NFL Hot Seat: Five Head Coaches Who Should Be Concerned

JW NixSenior Writer IISeptember 17, 2010

NFL Hot Seat: Five Head Coaches Who Should Be Concerned

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    Wade PhillipsRonald Martinez/Getty Images

    Nothing lasts forever, especially in the NFL. "Not For Long" is how many best feels describes the NFL.

    A head coach is hired to be fired, even though Penn State University's Joe Paterno seems intent on dispelling this myth.

    Many of the greatest head coaches ever have been fired. Hall of Famer Tom Landry was axed after 29 years with the Dallas Cowboys, a team he built from nothing and won two Super Bowls with in five appearances along with 250 regular season victories.

    Rest assured, someone will lose a job in the head coaching ranks of the NFL before the 2011 season starts.

    Here are a few candidates.

Eric Mangini

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    Eric ManginiMatt Sullivan/Getty Images

    Let's face it, Cleveland Browns team president Mike Holmgren did not pick his coach...yet.

    Holmgren is a disciple from the famous Bill Walsh coaching tree, and many of his friends from that tree are unemployed. 

    Steve Mariucci, Dennis Green, and Jim Fassel are still in the mix from that tree.

    Other men born from that tree, Jon Gruden and Mike Sherman, worked for Holmgren in the past.

    Gruden's father got Holmgren to hire him in 1990 with the San Francisco 49ers, and they reunited with the Green Bay Packers a few years later. 

    One criticism of Mangini is that he is a drama queen who is not particularly player friendly. Dubbed "Mangina" by many, his career as an NFL head coach may be over at season's end.

Wade Phillips

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    Wade PhillipsBob Levey/Getty Images

    Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones keeps having solid drafts and pours millions into free agents and critical Cowboys whose contracts near expiration.

    It has not gotten him the championship results he seeks, yet. 

    Phillips, rumored to be on the chopping block for years, may run out of luck this season.

    Anything less than a Super Bowl will be considered failure. 

    Let's hope Jerry doesn't replace him with "future head coach in training" Jason Garrett, who may be the worst offensive coordinator in the NFL. The former backup quarterback of the team in the 1990s, he might have problems finding work anywhere in the pros if Dallas rids themselves of him as well. 

    Phillips, a top-notch defensive coordinator, will get job offers the day he is fired. When that is will be the guess.

Tom Cable

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    Tom CableJed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Some find it curious he still even has a job in the NFL with all the violent drama of his past.

    Sticking to strictly football, the lack of progression by the Oakland Raiders young talent might frustrate Hall of Fame owner Al Davis into another coaching change. 

    The teams offensive coordinator, Hue Jackson, is highly respected and has been talked about as a future head coaching candidate for a few years.

    Cable's team needs to show expected improvement this year, and their first game of 2010 failed to show any of that.

Norv Turner

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    Norv TurnerChris Graythen/Getty Images

    As unimpressive as Turner has been as an NFL head coach, with 90 wins in 200 games, he has gotten three different teams to hire him.

    His last stop with the San Diego Chargers has far and away been his most successful gig, having led the team to three consecutive playoff appearances so far. 

    The team is aging in some key spots, having contract issues with two critical players, and trying to rebuild at the same time. Their window as a Super Bowl-caliber team may be closing. 

    The lack of preparation in a recent loss to the lowly Kansas City Chiefs may go quite a ways in sealing Turner's fate. A few more underwhelming games like this could show him the door before season's end, though there seems to be no heir apparent currently on the coaching staff.

Lovie Smith

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    Lovie SmithJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    He has coached the Chicago Bears seven years, which is deemed a very long time by today's standards.

    Smith's 53-44 record is not horrible, but the Bears haven't made the playoffs since 2006 when they lost in Super Bowl XLI. 

    His job may not quite be on the line this year, but he could be the fall guy if quarterback Jay Cutler doesn't show fans that mortgaging the near future for his services was the right move.

    Chicago even brought in Mike Martz to help Cutler, who cost two first-round draft picks, a third-rounder, and quarterback Kyle Orton. 

    It is not totally inconceivable that former head coach Martz could take over next season.

    The Bears defense is also getting long in the tooth in key positions while their offense currently rebuilds.