3 NFL Coaches Facing an Uphill Battle to Keep Their Jobs in 2012
He's not the only NFL head coach who is facing a tough task ahead of him to keep his job, either. There are many head coaches on the hot seat, but three of them face tall odds to stay the course with their current teams into 2013.
Here are the coaches who'll need a healthy helping of luck to stay employed this season.
Ken Whisenhunt, Arizona Cardinals
Ken Whisenhunt was the offensive mastermind behind the Pittsburgh Steelers for the first three years of Ben Roethisberger's career.
He then got the head coaching gig with the Cardinals, along with a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Kurt Warner. Things were beautiful. A new culture was being instituted, and Whisenhunt was the tip of the spear.
Then, Warner retired.
Whisenhunt, an offense-minded coach, has presided over a team that has featured a horrible offensive line and subpar quarterbacks ever since Warner left, and I'm starting to become suspicious that he may not be the offensive genius we all thought he was back in the day.
Roethlisberger and Warner have proved to be superior quarterbacks throughout the course of time, with different teams and/or different coordinators.
Kevin Kolb and John Skelton are two of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL. Along with the horror that is the Cardinals' offensive line, they will be Whisenhunt's doom in 2012.
Rex Ryan has made a huge mess of things during his time with the New York Jets.
Nobody even hears what he says anymore, like in the Charlie Brown cartoons when the teacher talks and all you hear is, "Wah wha wo wa wo."
His bluster is one of the biggest reasons the team's locker room is so dysfunctional, and if things start going south early on in 2012, it will be imperative to let him go.
The team has the potential to completely blow up, too. Right now, the offense is so bad that they make Blaine Gabbert's rookie season look respectable.
Mark Sanchez is in danger of falling off a cliff, having been force-fed an offense in 2011 that didn't suit the team and now learning a new offense that isn't working. It doesn't help that the offensive line has behaved more like a turnstile than a pass-protecting barrier of security.
If Sanchez continues to struggle, which wouldn't surprise anyone, the Jets are in for a steep decline. If you thought last year was bad, you haven't seen anything yet.
It's more likely that the Jets have a terrible season than it is for them to make the playoffs. That's the trend I'm seeing anyway, and it spells trouble for Ryan.
Leslie Frazier, Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings will be lucky to win four games in 2012. This isn't all Leslie Frazier's fault, per say, but he isn't doing anything to wow anyone, either.
Frazier showed some really poor judgement last season, blowing at least two games.
He attempted to go for it on a 4th-and-1 at the Detroit Lions' 17-yard line with a 20-17 lead in the fourth quarter...using Toby Gerhart instead of a healthy Adrian Peterson. That's two fails in one play, if you ask me. He should have kicked the field goal in the first place, and if he needed to go for it, given AP the damn ball.
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images
He made the same exact mistake in Week 12 against the Atlanta Falcons, except this time he didn't even have to make the mistake in the first place. Percy Harvin scored, but the officials ruled he was out at the 1-yard line. The replays clearly showed a touchdown, but Frazier didn't challenge the play.
Then, making matters worse, he used Gerhart instead of Peterson on 4th-and-1 at the goal line with the same measure of success.
This kind of bad judgement, combined with the fact that he's coaching a team that isn't good enough to win consistently, is going to get Frazier fired in 2012.
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