En Fuego: Five NFL Coaches on the Hot Seat

David BartonContributor IMay 20, 2010

The average tenure of an NFL head coach is just over two-and-a-half years.

Every year, coaches go into the season with uncertainty towards the future.

Some have a make-the-playoffs-or-end-up-in-the-Monday-night-football-booth situation, while others just have to win more games than they lose.

Only three coaches have been in the league longer than 10 years—Jeff Fisher, Andy Reid, and Bill Belichick.

I wonder why anyone would want to be an NFL head coach?


Eric Mangini: Cleveland Browns

Eric Mangini had to sweat out a regime change, when Mike Holmgren was hired as team president. Some thought Mangini was out, but he was retained.

He went 5-11 in his first season, rallying with three wins late in the season. The offense was stagnant, averaging only 15.3 points per game.



Tom Coughlin: New York Giants

Tom Coughlin seems to be in the same position he was in for the 2007 season, before he turned things around and won an unlikely Super Bowl.

Owner John Mara was not happy with the team's performance in 2009. Coughlin has been the Giants' coach for six seasons, and he holds a 55-41 record in the regular season while going 5-4 in the playoffs.

With the Jets recently getting most the buzz in New York, another season without making the playoffs might be just enough to close the coffin on Coughlin.


Lovie Smith: Chicago Bears

This might have the easiest mitigating circumstance of all the coaches in the NFL on retaining their jobs: Making the playoffs equals one more year as Bears' head coach.

Smith boasts a 52-44 regular season record, while going 2-3 in the playoffs. He also has division crowns and a Super Bowl appearance in 2006.

If the Bears don't make the playoffs, at minimum, Lovie Smith will be fired, along with GM Jerry Angelo.


John Fox: Carolina Panthers

Fox might not even be on the "hot seat."

With his contract expiring after the season, ownership might have decided already not to bring him back. Without a great showing from his team this year, Carolina goes a different direction, I think.

John Fox has compiled a record in the regular season of 77-57, while going 5-3 in the postseason, and collecting two division titles and a Super Bowl appearance in eight seasons.

A lot of veterans are no longer with the team and were not replaced with equal talent. If quarterback Matt Moore struggles, screams for Jimmy Clausen and a new coach will start.


Tom Cable: Oakland Raiders

Why? Because he is the head coach of the Oakland Raiders.

They are always on the hot seat—it seems the position is evaluated at a week-to-week, day-to-day, and hour-by-hour basis.

Cable has gotten off to a rocky start to his tenure. He was accused of assaulting a former assistant and has only nine wins in two seasons—with an offense averaging only two touchdowns a game.

Cable might have the best team he has had in his short time in Oakland, with the signing of Jason Campbell and a quality draft. With an improved defense, they have a chance to finish second in the AFC West.


Other Coaches Who Might Need To Put the House Up

Raheem Morris — Tampa Bay

Wade Phillips — Dallas

Jack Del Rio — Jacksonville

Gary Kubiak — Houston

Bill Belichick — New England (just kidding)