NFL Coaches Facing the Most Pressure in Training Camp
Training camp pressure in today's NFL landscape is not limited to players battling for roster spots and positioning.
Coaches can also feel the weight on their shoulders as they gear up for the return of football. However, not all coaches have an equally heavy monkey on their back as the 2012 season approaches.
Is anyone in as difficult of a situation as Joe Vitt with the New Orleans Saints?
Can Jim Schwartz slow down the Detroit Lions list of arrested players?
And will coaches like Pete Carroll and Joe Philbin find the right answers to their respective quarterback dilemmas?
Let's examine the NFL head coaches under the most pressure heading into training camp.
Worth Mentioning: Norv Turner
The pressure on Norv Turner may not stem directly into training camp, but rather the entire 2012 season.
Still, it would be a glaring omission not to at least mention Turner and his forever boiling seat.
Perennial under-achievers, the San Diego Chargers have a healthy roster that should undoubtedly contend for the AFC West crown this season.
San Diego has won the division before, it is playoff victories that have eluded the franchise in recent years.
Another season without a postseason win and Turner will surely be on the slipperiest of slopes at the end of the year.
Might as well start with a good training camp right?
Andy Reid has coached the Eagles since the 1990's and yet there are no Super Bowl rings on his fingers. In 2012, Reid will have arguably the most talented roster of his tenure and Philly is expected to compete for the Super Bowl.
Still, it all starts with handling the pressures of training camp first.
Making sure DeSean Jackson has his head on straight after a disgruntled 2011 is of paramount importance. As is adjusting DeMeco Ryans to the Eagles 4-3 defensive scheme.
The Eagles are a team that seems on the verge of something great and it is Andy Reid who must ensure Vick's statement doesn't end up being too outlandish.
The watchful eye of Al Davis no longer looms over the Oakland Raiders franchise, but that does not mean new head coach Dennis Allen is without pressure.
He inherits the most penalized team in the NFL over the past three seasons and must overcome the silly mistakes that have become commonplace on the field.
Can he establish a new philosophy and mindset as early as training camp?
The pressure of introducing a new regime and escaping the clutches of the Davis era are heavy burdens on Allen to be sure.
It will be interesting to see his approach to the situation.
Once Pete Carroll is done playing shadow games with his quarterback situation, a starter must be named.
Will it be Matt Flynn, Tarvaris Jackson or Russell Wilson?
However you slice it, the fact remains that Carroll's Seahawks are the clear second fiddle in the NFC West to the San Francisco 49ers.
Can a player like Matt Flynn jump-start Seattle and provide a much needed counterpoint to the team's underrated defense?
Carroll also has to find the right way to handle running back Marshawn Lynch's recent arrest and ensure the players behind him on the depth chart are ready to go if Lynch has to miss some games.
Carroll has certainly changed the culture in Seattle, but now is the time for him to start making waves in the postseason.
A new coach in a tough division without a solid lock on a starting quarterback.
Coach Philbin, welcome to Miami.
Deciding between David Garrard and Matt Moore (with Ryan Tannehill reportedly out of the race) has to be priority No. 1 for Philbin in training camp.
That decision also happens to carry a huge amount of weight moving forward.
Miami has enough talent to be competitive now, but can Philbin and the rest of the staff align the pieces properly enough to compete in the AFC East?
The Bills look to be better, the Jets, while unpredictable, are always tough and the Patriots are the Patriots.
Philbin has been put into a tough situation right out of the gates, but choosing the right quarterback is an essential step moving forward.
Joe Vitt is in one of the most unique situations in NFL history.
Unfortunately that is not a good thing.
Vitt has to lead the New Orleans Saints in an interim capacity and get the team to move on from the terrible weight of the "Bountygate" scandal and subsequent loss of players and head coach Sean Payton.
How will this team respond? Can the players put the turbulent offseason behind them and focus on getting back to the Super Bowl?
In a wide open division like the NFC South, the Saints can ill-afford a slow start and it is crucial that training camp is utilized to get the ship back on course.
Yet there is a bright side to this mess...
A list of this nature can't be put together without at least a mention of what is happening in New York.
While the Super Bowl champion Giants choose to remain quiet and go about their business, such a strategy has never been the fancy of Rex Ryan and the Jets.
Star cornerback Darrelle Revis keeps complaining about money, although he has at least vowed to report to camp.
Plus with the Tim Tebow circus firmly parking itself in Cortland for training camp, there will be no shortage of flash photography and bloodthirsty journalists surrounding the Jets activities.
Pressure may be an understatement.
Ryan has to find a way to overcome all the off-field obstacles that face "Gang Green" and get his roster to focus on football.
Where does one start when describing the enormous pressure Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz has to be feeling as training camp approaches?
Six players have been arrested for various reasons this offseason, and that number seems to constantly be growing.
Can Schwartz corral his players and get his leaders to handle this situation before the season actually begins?
Maturity is not something that can really be taught, and yet that is the task Schwartz faces.
Detroit proved last season that it is a team on the rise with the potential to compete for Super Bowls. Yes, this roster can compete for the Lombardi Trophy, but only if that is the clear goal and mindset of every player.
In order for such glorious dreams to come to fruition the culture must be fixed immediately and that falls squarely on the shoulders of the head coach.
May the Schwartz be with him...