Like clockwork, the NFL coaching carousel is set in motion every offseason, kicking off the underachievers, letting on newcomers, and frequently letting those same underachievers back on the carousel astride a different horse (I’m looking at you Wade Phillips).
However, in recent years the speed with which said carousel rotates has quickened and the standard of minimum performance necessary to remain on the ride has been raised.
Although this past go-round saw only three open spots filled—Mike Shanahan in Washington, Pete Carroll in Seattle, and Chan Gailey in Buffalo—there were nine new coaches in 2009, four in 2008, and four in 2007.
In all, 24 of the 32 NFL head men, or 75 percent, have held their positions for less than five years.
While hiring trends come and go, such as the current inclination toward cheaper, fresher faces and voices, it is a given that there is no such thing as a cool seat in the NFL.
Everybody’s job is on the line every year.
But that is not to say that there aren’t coaches for whom the stakes are clearly higher this season.
Patience is scarce everywhere, but it is especially thin for those who have either been around for a relatively long tenure without producing the ultimate achievement or for those that have been provided a loaded stable of talent but have been unable to maximize it.
In particular, there are 10 coaches whose seats are already feeling uncomfortably warm.