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NFL Hot Seat Update: Gauging Every Head Coach After Week 2

Ryan RiddleCorrespondent IOctober 21, 2016

NFL Hot Seat Update: Gauging Every Head Coach After Week 2

1 of 33

    When you consider the average tenure NFL head coaches have with their current teams generally is about 3.25 years, it becomes clear that things change fast in this league. This is why a weekly update on a coaches' hot seat status is valuable.

    In this weekly piece, I take a team-by-team look at every head coach in the NFL and give a temperature reading on his job status immediately following Week 1’s outcomes. To do this, every coach's seat is given a score between five possible status levels ranging from Hot to Cozy.

    If a coach's seat is rated Hot, this obviously is the worst status available and likely means his days are numbered.

    Then there’s a Warm rating, which is one level down from hot, followed by a Room Temperature rating, generally designated for a coach whose status is rather neutral.

    After that we head into the more desired ratings such as Cool, which is a good status for a coach to be in, as it usually signifies he's headed in the right direction.

    But the best of the best in NFL head coaches will receive the hard-earned status of having a Cozy seat to rest easy in. Coaches with this status should purchase nearby real estate and settle into their respective cities, as they clearly are going to be there for a while.

    So without wasting any more of your limited attention span, let’s get right into the list.

Chan Gailey

2 of 33

    Last Week:

    HOT

    After Week 2:

    Warm

    Well, it appears Gailey was able to cool things off a bit in Buffalo after a poor Week 1 outing. Buffalo invested a lot of money this offseason in attempts to improve on defense. Their biggest wild card has been the erratic play of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.

    The Chiefs proved to be a great matchup for the Bills in a game they really had to have in order to keep people from hitting the panic button too early.

    Gailey's seat won't get much cooler for the rest of the year until they can lock up a playoff berth. This team has the talent to achieve such lofty goals, and anything less should keep the coaches' seat relatively uncomfortable.

Jason Garrett

3 of 33

    Last Week:

    Warm

    After Week 2:

    HOT

    It isn't that Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones expects his team to go undefeated this year, but he does expect this particular team to compete impressively every single week.

    The Boys started the season off with a fantastic win over the Division rivals New York Giants. It was clear all offseason how important it was for them to beat the Giants. Every move they made in personnel was to better match up against the reigning Super Bowl champs.

    That win took some heat off of Garrett but as we can see, those moments are short-lived down in Dallas.  Giving up 27 points to a rookie third-round quarterback is not exactly the type of follow-up you hope for following their opening victory and is exactly the type of loss that has Jason Garrett squirming in his seat.

    If this uninspired play continues much longer, Garrett may not finish out the season.

Joe Philbin

4 of 33

    Last Week:

    Warm

    This Week:

    Room Temperature

    Nothing makes an owner happier than a big win. New Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin was able to orchestrate his first win in impressive style, complete with a Gatorade bath.

    Philbon still has a lot to prove this season if he hopes to really cool things down in Miami; but Week 2 was a big step in the right direction.

    The victory over the Raiders was impressive enough to take some heat off of Philbin's seat for the time being, but his status should be more week to week all season, considering the lack of patience swirling around the Miami organization.

Tom Coughlin

5 of 33

    Last Week:

    Room Temperature

    After Week 2:

    Room Temperature

    Unfortunately, it seems the regular season never goes smoothly for Tom Coughlin and the New York Giants. After a loss to the Cowboys in Week 2, the Giants needed to come out strong and focused Sunday against the Bucs. That didn't happen, as New York was in grave danger of falling to 0-2 after a troubling three quarters. 

    Luckily, the Giants were able squeak away with a victory in an exciting back-and-forth shoot-out. These types of performances are not the kind of wins that give Coughlin any more job security. He has consistently struggled to field a dominant regular season team and it appears this season is no different.

    Eventually, ownership will grow tired of these inconsistencies and could part ways with the oldest head coach in the NFL.

Bill Belichick

6 of 33

    Last Week:

    COZY

    After Week 2:

    COZY

    The Patriots lost a close, low-scoring game in a surprising upset to the Arizona Cardinals. This may not be a good sign for those predicting Patriot dominance this year but in terms of Belichick's job, there is little to worry about.

    My words from last week are still just as applicable today, so I'll just post it again:

    No coach in the NFL has more job security than Bill Belichick.

    He likely will be able to coach the Patriots for as long as he wishes, which at this point could be for a long time.

    Belichick sets the bar for all other active coaches in the NFL and has acquired complete control over football operations in New England.

    He would have to spit in the face of Robert Kraft on national television and then steal his girlfriend to potentially lose his job at this point. But even then Belichick might be kept around. He's that good.

Andy Reid

7 of 33

    Last Week:

    HOT

    After Week 2:

    HOT

    Although the Eagles are a perfect 2-0 to start the season, they've already amassed nine turnovers. This can be a good sign for the team's talent and ability to overcome adversity, but it can also be a bad sign of the coaching.

    I expect the turnover ratio should balance itself out as the season goes along but either way, wins like this are not making Andy Reid sleep any easier. We're still waiting for the ever-hyped Eagles to look like a team even remotely worthy of the title "Dream Team."

    With that type of expectation, it has become quite clear Andy Reid's seat is pretty hot. Lets see if he can cool it off as the season progresses.

    A good first start would be a turnover-free game in Week 3 while dominating for four quarters. Until this, Reid's seat will remain "Hot."

Rex Ryan

8 of 33

    Last Week:

    Room Temperature

    After Week 2:

    Room Temperature

    The Jets did suffer a loss to the Steelers on Sunday, but the win in Week 1 was impressive enough to keep Rex's status on an even keel.  Besides, Darrelle Revis was out of the game, and he just so happens to be their most valuable player.  

    The big thing for the Jets this season is the development and effectiveness of Mark Sanchez. He will be the key saving or destroying Rex's job.

    Rex's status this season will be one of the more unstable coaching situations likely to fluctuate from week to week.

Mike Shanahan

9 of 33

    Last Week:

    Cool

    After Week 2:

    Cool

    The loss to the Rams on Sunday was a major downer for the momentum and the growing phenomenon that is RG3. But things seem to be heading in the right direction and coaching continuity will be key for the development of Robert Griffin III. This simple element will give keep Shanahan's seat cool for the time being.

    His system and team strategy are beginning to take shape, and the Skins seem poised to climb out from the basement of the NFC East. Shanahan proved in the opening week that he's the right guy to groom Robert Griffin III into the QB they expect him to be.

    But things could be warming up in Washington before long.

    One of the downsides to great performances is that the expectation goes up and fans and owners get hungry for more of the same.

John Harbaugh

10 of 33

    Last Week:

    COZY

    After Week 2:

    COZY

    Week 2's loss to the Eagles should not be too threatening to the job of John Harbaugh. He is one of the more stable coaches this season. This is what I had to say last week and it remains just as true today:

    After winning nearly 69 percent of his regular-season games over four years as head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, John Harbaugh’s job status is stable and will be unaffected by the outcome of any one game this entire season.

    He can find solace in the fact that his seat remains nice and cozy and will not be getting hot any time in this calendar year. Poor performances will have to become much more of a pattern before his job is ever in jeopardy.

Lovie Smith

11 of 33

    Last Week:

    Cool

    After Week 2:

    Room Temperature

    With Brian Urlacher fading away with age and injury, an injured Matt Forte, an offensive line that can't protect against a four-man rush, and a leader who's losing his patience, the Bears could be on the verge of a locker-room meltdown of Jet-like proportions.

    That loss to Green Bay was a ugly one that seemed to reveal some unsettling issues between Jay Cutler and his front unit. With a long season ahead of them, the last thing you want to see so early on is the type of disdain and frustration shown by Cutler.

    These concerns are a reflection of the coaching staff and as a result, the heat in Chicago seems to be turned up just a notch.

Marvin Lewis

12 of 33

    Last Week:

    Room Temperature

    After Week 2:

    Room Temperature

    A solid win against the Browns on Sunday is just what Marvin Lewis needed if he intends to hang around Cincy for a few more years. Only Andy Reid and Bill Belichick have coached their current teams longer than Marvin Lewis has.

    He has been given a lot of time to create a champion and the window of opportunity for him in Cincinnati will soon be closing if the Bengals fail to improve upon last year's success.

    For now, his seat remains unchanged and the Bengals are in fairly good shape heading into the third week of the season.

Jim Schwartz

13 of 33

    Last Week:

    Room Temperature

    After Week 2:

    Room Temperature

    In Schwartz's first three seasons as Lions head coach, he has failed to win 40 percent of his games.

    But the good news is he has been turning around a losing culture in Detroit by improving upon his record each year, including a berth in the playoffs just a season ago.

    With the progress he's shown since arriving, Jim should rest easy for the most part considering the success of last year.

    Sunday's loss to the 49ers was disappointing but the Schwartz's job will ultimately be decided by his ability to continue to improve every year, just as they have done so far under the current regime.

    With that said, the seat of Schwartz could still get very hot by the end of the season if the Lions fail to have a winning record, but even if this happens, you can expect his return for at least one more year to redeem himself.

Pat Shurmur

14 of 33

    Last Week:

    Warm

    After Week 2:

    Warm

    Another competitive loss in Cleveland has the coach sitting on a warm seat but the nature of the losses could show promise for a team trying to emerge from the basement of the AFC North.

    Shurmur and the Browns are a work in progress to say the least. Their competitiveness and ability to keep the games close and winnable are the one thing keeping Shurmur's seat from becoming red-hot.

    But if they can't pull off a few wins here and there, you can be sure Shurmur's job will be in jeopardy and he could be out in Cleveland faster than he was able to unpack his moving boxes.

Mike McCarthy

15 of 33

    Last Week:

    COZY

    After Week 2:

    COZY

    Well, Week 1’s loss to the 49ers was not a good way to start the season, but rest assured, McCarthy’s seat is far from hot. Getting the Divisional win against the Bears was a nice way to bounce back and keep Packer fans from hitting the panic button just yet.

    McCarthy has proven to be a fantastic coach over the last seven years, and it would take a whole lot more than a home opener to change his job-security status.

    Mike’s seat remains quite cozy, and the Packers should use this game as an opportunity to grow as a team and bounce back strong.

    The Packers are still the team to beat in the NFL and can compete against any team in the league. Much of the team's recent success is due to McCarthy.

Mike Tomlin

16 of 33

    Last Week:

    COZY

    After Week 2:

    COZY

    Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers pulled of an impressive win against a clicking Jets team despite having a series of injury concerns to key players such as James Harrison, Troy Polamalu, Rashard Mendenhall and rookie guard David DeCastro.

    Many expect this to be somewhat of a down year for Pittsburgh, but even that's relative. Winning records are commonplace for the Steelers. One thing the great teams are able to do is find a way to win. The Steelers have been one of those teams for a long time.

    However, this may be the year they find themselves without a playoff spot.

    Either way, Tomlin will return as coach, and the Steelers are only a few pieces away from contention.

Leslie Frazier

17 of 33

    Last Week:

    Warm

    After Week 2:

    HOT

    Leslie Frazier took over in Minnesota as the interim head midway through the 2010 season. Since then, he has been unable to bring a winning mentality to the Vikings. Sunday's loss to the Indianapolis Colts demonstrated just how far the organization is from being a true contender.

    Frazier's opportunity in Minnesota is coming to an end. Unless there is a miraculous turnaround, I can't imagine him returning as the head coach of this football team in 2013.

    In all fairness, the Vikings are trying to get Adrian Peterson fully recovered from a devastating knee injury and he's trying to develop a young QB. Also, they are a mere few seconds away from being 2-0.

    Despite this, all signs point to a short stint for Leslie in the Metrodome. So with that in mind, let's keep an eye on this team as the season unfolds. Frazier's status could be one that changes weekly.

Gary Kubiak

18 of 33

    Last Week:

    COZY

    After Week 2:

    COZY

    Gary Kubiak has slowly built a Super Bowl-caliber team down in Houston, and this year's team appears to have its best chance yet for the ultimate trophy. Starting the season off 2-0 is a great sign for a big-time season in Houston.

    Kubiak’s system and style of coaching has been an invaluable piece to the success here, so don't expect any drastic moves to replace him.

    The Texans ran away with the victory in the second half of their first game and really sent a message to the league.

    Kubiak is sitting pretty with his job security at the moment. Given the team’s constant improvement, Kubiak has bought himself a good amount of leeway for an NFL head coach. His seat is cozy. 

Mike Smith

19 of 33

    Last Week:

    COZY

    After Week 2:

    COZY

    Coach Mike Smith has never had a losing season during his tenure in Atlanta.

    After four years of calling the shots, he has won 67 percent of his games and has brought a level of consistent success the Falcons organization has never had before.

    Atlanta got off to a good start by clobbering the Chiefs in Arrowhead, which has given Smith a slight boost from the cool to cozy. 

    Smith’s focus now is on taking Atlanta to the next level by winning some playoff games and ultimately getting to the Super Bowl. There’s no sign Smith is on a short leash, and he should have plenty of room to see this team through to the pinnacle of its growth and potential.

    Mike Smith's job is stable regardless of Monday night's outcome against the Denver Broncos.

Chuck Pagano

20 of 33

    Last Week:

    Room Temperature

    After Week 2:

    Room Temperature

    It was a good first win for the new-look Indianapolis Colts and their rookie head coach Chuck Pagano. But one win in his coaching record is not enough body of work to judge from as things are just getting started Indy.

    In all likelihood, Pagano should remain in the room temperature range for the duration of his inaugural season as head coach. But if he keeps pulling off victories like he did on Sunday, we may have to cool that seat down a notch or two.

Ron Rivera

21 of 33

    Last Week:

    Warm

    After Week 2:

    Room Temperature

    What a dramatic turn of events from one week to the next for the Panthers. Against the Saints, the Panthers looked like the team many expected them to be this year and got back to the things they are good at, running the ball and utilizing both the arm and legs of Cam Newton.

    Ron Rivera has anything but a long list of accomplishments as an NFL head coach, but if his team can show improvements from last year, he can rest easy knowing that his job is safe.

    From this point in his career with Carolina, Rivera will indeed have to pull off a string of impressive wins if he's to achieve the status of having a "Cool" coaches seat.


Mike Mularkey

22 of 33

    Last Week:

    Room Temperature

    After Week 2:

    Room Temperature

     

    Mike Mularkey's job is fairly stable at the moment, considering this is his first season with the club. But if they can't find a way to win a few games along the way, expect his seat to warm up rapidly.

    Blain Gabbert was drafted to be the quarterback of the future and his success may decide how long Mularkey can enjoy the Florida sun.

    For now, Mike is sitting relatively neutral in Jacksonville and he needs a few more games under his belt before we can gauge which side of the fence he falls on.

Sean Payton

23 of 33

    Last Week:

    COZY

    After Week 2:

    COZY

    Sean Payton's importance to the Saints' success is becoming more evident after each disappointing loss. The team is clearly lacking their mastermind after Payton was suspended for the entire season and are now running around like an unpolished version of themselves.

    This is the irony of Sean Payton's hot seat update. He is best served by a poor display by the Saints, exactly the type of play we have seen for two consecutive weeks now.

    The Saints may want to begin negotiating a contract extension for Sean as soon as possible considering he may be the second most important person to the franchise's success behind only Drew Brees.

Mike Munchak

24 of 33

    Last Week:

    Room Temperature

    After Week 2:

    Warm

    The Titans were given a little slack last week after a loss to the Patriots considering the way they managed to overachieve last season and who their opponent was.

    But after a serious beat-down Sunday by the Chargers, one has to think the Titans may just not be very good. Chris Johnson is struggling to produce the type of runs he had two and three years ago and some of that blame may fall on the offensive coordinator, Chris Palmer.

    Palmer has created an offense that can get too predictable at times and doesn't seem to take advantage of the ability of Chris Johnson's running style.

     

    @afc2nfc @ryan_riddle Tony Jones and Ty Detmer were my neighbors at the time, they had awesome stories about Palmer's incompetence.

    — Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) September 16, 2012

     

    If Chris Palmer fails to produce an effective offense, Mike Munchak could end up on the hot seat sooner than many may have expected.

    Heading into the 2012 season, the Titans seemed poised for a playoff run, but outlooks are no longer so good after two relatively uncompetitive losses.

Greg Schiano

25 of 33

    Last Week:

    Room Temperature

    After Week 2:

    Room Temperature

    Despite the devastating fourth-quarter loss to the Super Bowl Champs in an absolute barn burner, the Bucs and Greg Schiano proved they have not only a talented squad, but they have a team that will fight, scratch and claw 'til the final whistle and do it without apologizing.

    If Schiano can pull off a victory in Week 3 and start the season 2-1, look for a much cooler seat update on his status. So far so good for Greg and the new-look Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

John Fox

26 of 33

    Last Week:

    Cool

    After Week 2:

    Cool

    Fox is on the right track in Denver and off to a great start in the Peyton Manning era after an important victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now they must prepare for a big game in prime time against the Falcons.

    Win or lose this Monday, Fox's seat is definitely more cool than it is hot, and John Elway has expressed a ton of support for his coach.

    With the addition of Manning to the organization, expectations are extremely high in Denver.

    Fox’s squad would have to implode for his job to be in trouble. But at the same time, he hasn’t proven nearly enough to start getting too cozy just yet. This season will be a big test for Fox and the Broncos to see if they can handle the high expectations.

Ken Whisenhunt

27 of 33

    Last Week:

    Cool

    After Week 2:

    Cool

    I struggled not to get carried away and declare Whisenhunt's seat as "cozy" after an impressive upset over the New England Patriots.

    But I quickly come back to earth when considering the fact Whisenhunt remains a key factor in bringing in Kevin Kolb and signing him to a hefty free-agent contract, a move that has contributed greatly to the recent struggles of the organization. 

    The Cardinals are a solid defensive team and have started the season off by beating two teams they really had no business competing against.

    The preseason was a great cause of concern for Cardinal fans. Watching their offensive line fall apart was scary to see and gave little hope for success anytime in the near future.

    For now, Whisenhunt can remain safe as head coach and we can sit back and see how many more games they can pull off like their first two. Ken is nearly maxed out for job security this season and "Cool" is about as comfortable as he should expect barring a Division title or Super Bowl.

Jeff Fisher

28 of 33

    Last Week:

    Cool

    After Week 2:

    Cool

    Jeff Fisher seems to have already made the Rams more competitive. With Sunday's win against RG3 and the red-hot Redskins, the contrast between this year and last is clear.

    Fisher’s seat is nice and cool sitting with a 1-1 record and two competitive outings—he’s here for at least three years regardless of their record. The Rams understand this is young team and will need time to mesh and grow.

    Luckily, the Rams have their franchise QB in Sam Bradford and can build around him for the next 10 years. All indications seem to point towards Fisher being a big part of that process, so his "hot-seat status" will remain safe.

Romeo Crennel

29 of 33

    Last Week:

    Warm

    After Week 2:

    HOT

    The Chiefs organization expects immediate success in Kansas City given the obvious talent that makes up the roster; anything short could cost him his job.

    Back-to-back losses has heated up Romeo’s seat substantially. considering the way they were blown out of the water both times, Romeo will now have to coach the next few weeks with a seat that could be burning to straight to the ground.

    The last thing you want to see from a team with the talent level of Kansas City are losses that aren’t even competitive, and this is what we're seeing so far. Someone has to take the blame and that man will be and is Romeo Crennel. Consider his seat "Hot."

Jim Harbaugh

30 of 33

    Last Week:

    COZY

    After Week 2:

    COZY

    If Jim Harbaugh’s job wasn’t secure before the start of the season, the 49ers’ wins in the first two weeks against the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions might have taken that Cozy seat to a permanent state for at least the remainder of the season.

    Harbaugh’s turnaround of the organization and general style of coaching is hard to ignore.

    He has brought an attitude, confidence and identity to the club that’s beginning to be the envy of the league. No team is as balanced offensively and dominant defensively as the 49ers. Harbaugh can rest easy in his cozy chair as the impressive wins just keep on coming.

Dennis Allen

31 of 33

    Last Week:

    Room Temperature

    After Week 2:

    Warm

    The Oakland Raiders just aren't fielding a very competitive team so far this season. There have been times in both games where they looked downright embarrassing. Dennis Allen's seat just got warmer and it could become hot before Christmas.

    The last thing Raiders fans want to endure is another season known as the most dysfunctional team in the NFL.

    This group looks to be headed in that direction and if it continues there, someone will have to answer for it. Dennis Allen, your seat just got "Warm."

Pete Carroll

32 of 33

    Last Week:

    Warm

    After Week 2:

    Room Temperature

    Perhaps that Week 1 loss to the Cardinals wasn't as embarrassing as we originally thought considering both Arizona's win over the Patriots as well as the Seahawks' impressive win over the Dallas Cowboys.

    Seahawks seem ready to contend for a playoff spot this year and Pete Carroll is proving more than willing to do what it takes to get them there, even if that means benching the big free agent QB acquisition this offseason in favor of the shrimpy third-round rookie because of his impressive play in throughout the preseason.

    Carroll has also built perhaps the league's most fearsome secondary.

    Seattle should be able to compete against any team in the league this year, as long as they win more than they lose this year, Carroll should be fairly safe calling the shots for the Seahawks for at least a few more years. His seat has now gone from Warm to Room Temperature.

Norv Turner

33 of 33

    Last Week:

    HOT

    After Week 2:

    HOT

    Norv Turner’s job is all but lost, despite winning his first two games of the season.

    The only way Norv can keep his job at this point is if he gets to an AFC Championship game—anything less and it’s adios, Mr. Turner.  But if the Chargers can keep on winning games, there is a good chance his seat could cool down before long.

    But as of right now, the seat really doesn’t get much hotter for a head coach who is 2-0. Norv has nearly worn out his welcome in San Diego and was only retained after last season because of the desperate pleas by Philip Rivers, who lobbied heavily to A.J Smith to give him one last chance.

    Unfortunately for Smith, this is a make-or-break year for him as well, and it all hinges on the coaching ability of Norv Turner.

    Just making the playoffs won't cut it in San Diego this year. The organization has completely lost its patience and is all but set for a complete overhaul from the top down.

    This means that even if the Chargers play in a Playoff game this year, Norv's status will likely be either "Hot" or "Warm" heading into that game. And should he fail to win a single playoff game, we should just assume there will be a head coaching vacancy in San Diego.

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