Under Fire is a series that I will continue to do all season long. This series will place a variety of players, coaches, and teams under severe scrutiny for their inability to prove their worth in the league and will suggest that changes should be made.
The idea of this series is to provide great debates and insight on the wrong doings in the NFL. So, without further delay, I bring this article's topic.
What coaches are under fire with questionable job security leading into this season?
Coaching in the NFL is one of the most stressful jobs. Whether this country has a good or bad economy, head coaching jobs are always at risk for layoffs.
It's all about what have you done for me lately in this league, as was proven this past off season when Mike Shanahan was fired from the Denver Broncos. Shanahan won two Super Bowls for the Broncos, but it was not recent enough for management to keep him around.
I will give you my list of the coaching jobs that should be under fire this season.
1. Marvin Lewis—Cincinnati Bengals
I expected this guy to be fired last year or even the year before for that matter. Then I took a step back and realized what franchise I was talking about here.
In the texting world, the Bengals are the lmao (laugh my a** off) team of the NFL. This was shortly forgotten since the Lions did them one better by having a goose egg in the win column. As bad as the Bengals have been in their franchise history over the past two decades, they have still managed to win a game or two.
Still, in Marvin Lewis' reign with the Bengals, which was more like falling pieces of ruble, Lewis is 46-49-1 in six years with a 0-1 playoff record to boot.
Any other franchise would have fired Lewis after six years and one dismal playoff appearance. This is an example of the Bengals' stupidity and the lack of desire to do whatever it takes to win.
Heck, even Al Davis, who manages his team as if he was playing Madden, would have had enough sense to give Lewis the boot.
In Lewis' defense, it was not completely his fault for the lack of talent the Bengals have had even with so many top draft picks. Top to bottom, the Bengals organization needs to be washed out like a biblical flood.
Though, not many of those draft picks flourished through good coaching either.
The lackluster commitment to competing in the NFL is disgusting and needs to be changed. A good starting point would be firing Lewis and then work their way up.
2. Wade Phillips—Dallas Cowboys
Having Jerry Jones as a boss is like that die-hard fan who always thinks he knows best but doesn't really have a clue.
Wade Phillips, in retrospect, has had control of a decently talented team, who extremely underachieved last season. Phillips is 22-10 in his two years with the Cowboys.
Those numbers are not bad, but because of the failure to meet expectations last season, this season becomes critical. The trigger-happy Jerry Jones will not hesitate to fire him if the team fails to meet expectations again.
The Cowboys's biggest problem last season was their chemistry.
I'm not just talking about TO and his mission to have the spotlight at all times. Everyone from both sides of the ball seemed to quit on each other at times when the games weren't going the way the Cowgirls wanted.
For me, this is direct reflection on the leadership qualities of Phillips. The locker room is to be controlled by the coach, not the players. If the players can dictate the morale of the locker room, then the coach cannot lead his team and, therefore, needs to be shown the door.
The way Phillips handled his locker room last year would leave me safe to say a pee wee coach has more leadership ability than Phillips, and they are constantly reminding their players to tie their shoes.
I don't want to hear that TO's personality can't be tamed or controlled. A great coach with great leadership abilities would never allow the theatrics of TO to take place on their team.
For example, Randy Moss became a Patriot with Bill Belichick as the head coach. Now, all of a sudden, the always-disgruntled receiver, who usually gave lackadaisical effort, is all about the team and its ultimate goal.
Is TO mentally insane? Probably. Still, I have lost respect for those teams who rid themselves of TO with an excuse of him being a distraction off the field.
Steve Mariucci, Andy Reid, and now Phillips have been revealed to not be good enough to lead teams to the promise land. They may have had successful records in the regular season and may have found some success in the playoffs, but none of them have a Super Bowl ring as head coaches.
Phillips better hope for a successful season; otherwise, he can pull a number for the unemployment line.
3. Dick Jauron—Buffalo Bills
Jauron has been fired before which already leaves room for concern.
Why coaches who get canned always seem to find work as a head coach for another team baffles me. If you're an owner and still ready to give him a shot, you better be confident in your ability to provide him with superstar players.
The Bills have gone 7-9 every year Jauron has been the coach. It's the best losing record you can have in football, but it is a losing record nonetheless.
For Buffalo, TO brings a small glimmer of hope for their fans. But, with it, Jauron may have set himself up in a do-or-die scenario.
His firing would be fine by me, since he has done nothing special in the NFL. He is as unique as a piece of sand on the beach.
Jauron will not be able to bring this team over the hump this season by using his schemes. Jauron's only hope for job security is that his team finds a way to win in spite of him, and Tom Brady has another season-ending injury.
Jauron's job is under fire if this season results in a 7-9 record yet again.
4. Gary Kubiak—Houston Texans
Kubiak is in a similar situation as Jauron. Kubiak is entering is fourth year with the Texans, none of which has produced a winning season. Also, like Jauron, Kubiak has to show a competitive push forward in order to keep his job, making him under fire.
The difference between Kubiak and the others I have listed so far is that I actually like this coach.
Kubiak brings that Shanahan-style of offense with the one-cut-and-done running game along with a prolific passing game.
He actually makes the Texans exciting to watch. However, being exciting to watch and coming away with a championship are two very different things.
Kubiak needs to get his staff ready to develop that young defense quickly if he expects better results.
If Kubiak lets his team take a step back this season from their forward progress, he should be shown the door.
5. Josh McDaniels—Denver Broncos
McDaniels probably won't lose his job this year regardless of positioning, but this is my list of who should be under fire this season.
McDaniels better prove he knows what he is doing and prove it this year. His immediate response to receiving the new job was to trade away the franchise's star quarterback—idiot.
The only reason he would do this is that he would rather have players that fit his system than have the best players and fit his system around them.
These coaches who are all about their system better find a way to start getting creative because sometimes you have to abandon your system in order to win games.
Then, if trading away the star quarterback wasn't enough, he has his star receiver wanting out as well.
Whether or not Marshall's request for a trade has anything to do with McDaniels or not, he should be the one to take the fall when the Broncos fail to meet expectations.
I think it's a bunch of bull when people try to say McDaniels inherited a team in disarray. The reason for the disarray was first generated by McDaniels when he shopped Cutler around.
If Cutler is still on that team, I would bet all the money in Fort Knox that Marshall does not request out of Denver. The entire team would be coming together and looking forward to a season that once showed promise.
I know Kyle Orton fits the mold McDaniels wants to create in his offense, but as coach, you should want the best players on your team, and Orton is not that player.
I understand the whole wanting to establish your order as the new head coach, but you can do that without turning the team upside down.
If Broncos don't make a playoff appearance (which they would have accomplished with Cutler), then I hope the Denver fans run McDaniels out of town for his stupidity.