The hot seat for multiple NFL head coaches continues to heat up each week as the 2012 regular season nears its conclusion. While Andy Reid and Norv Turner seem primed to lose their jobs, Rex Ryan's future with the Jets is more unclear after an embarrassing loss to the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football.
There will be several potential head coaching jobs available this offseason, as college coaches along with current NFL coordinators will have an opportunity at the anticipated openings.
What are the characteristics that front offices will be looking for in their next head coach?
Here is my take on the current head coach carousel in the NFL.
Although the Buffalo Bills head coaching position hasn't warranted much attention, there is a possibility that Chan Gailey is ousted at season's end.
In what direction could the Bills move? If they follow the history of owner Ralph Wilson, the odds appear to be in favor of hiring a veteran coach with prior head coaching experience. Specifically, the next head coach needs to work to the team's strength with the dynamic running back duo of C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson.
However, a major factor that will go into the next head coaching search is improving a defense that has continued to disappoint despite reputable offseason acquisitions and the development of young talent.
My Recommendation: Falcons DC Mike Nolan
There has been speculation that Mike Nolan is going to have an opportunity at a head coach position after his success as defensive coordinator with both the Dolphins and now the Falcons.
Nolan did struggle with his first head coaching gig with the 49ers, but it's apparent that he can bring stability to the Bills and shape this team in the right direction in the AFC East.
The Kansas City Chiefs are enduring a brutal 2-12 season after high hopes of returning to the postseason. Led by Matt Cassel, the offense has been absolutely atrocious. The quarterback situation has been a revolving door due to injuries from both Cassel and Brady Quinn.
It would be disappointing if the Chiefs didn't overhaul their entire management, starting with general manager Scott Pioli and ending with Romeo Crennel.
A new potential head coach for Kansas City would be up in the air, especially if new members are hired within the front office pretty quickly.
However, an offensive-minded coach seems apparent during the darkest times in franchise history. It's evident that the Chiefs will have to select a quarterback from one of the weakest crops in the past decade.
The track record for Chiefs quarterbacks has been poor for quite some time. Who can help change that?
My Recommendation: Broncos OC Mike McCoy
McCoy is due for an opportunity at a head coaching gig, even though it will be a challenge in Kansas City.
During his time as offensive coordinator with the Broncos, McCoy elevated Kyle Orton's play dramatically, adjusted the offense to fit Tim Tebow and now has Peyton Manning flourishing in his first year with the team.
A former quarterback himself, McCoy seems to be the most ideal fit for the Chiefs moving forward.
Despite a two-game winning streak, Ron Rivera appears to be the odd man out in Carolina. The Panthers have disappointed, due in large part to the struggles of Cam Newton and the entire offense. It's evident that the next head coach needs to be an offensive mind who can aid the former top pick in his development.
The next head coach will have to be chosen very carefully due to the way this offense is orchestrated. Newton continues to develop as a passer, but he is a threat in the running game and can't be ignored in that department.
The front office has also dedicated a large portion of the salary cap to DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert. Though the NFL is forming into a passing league, the Panthers backfield needs to play a crucial role in the team's potential success.
My Recommendation: Oregon HC Chip Kelly
Kelly has been the most popular college coach that could potentially make the jump to the NFL. His spread offense in Oregon has made him a hot commodity in a league where offenses are the driving force towards championships.
While Kelly may have a few possible offers from NFL teams, it seems an ideal fit for him to work with a dynamic quarterback like Cam Newton, who displays the athleticism to fit in his system.
The Philadelphia Eagles have continued their free fall during Andy Reid's likely final season as head coach.
Injuries, along with the inconsistency from both the offense and defense, have resulted in this team failing to live up to the Super Bowl hype that existed before the year began.
The next coach for the Eagles needs to be a guy who has shown recent success of developing young quarterbacks and putting them in the best situation to win. Whether the franchise believes Nick Foles is the future or if it drafts a quarterback next year, it's clear that improvements need to be made at the position.
It's also crucial for the next head coach to display enough NFL coaching experience to stay with the Eagles for the long haul. There has not been a rebuilding era since they selected Donovan McNabb, largely due to the longevity from ownership through the coaches.
My Recommendation: Bengals OC Jay Gruden
Despite the rumored interest in Jon Gruden, his brother is bound to become a head coach this season as he has maximized Andy Dalton's production the last two years.
He is aware of the necessary game plan that is needed to help young quarterbacks succeed. He'll benefit from having running back LeSean McCoy and receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin at his disposal.
The situation in Philadelphia could be turned around quickly with Jay Gruden at the helm.
The San Diego Chargers are prepared to move on from Norv Turner when the season comes to a close. Three straight seasons without a playoff appearance is unacceptable for a franchise that was on the cusp of the Super Bowl only a few years ago.
Owner Dean Spanos may not only remove Turner as head coach, but also longtime general manager A.J. Smith from his front office position.
The coaching options for the Chargers will be limited, solely because the team is expected to win now. There is no hope of rebuilding, as the team will stick by Philip Rivers despite his sudden decline the last few seasons.
Ultimately, the best solution appears to be hiring an offensive-minded head coach who has found success at the pro level before.
My Recommendation: Eagles HC Andy Reid
It seems a forgone conclusion that Reid will have the urge to coach after leaving the Philadelphia Eagles. From his own perspective, he can return to his own surroundings in San Diego, where he has a home and can avoid the pressure of the Philadelphia fans and media.
There are plenty of issues in San Diego, mainly on offense. Rivers has struggled this season, but so has his offensive line and wide receivers.
Reid would have some sort of power in decision making, and he could be the solution towards making the Chargers a threat in the AFC once again.
While proving to be an effective offensive coach, Garrett has been under fire for his mistakes late in games, which puts the Cowboys at a huge disadvantage.
The inconsistent performances from the players ultimately boils down to the coaches and how well they prepare their team each week.
In recent years, Jerry Jones has stuck with coaches whom he can control. However, the urgency to win a championship seems to be forcing Jones to attract a proven head coach who has won at the highest level.
My Recommendation: Jon Gruden
Out of all the potential jobs available this offseason, there is no question that the Cowboys possess the most talent on the roster to appeal to a coach like Gruden.
He would have a veteran quarterback to work with alongside a strong supporting cast on offense. Dallas' defense has also shown the potential to be dominant this season.
Gruden holds his players accountable, and his "no-nonsense" style is exactly what Jones needs if the Cowboys want to win another championship in their storied history.
Matt Miselis is a veteran NFL Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on twitter.