NFL Coaches on the Hot Seat
10 head coaches have been appointed to new jobs during the offseason.
Rest assured that next year will be no different.
As GM's and owners chase the Super Bowl dream, the demand for instant success is higher than ever.
Here's an early look at some of the hot-seat candidates in 2009.
Of course, the beauty of the situation is these coaches have the chance to prove the doubters wrong during the season.
Last year, you'd probably expect to see John Fox on such a list.
Then he led the Panthers to the NFC South and a playoff appearance.
At the same time, who would have expected Mike Shanahan to be removed in Denver?
Anything can happen between now and January.
Tom Cable (Oakland Raiders)
Appointed interim head coach four games into last season, Cable was made a permanent fixture in February.
In any other situation the former offensive line guru would be given the time to build a roster and get this failing franchise back on track.
But this is the Raiders. What's more, it's Al Davis' Raiders.
Since making the Super Bowl in 2002, Davis has gone through five different head coaches.
None have lasted more than two seasons and none left with a record above .500.
Essentially Cable is in a no-win situation.
Davis will be running the show and if things don't go to plan, the head coach will be made the fall-guy.
It's hard to see past this scenario whilst the Raiders sail along in their rudderless ship.
The best case scenario is unlike predecessor Lance Kiffin, Cable can stay in his owners good books and retain a working relationship.
Such is the insecurity of the Oakland coaching job however, it'd be no surprise to see not only another disappointing year for Raider nation, but another head coach in charge come 2010.
Brad Childress (Minnesota Vikings)
When you look at the stats, there's no real reason to believe Childress should be part of this list.
In three seasons under his leadership, the Vikings have improved gradually from 6-10, to 8-8 and last season - to 10-6 and the playoffs.
Still, something just doesn't seem right somehow.
Unquestionably, Minnesota has one of the more talented rosters in the NFL.
They own one of the elite playmakers in Adrian Peterson and enough defensive talent to make a trip to the Dome a daunting proposition.
Although many would disagree, I even believe Sage Rosenfels at the very least can manage games successfully in the same way Kerry Collins did for Tennessee last year.
Simply put - they have too much talent to be nearly men.
This is their time.
No doubt if Childress can continue his season-by-season improvement and convincingly make the playoffs—and win in the postseason—this is a non issue.
However, if the franchise takes a step back in 2009—with the talent they have it could put their coach on the hot-seat.
Dick Jauron (Buffalo Bills)
When the Bills signed Terrell Owens, they made a statement.
This team wants to win now.
Dick Jauron has led the team to three consecutive 7-9 seasons since joining the franchise in 2006.
Last year started with great momentum, the Bills leapt to a 4-0 start and looked like a potential dark horse, only to fall back largely thanks to an 0-6 record in the AFC East.
There was some talk that Jauron could be a potential casualty this offseason, although he's been given a vote of confidence by owner Ralph Wilson.
Another 7-9 season probably won't do for this franchise.
It'll be a tough gig for Jauron.
Managing Owens could be the key to avoiding the hot-seat.
Keep the outspoken receiver on-side and you have a legitimate weapon on offense who can help young quarterback Trent Edwards progress as a starter.
If we see the disruptive T.O. released by Dallas, then this could be the proverbial volcano waiting to go off.
It won't be easy competing in a strong AFC East either, making Jauron an obvious candidate for the hot-seat entering the 2009 season.
Josh McDaniels (Denver Broncos)
Really? Is the rookie head-coach seriously a hot-seat candidate before his new team has even taken training camp?
Let's look at the situation.
I can't think of another young coach who upon entering his first shot at a top job, has initiated so much change in such a short space of time.
The Broncos had a paper thin defense when McDaniels arrived, but had one of the best young quarterbacks in the business.
Essentially - a platform to build from.
A few weeks later, the Broncos still had a paper thin defense but had also lost its franchise signal caller.
It's not all bad news.
Knowshon Moreno is set for a sensational career and could thrive in the running game McDaniels will set up.
Kyle Orton showed in Chicago he's a capable starter and as with Matt Forte, he has a rookie running back that is capable of carrying pressure and a heavy work load.
However, the defense still looks like a work in progress and Broncos fans; rightly so, retain great expectations for their team.
If anything the choice to remove Mike Shanahan and replace him with McDaniels (whilst trading Cutler) has increased expectations.
The Broncos can only justify such massive upheaval with success on the field.
Should Denver struggle badly in 2009, McDaniels could find his tenure a short lived one in Colorado.
Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati Bengals)
The Bengals' fortunes have suffered a dramatic nose dive since winning the AFC North in 2005.
Injuries and controversy have hampered the franchise and Marvin Lewis' biggest job has been keeping things together.
When everyone is healthy and focused, there's no doubt that Cincinnati have the tools in place to be a pretty good football team.
Another year of turmoil would likely be out of Lewis' hands, but in such a circumstance you wonder if he may eventually fall on his sword.
2005 aside, the Bengals have only enjoyed one other winning season since the 1980's.
If the losses continue in 2009 the team may look for a fresh start.
It would be harsh on Lewis who hasn't really been given a fair crack of the whip, especially over the last two seasons.
But when teams are looking for change they usually start at the top and unless Cincinnati can recapture some of that 2005 spirit, Lewis could be on the hot-seat.
Wade Phillips (Dallas Cowboys)
Named Bill Parcells' replacement in 2007, Phillips has endured an eventful tenure as Cowboys head coach.
The instant euphoria of a 13-3 '07 season came crashing to earth after a postseason defeat to division rivals New York.
The hangover seemed to carry on into 2008.
All the while rumors abound that offensive coordinator Jason Garrett is being groomed as an eventual replacement.
The removal of Terrell Owens from the roster should help restore some order in the dressing room.
But will the loss of such an influential weapon also hit production on the field?
Can Roy Williams step up to the plate?
Moving into a new stadium, expectations will be high for 'America's team'.
Failure to make the post season for a second successive campaign could bring an end to the Phillips era in Dallas.
Mike Holmgren retains a good relationship with owner Jerry Jones, whilst Garrett remains an option having not taken a head coaching position this off season.
Win or bust could be the Cowboys motto as far as their head coach is concerned.