7 Coaches and Players Who Have Played Their Way off the Hot Seat
Either questioned in recent years or as recently as this offseason, the following players and coaching are enjoying good times this season as they attempt to retain their jobs.
From players having a good year on the field to coaches (and executives) making the right moves, it's quite possible for the seat to get a bit cooler in the NFL.
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With a new head coach and an entirely revamped set of weapons around him, Josh Freeman had to do something this year to prove he can be the starting quarterback in Tampa Bay.
Though his completion percentage is troubling at just 55.7 percent, Freeman has been dominant in throwing 16 touchdowns to just five interceptions and his team is 4-4 right now.
Sitting in second place in the NFC South, the Buccaneers have an outside shot at the Wild Card and need a strong effort from their quarterback down the stretch if they want to make the postseason.
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Though his Vikings have hit a bit of a skid in recent weeks, Leslie Frazier proved at the beginning of the year that he can certainly coach.
Christian Ponder is no star quarterback, but Frazier did a great job making the signal-caller look above average against teams like the San Francisco 49ers.
The Vikings may finish around 8-8, which would be good enough to cool down Frazier's seat as the coach attempts to develop his young quarterback.
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One of the most maligned men in all of sports, Jay Cutler is just not very well-liked and such (coupled with a rash of untimely injuries) led to him being on the hot seat in Chicago.
This year, however, Cutler's been lights out and has gotten the ball to good friend Brandon Marshall just enough times for the Bears to find a great amount of success.
His numbers aren't great, but Cutler is getting the job done and his team is an impressive 7-1 on the season.
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The subject of much scrutiny this offseason, thanks to a puzzling rookie class and the signing of Matt Flynn, Pete Carroll has proved his doubters wrong and is well on his way to a Wild Card berth in the 2012 postseason.
Drafting Bruce Irvin and Russell Wilson has paid huge dividends for Carroll, who should receive some consideration for the Coach of the Year award.
The Seattle coach, who already has a playoff berth in the rainy city to his credit, should be given more years as the Seahawks' head man.
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Outside of a torrid stretch at the end of last season, this Buffalo Bills running back could have been labeled a bust going into his 2012 campaign.
Spiller has completely shed any notions of being a "bust," rushing at an insane clip of 7.2 yards per carry and filling his role perfectly in a wide open Buffalo offense.
Bills coach Chan Gailey can use both Spiller and Fred Jackson, two very talented running backs, in any different set he chooses to run and such opens up the Buffalo playbook.
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Despite any preconceived notions about John Elway's experience as a personnel evaluator before the ex-quarterback arrived in Denver, this executive is having a lot of success in 2012.
Peyton Manning, despite a decrease in arm strength, has looked like a true star and other John Elway players, like linebacker Von Miller, have proven to be great calls.
Elway really looks like a genius right now, putting his faith in the right people and his 5-3 Broncos look to be in perfect position to make a postseason run.
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The 8-0 Atlanta Falcons just keep finding ways to win and a large part of that is thanks to their quarterback Matt Ryan.
Ryan has worked the ball to an impressive core of receivers, including Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez, on his way to early consideration as the offensive player of the year.
As good as Ryan had been the last few years, he had never truly "broken out." Now, the young quarterback has to win in the playoffs for his seat to truly cool.