6 NFL Players and Coaches That Are Lucky to Still Have Their Jobs

James DudkoFeatured ColumnistJune 28, 2012

6 NFL Players and Coaches That Are Lucky to Still Have Their Jobs

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    The list of NFL players and coaches that are lucky to still have their jobs includes one head coach who has failed to take a multi-talented team to the playoffs in the last two seasons.

    There is also a former Super Bowl winner who has barely broken double digits for wins in two years.

    A former Dallas Cowboys first-round pick continually gets to keep his job, despite regularly failing to do what he was drafted for.

    While in Washington, a right tackle is given every chance to prove his worth, despite consistently poor performances.

    Let's look at who's lucky to still have a job...

Sean McDermott, Defensive Coordinator, Carolina Panthers

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    Sean McDermott continues to escape the consequences of overseeing porous defenses. After ruining the Philadelphia Eagles unit in 2010, McDermott was given a second chance by Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera.

    It was not an opportunity seized by McDermott, whose Panthers defense ranked 28th in the league last season.

    Carolina's defense had been a team strength under previous head coach John Fox, but McDermott somehow contrived to construct a unit that was the chief reason why the Panthers didn't properly capitalise on the points generated by Cam Newton's spectacular rookie campaign.

    McDermott takes a lot of chances with the blitz and has struggled to adjust to in-game developments. The pressure will be on the young coordinator to get it right in Year 2, or Newton will once again be left to carry the team.

Anthony Spencer, OLB, Dallas Cowboys

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    Anthony Spencer continues to make people believe that he is close to becoming good and finally developing into the player the Dallas Cowboys thought they were getting when they drafted him in 2007.

    The 6'3", 257-pound, former Purdue standout has annually struggled to provide a credible pass-rush threat, despite playing opposite De Marcus Ware and with a defensive line featuring Jay Ratliff. Spencer usually floats around the five- to six-sack mark, and that is seen as a substantial improvement from his first two years.

    His play against the run is often used to define his value, but as an outside linebacker in a 3-4, Spencer's sack numbers need to be higher. He has played in aggressive schemes under blitz-happy coaches Wade Phillips and now Rob Ryan. So Spencer ought to be taking down quarterbacks on a more consistent basis.

Norv Turner, Head Coach, San Diego Chargers

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    How exactly does a head coach escape the boot after failing to get a squad full of talent into the playoffs for two straight seasons? Well, it helps if the star player likes having him around.

    San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner can thank Pro Bowl quarterback Phillip Rivers for helping him keep his job with the underachieving AFC West outfit.

    Rivers went to bat for his coach, according to Gregg Rosenthal of nbcsports.com, and his endorsement was enough to keep Turner around, despite the Chargers' failure to translate their ability into superiority in a mediocre division.

    That Turner can call a great offense cannot be disputed. However, since 2009, his teams have been mistake-prone and his defense has gone missing in big games. 2012 represents surely his last chance to get things right.

Jammal Brown, OT, Washington Redskins

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    26 largely poor stars in two seasons is seemingly not enough to condemn Washington Redskins right tackle Jammal Brown to the scrap heap. The former New Orleans Saints starter has struggled with injuries and in transitioning from left tackle to the right side.

    These woes have led to consistently poor performances, particularly in pass protection. Yet Brown somehow still keeps his job.

    Head coach Mike Shanahan is determined to make his 2010 trade acquisition a success. He has indicated that yoga will see Brown return to full fitness and peak form this season, according to the Washington Times.

    Redskins fans will hope so, as the offensive line cannot afford another weak showing with prized rookie Robert Griffin III to protect.

Mike Shanahan, Head Coach, Washington Redskins

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    Speaking of Mike Shanahan, the former two-time Super Bowl-winning Denver Broncos head coach is doing well to survive in D.C., despite only 11 wins in two seasons.

    Shanahan's reputation and the promise of a bright future just around the corner are what keep him in place in Washington. By perpetuating the idea that he is embroiled in a long-term project, Shanahan largely escapes serious criticism for a number of questionable decisions.

    He is given patience even after two horrendous mis-steps at the quarterback position, dodgy trades and forcing systems on players ill-suited to execute them.

    After taking a step back in 2011, Shanahan must use Year 3 to prove he is the man to bring success back to the Redskins.

Ryan Clark, Safety, Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Despite a propensity for surrendering big plays in coverage, Ryan Clark continues to keep his job in the centre of the Pittsburgh Steelers' secondary.

    The 32-year-old is supposed to provide a solid balance and cover behind Troy Polamalu, who does his best work closer to the line of scrimmage.

    Yet Clark frequently gets lost on deep routes and draws his share of penalties for some questionable hits. The 11-year veteran does not seem to have the range and athleticism to adequately quarterback the secondary any longer.

    However, Clark's experience and aggression always somehow seem to cover up his weaknesses and errors and keep him in place.