NFL

Hot Seat Watch for NFL Players, Coaches After NFL Week 5

Gary DavenportNFL AnalystOctober 7, 2013

Hot Seat Watch for NFL Players, Coaches After NFL Week 5

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    Peter Aiken/Getty Images

    We're five weeks into the season, and for some NFL teams everything is going according to plan.

    For quarterbacks Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos and Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints, the season is going just swimmingly. Their teams sit undefeated, and their fanbases couldn't be happier.

    For some NFL clubs, however, things aren't going so well. As the losses pile up, disgruntled fans and the media start pointing fingers.

    Sometimes, those fingers are pointed at a player. More often, it's the head coach who winds up in the cross hairs.

    Here's a look at some players and coaches who might want to invest in asbestos underwear, because the seat under them is getting pretty warm.

Greg Schiano, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Asbestos underwear isn't going to cut it for Greg Schiano.

    Not only is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach on the hot seat, but the chair he's sitting in is on fire.

    Just the fact that the Buccaneers are coming out of their bye week at 0-4 would probably be enough to land Schiano in hot water, but that's only the tip of the iceberg.

    Schiano's relationship with former quarterback Josh Freeman deteriorated to the point that the team released the former first-round pick last week.

    That came on the heels of reports that Schiano had alienated several Buccaneers players with his hard-nosed coaching style, including star cornerback Darrelle Revis, who the team acquired in the offseason.

    As Pat Yasinkas of ESPN reports, Schiano told luxury suite holders last week that the Buccaneers were "the laughing stock of the league" when he was hired.

    Apparently, the more things change the more they stay the same, and Schiano is far and away the most likely head coach to be fired in-season this year.

Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    OK, so maybe far and away is pushing it.

    With a 13-19 record in two seasons as the head coach of the Carolina Panthers, Ron Rivera wasn't exactly standing on the thickest of ice to begin with entering the 2013 season.

    In fact, as the Panthers were preparing to face the Arizona Cardinals in Week 5, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported that the Panthers have begun doing background checks on potential replacements for Rivera.

    An embarrassing 22-6 loss to the Cardinals and an offense in disarray aren't helping his chances of sticking around.

    Hot seat plus thin ice equals sunk coach.

Matt Schaub, Houston Texans

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Generally speaking, a veteran quarterback who led his team to a playoff win last year wouldn't have to worry about his job security, especially when that quarterback is setting NFL records.

    Unless, of course, that record is consecutive games where an interception is returned for a touchdown.

    That happened to Matt Schaub of the Houston Texans for the fourth straight game in Sunday night's blowout loss to the San Francisco 49ers, a game in which Schaub was picked off three times and benched in the fourth quarter.

    According to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com, head coach Gary Kubiak has already indicated that Schaub will start in Week 6 against the Rams, stating, "This has to be rock bottom."

    Luckily for Schaub and the Texans, the Rams should present the 32-year-old with a chance to "get right." However, Kubiak also told The Houston Chronicle, "I’m in the evaluation process,” where Schaub is concerned.

    In other words, Schaub's seat is sizzling.

Tom Coughlin, New York Giants

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    Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

    For whatever reason, it appears that head coaches have a shelf life in the NFL, no matter how successful they've been in the past.

    Whether they lose the locker room or lose their fire for the grind, it happens over and over again.

    Andy Reid wore out his welcome in Philadelphia before reinvigorating himself this year in Kansas City. Even Super Bowl champions such as Tom Landry and Mike Ditka reached a point where they were fired.

    It looks like Tom Coughlin will soon be joining that club.

    The New York Giants are an absolute dumpster fire right now. You name it, it's gone wrong. The offense is terrible. The defense is worse.

    Yes, the Giants are, in theory, only two games out of first place in a weak NFC East.

    However, the thought that this Giants team is any sort of postseason threat goes sailing right past optimism before landing in laughable.

    There's next to no chance that Coughlin will be let go during the season, but as things stand right now the odds are about the same that Coughlin will be back in 2014.

Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    Speaking of dumpster fires, how about those Pittsburgh Steelers?

    The Steelers used the bye week to try to right the ship after a winless September that left head coach Mike Tomlin fuming, according to Ed Bouchette of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

    We are going to focus on getting better. That's what's going to change the outcome of these football games. Those that don't aren't going to be a part of us. I have great patience. We'll continue to work and get better as long as I see belief and effort and continued improvement in detail, because that's what's going to change the outcome of these games. Those that don't, they won't be a part of it, whoever it may be. It's just that simple.

    The Steelers then went about improving a leaky offensive line by trading struggling left tackle Levi Brown, who ranks near the bottom of the NFL at his position, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).

    Oh wait, the Steelers traded for Brown.

    That makes no sense.

    The Brown deal was symbolic of a franchise in panic-mode, clinging to the hope that they can still contend rather than embracing the fact that it's rebuilding time.

    Like Coughlin, Tomlin is a Super Bowl winner, but if Pittsburgh's death-spiral continues the Steelers may well decide to start from scratch in 2014.

    Frankly, axing Tomlin wouldn't make any more sense than trading for Brown, but stranger things have happened.

     

Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys

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    Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

    No hot-seat article would be complete without including Jason Garrett.

    The Dallas Cowboys head coach went from wanting to hug Tony Romo to wanting to strangle him in about 30 seconds on Sunday.

    Had Romo and the Cowboys pulled out a win over the Denver Broncos, it would have been the sort of signature victory that could have put the Cowboys on a collision course with an NFC East title.

    However, Romo threw a late interception, Dallas came up just short, and for many people the game is a microcosm of Garrett's tenure in Dallas:

    Good, but not good enough.

    Team owner Jerry Jones called the loss a "moral victory," according to Clarence Hill of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the loss is hardly Garrett's fault and the Cowboys still look like the best team in the NFC East.

    The thing is, moral victories look a lot like losses in the standings, and if the Cowboys disappoint again in 2013, Jones is likely going to want a scapegoat.

    It's doubtful he'll fire himself, so that leaves Garrett.

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