed to make the playoffs in one of the weaker divisions in the NFL.
Star quarterback Philip Rivers clearly regressed last season, throwing 20 interceptions for the first time in his eight-year career.
Turner will need his QB to regain form and the rest of the offense to follow suit in order to continue his reign in San Diego.