We're two weeks away from the kickoff of the 2012 NFL season but we already know which head coaches are fighting for their jobs. Over the next few months several head guys must steer their teams to wins this season or they will be looking for jobs soon.
Here is a look at the five guys who most need their teams to turn in impressive seasons.
Rex Ryan's regular season record with the New York Jets is 28-20 and he is coming off an incredibly disappointing 2011 during which his squad went 8-8 and missed the playoffs. This year, Ryan and the Jets must perform up to par or the franchise might have to go in another direction.
Ryan has taken the Jets to the AFC title game twice but his squads have fallen short of his own expectations.
The brash coach has long ruffled feathers around the league, but his personality seemed to fit in New York. But this year Ryan may not be able to survive another non-playoff season. Especially in a city that demands results.
Norv Turner's San Diego Chargers have always been disappointing, but last season they went 8-8 and missed the playoffs which made many believe his time in San Diego was at an end. But he somehow survived and along with general manager A.J. Smith he must take the Chargers to the postseason in 2012 or the franchise will have no choice but to let him go.
Turner is 49-31 during his time in San Diego, but the Bolts have missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, during which their record is a dismal 17-15. San Diego also hasn't won a playoff game since 2008.
The Chargers probably have to win the AFC West this year and make a run in the playoffs for Turner to be brought back. Anything less than that would be considered a disappointment.
I like Andy Reid and think that he's an excellent head coach. But after a tremendously disappointing 8-8 record in 2011 it might be time for a new head coach in Philadelphia. If the Eagles can't make a deep run in the postseason this year, Reid could be on the chopping block.
Reid is 126-81-1 during his 13 regular seasons as the head man in Philadelphia. Sometimes a new voice is needed.
In 2012, Reid and the Eagles can't be a disappointment. They have too much talent to not make the playoffs and challenge for a Super Bowl berth. If the team doesn't perform better, Reid will be held responsible.
The Minnesota Vikings were terrible in 2011, as they limped to a 3-13 record and lost their star running back, Adrian Peterson to a badly injured knee. Head coach Leslie Frazier is 6-16 since taking over for head coach Brad Childress midway through the 2010 season. If the Vikings don't show any improvement this season, Frazier will almost certainly be looking for work.
In fact, Frazier might want to start polishing up that old resume right about now. If Peterson returns healthy—and that's a big if—the offense might be better around quarterback Christian Ponder. The problem will come at receiver, where Jerome Simpson, Percy Harvin and Michael Jenkins must improve their play.
I have little faith that the Vikings can suddenly become a playoff team this year, and if they don't, there is little room to keep Frazier around.
Since taking over for Wade Phillips midway through the 2010 season, Jason Garrett has posted a 13-11 record as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Garrett led the Cowboys to an 8-8 record in 2011, as they just missed out on a playoff berth.
The Cowboys were 7-4 and looked to be in control of the NFC East at one point last season. Then they lost four of their final five games. That disappointment is still lingering in Dallas.
Jerry Jones is not a patient man, and at this point the Cowboys have too much talent to be missing the playoffs. Bear in mind that no man since Jimmy Johnson has lasted more than four seasons as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.
If Garrett can't prove himself worthy of being the team's head coach this season he'll be gone.