Setting Odds for Each NFL Coach on the Hot Seat to Keep His Job in 2012
The NFL hot seat as it relates to head coaches is a revolving door. You have to remember that Tom Coughlin has been on it more times than Lawrence Taylor has been busted for crack possession.
Last season we saw only three head coaches fired: Jack Del Rio, Tony Sparano and Todd Haley. Four more were fired immediately at season's end.
You can definitely expect more coaches to be on the chopping block during the 2012 season. Some, Norv Turner for example, were given one more chance at success. Others, including Pete Carroll (pictured), need to prove to the brass that they are the long-term answers for the franchise.
Let's take a look at 10 head coaches that are on the hot seat, and their chances of keeping their jobs through the 2012 season.
Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles
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This one is pretty clear cut. If the Philadelphia Eagles struggle out of the gates and are not in the playoff race toward the latter months of the season, Andy Reid will be getting his walking papers.
That being said, the Eagles are in a position to start out of the gates relatively strong, as they play the Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals in two of their first three games.
Expectations are going to be extremely high once again in Philadelphia. Fans are not just expecting them to take the division, but compete for a Super Bowl as well.
This is a team that was clearly out of sorts for the majority of the 2011 season and Andy Reid is to blame for a large part of that.
Patience clearly has to be running thin within the organization as well as the fanbase at this point, as Philadelphia boasts some of the best talent of any team in the league. Another mediocre season will surely spell the end to Reid's tenure in the city of "Brotherly Love."
Chance of Retaining Job: 75 percent
Chan Gailey, Buffalo Bills
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The Buffalo Bills struggled a great deal down the stretch last season, finishing under .500 for the seventh consecutive season. Though they did improve from four wins in 2010 to six wins.
Now it is the Bills' turn to take that next step and become a playoff contender. They added a few enormous pieces on the defensive side of the ball in the form of Mario Williams, Mark Anderson and Stephon Gilmore.
The excuses are over and will not stand any longer. Instead, Chan Gailey needs to lead the Bills to their first winning season since 2004 if he is going to retain his post.
I would hedge my bets on that happening and Gailey keeping his job.
Chance of Retaining Job: 75 percent
Mike Shanahan, Washington Redskins
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Mike Shanahan might get some leeway from Daniel Snyder because of the selection of Robert Griffin III to be the team's franchise quarterback. The reloading, or rebuilding, process in Washington is going to be an extensive one. On that note, don't expect them to contend for a playoff spot in 2012.
That being said, the 'Skins must show signs of improvement from last season and remain relatively competitive throughout the season if Shanahan is going to return in 2013.
After all, 11 wins in two seasons really isn't going to cut it in the nation's capital.
Chance of Retaining Job: 70 percent
Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys
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Jason Garrett started out extremely strong as the interim head coach of the Dallas Cowboys during the latter half of the 2010 season, going 5-3 in replacement of Wade Phillips.
Expectations were high that the team would take the next step and win the NFC East last season. Despite being in the race until the end, Dallas just couldn't break through. Instead, they finished with a pedestrian 8-8 record and a lot of questions up and down the roster.
The front office did their job recognizing and fixing areas of concern. They signed Brandon Carr, the best free-agent corner on the market, and traded up for the consensus No. 1 defensive player in the draft, Morris Claiborne.
Now that their major issues, the secondary, are fixed, Dallas must make the playoffs this season in order for Garrett to keep his job.
The road is going to be rather difficult. They have the Wednesday night opener against the defending Super Bowl champions, then travel west to play in a hostile environment in Seattle against the Seahawks. Overall, Dallas has nine games against opponents that finished .500 or better last season.
We will definitely get a feeling of where Garrett stands by the first week of December. If the Cowboys are out of playoff contention he will most likely get fired.
Chance of Retaining Job: 65 percent
Rex Ryan, New York Jets
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I fully understand that some will look at Rex Ryan being on this list and automatically tune out the remainder of this piece. After all, he did lead the New York Jets to the AFC Championship Game in his first two seasons with the club.
Ryan also comes from long line of great defensive minds in the Ryan family. Namely his father Buddy and brother Rob.
That being said, once expectations are raised after early success, it is extremely important that the coach continues to show that he is a winner. Ryan did not show that last season and the Jets fell completely flat.
This is a team that didn't just miss the playoffs, but were actually embarrassing both on and off the field. Chemistry took a hit as a divided locker room showed us Ryan didn't have control of his 53-man roster. The running game fluttered from the previous season, and Mark Sanchez did not progress toward being anything more than a pedestrian starter in the league.
Overall, it was a nightmare season for "Gang Green."
They need to rebound if Ryan is going to keep his job. That might sound a bit crazy on the surface, but think about it for a second. If the Jets regress even further and start the season out slowly, Ryan will have not only lost his locker room, he will have lost the faith of the powers that be in New York.
After all, it was a widespread regression from 2010 to 2011. Just take a look at the Jets' league-wide ranks for each season and statistic on both sides of the ball.
Chance of Retaining Job: 50 percent
Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks
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Pete Carroll might be one of the best collegiate head coaches in modern history, but this just hasn't translated over to the National Football League.
Prior to leaving the NFL for college in his previous stint, Carroll was nothing more than a pedestrian coach in the league. He combined for 33 wins in four seasons, one with the New York Jets and three with the New England Patriots.
Since returning to the pros, Carroll hasn't fared much better. He has led the Seattle Seahawks to seven wins in each of his first two seasons in the Pacific Northwest.
The time has come for this team to take the next step and contend for double-digit wins. Fans in that area of the country are not looking to support a team that consistently hovers around .500 behind conference foes.
It is going to be hard for this team to get to that point this upcoming season. Not only does Seattle have to contend with the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC West, a team that won 13 games last year, they have an extremely difficult schedule.
Seattle faces the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, Detroit Lions and 49ers all before November. That is a daunting task if there ever was one. A slow start out of the gate could get Carroll's seat really hot.
Chance of Retaining Job: 50 percent
Pat Shurmur, Cleveland Browns
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Most NFL head coaches get a full two seasons to prove that they are the answer. This might not be the case with Pat Shurmur, who is already feeling heat from a passionate fanbase.
The Cleveland Browns were atrocious on offense, an area that Shurmur is supposed to specialize in. They ranked near the bottom in every single major statistical category, including points, passing yards, rushing yards, total yards and overall offense.
In fact, the Browns regressed as a team in Shurmur's first year. They had one less win over the previous season, and Cleveland struggled much more in the rushing game and producing touchdowns.
Overall, Cleveland finished in the cellar of the AFC North once again and lost their final six games of their campaign.
This needs to change for Shurmur's sake. The bad news is that they really don't have the talent to be competitive. Brandon Weeden is going to be replacing Colt McCoy as the Browns' starting quarterback, and while it remains to be seen how the rookie will perform, it is hard to imagine him being much of an upgrade over McCoy.
The Browns lack talent at the skill positions, which is also going to hinder Weeden's ability to progress as the team's signal-caller.
Adding more fuel to the fire burning under Shurmur's hot seat is their division. Cleveland is going to be going up against the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, all playoff teams from last season, a total of six times.
They also have outings against the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys.This all adds up to a long 2012 season in Cleveland.
Chance of Retaining Job: 40 percent
Ken Whisenhunt, Arizona Cardinals
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Ever since Kurt Warner rode into retirement the Arizona Cardinals have struggled with mediocrity. This has led many to believe that Ken Whisenhunt did nothing more than ride the coattails of the future Hall of Fame quarterback.
It is really hard to argue against that.
Arizona has regressed in each of the last two seasons, consistently under-performing with their talent level.
Despite winning seven of their last nine games in 2011, Arizona failed to finish above .500 for the third time in his five seasons as head man. For all intents and purposes, the Cards were out of the NFC West title race by the middle part of the season as well.
In order for Whisenhunt to make it through the season, Arizona needs to not only be competitive, but they need to be in contention for a playoff spot into the latter part of the year.
Will this happen?
It is all predicated on Arizona finding a quarterback that can manage games and building an offensive line that can actually pass-protect. If that doesn't happen, Whisenhunt will be filing unemployment papers before January.
Chance of Retaining Job: 30 percent
Leslie Frasier, Minnesota Vikings
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It is safe to assume that the Minnesota Vikings brass gave Leslie Frazier the benefit of the doubt following a disastrous 2011 season that saw the team win a total of three games, completely falling apart in the second half of games on a consistent basis.
After all, they were fielding a rookie quarterback and Adrian Peterson missed the final four games of the year.
That being said, the Vikings were so inept on both sides of the ball that you have to look at Frazier's head coaching performance.
It was the defense that let Minnesota down a great deal last season. They ranked 31st in scoring defense and were 26th against the pass. It goes without saying, that is where the Vikings will need to make the biggest jump for a successful bounce-back season.
Sure, Peterson's return is going to help a great deal, but is it enough for them to double that win total? Because that is what it would take for Frazier's job to be secure.
I just don't see it.
Chance of Retaining Job: 25 percent
Norv Turner, San Diego Chargers
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Not too often can a head coach in the NFL accumulate over 100 wins in his career and still boast a losing record. At some point the league comes to their senses and realizes that particular coach just doesn't have what it takes.
This is obviously not the case with Turner, who is entering his 14th season as head coach in the NFL and his sixth with the San Diego Chargers.
He leads one of the most talented teams in the league, but has not been able to turn that proverbial corner. In fact, it could be said that the Chargers have been the most disappointing team in the NFL over the course of the last half decade.
While Turner is 18 games over .500 in his San Diego tenure, they have consistently underachieved and only seem to be regressing. This is a team that won 13 games in 2009 only to go one and done in the playoffs. They followed up 2009 with mediocrity over the course of the last two seasons, seeing their win total drop each year.
It is time that Turner leads the Chargers deep into the playoffs. This is why he was brought back and anything less would probably cost him his job.
At this point, it is hard to have any confidence in Turner being the man to lead San Diego to elite status.
If they start out slow in 2012, you can expect Turner to get his walking papers rather early in the season. In short, he has absolutely no margin for error.
Chance of Retaining Job: 15 percent