Brad Childress and the 20 Coaches Who Are Dead Men Walking in 2010
With the drama around Brad Childress continuing, it's time to take a look at him and 20 other coaches that are dead men walking at this point in 2010.
Wade Phillips, the man who would have been first on this list a week ago, bit the dust earlier this week. He won't be the last victim in the NFL, and there are plenty of others to be found with the college football, NBA and the NHL seasons in full swing.
Yes, axes are going to fall. Here are 20 coaches that could feel it very soon.
20. Norv Turner, San Diego Chargers
Turner has done himself a favor by winning two straight games, but the Chargers have the kind of roster that should make them one of the top teams in the NFL, as they have been in recent years.
But this is business as usual for Norv, who has bungled pretty much every job he's ever had in the NFL. Now in his fourth season in charge of San Diego, he's had plenty of time to craft a powerhouse. Instead, he's succeeded merely on the strength of what he inherited, and has actually slowly dismantled some of that as well.
The Chargers probably are not going to make the playoffs this year. If they don't, that might be it for Norv in San Diego.
19. Josh McDaniels, Denver Broncos
Since leading the Broncos to a surprising 6-0 start in 2009, McDaniel's team has gone 4-14. And right now they're easily the worst team in the AFC West, and maybe the worst team in the entire AFC.
Because he's in just his second season, McDaniels isn't likely to lose his job midseason. And come to think of it, he might get the benefit of the doubt and come back for 2011 too.
But there's just not much hope for the Broncos going forward, and that includes and starts with McDaniels. He's doomed.
18. Ozzie Guillen, Chicago White Sox
Since there's not much in the way of baseball to discuss in this slideshow, I'm going to go out on a limb and call this one for 2011.
The White Sox, in my estimation, seriously overachieved in 2010 in winning 88 games and finishing second in the AL Central. With the amount of age and general rust on their roster, I would be seriously surprised if they can do it again next year.
And because Ozzie can be such a jackass, that's why I'm calling the shot on his firing, whether it comes during or after the 2011 season.
17. Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys
Yup, I'm going to go ahead and put Jason Garrett on death row before he even coaches a game.
Why? Well, aside from the fact that you should never put too much faith in the longevity of any "interim" coach, you have to take into account the utter mess that he has to deal with.
The Cowboys are pretty dreadful on both sides of the ball. Getting them to play well for the rest of the 2010 season hardly guarantees that the same group (or much of it anyway) will be able to play well next season, if Garrett does indeed make it that far.
Also, Jerry Jones won't hesitate to replace him with Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher if either of them express interest in the job. The axe won't fall on Garrett soon, but it will fall.
16. Rich Rodriguez, Michigan Wolverines
At 6-3, Rodriguez is enjoying his best season in his brief Michigan career and his team is coming off a hugely thrilling 67-65 triple-overtime win against Illinois. And he deserves credit for Denard Robinson's rise to power.
But you'll have to excuse me if I just don't trust it.
Michigan's defense is still a wreck and Rodriguez isn't going to win anyone over until he wins a bowl game. If he doesn't do that this season, you can expect the "Fire Rich Rod" chatter to kick up once again.
15. Lindy Ruff, Buffalo Sabres
In his 13th season as head coach of the Sabres, Lindy Ruff is the longest tenured coach in the NHL.
But suffice it to say that his team is not off to a very good start.
The Sabres are currently last in the Eastern Conference's Northeast division with a record of 5-9-2 and the fans in Buffalo are already starting to call for Ruff's head.
If things continue on as poorly as they have so far this season, and things can't be patched with a major trade, then the Sabres's ownership just might come to the conclusion that 13 seasons is enough.
14. Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat
If Erik Spoelstra wants to keep on inspiring confidence in people that he is the right man for the job in Miami, watching his team blow a huge second half lead against Utah the other night certainly didn't help.
This is a man who is in charge of a team that was supposed to win as many as 70 games. And with the Heat off to a rather unspectacular 5-3 record, and playing a little inconsistently, exactly how long Pat Riley will tolerate mediocrity is going to be a key issue for the Heat for the rest of the season.
To be sure, Spoelstra is safe right now. But with one of the most talented teams in basketball history at his disposal, he absolutely must live up to expectations.
13. Vinny Del Negro, LA Clippers
Del Negro was handed the Clippers gig just two months after he was fired by the Bulls. Right now it's pretty hard to tell why exactly the Clips were so eager to give him the job.
After consecutive 41-41 seasons with Derrick Rose and the Bulls, Del Negro has led a team with names like Baron Davis, Eric Bledsoe and Blake Griffin to a 1-8 record. This in a year when LA's other team was finally supposed to turn a corner.
If Del Negro can't get his team to level out a little, it would be very surprising if he ends up coming back for another go.
12. John Kuester, Detroit Pistons
John Kuester's first season in Detroit was hardly a success, as the Pistons won just 27 games and finished last in the Central division.
Well, it's been much of the same so far this season. The Pistons are just 2-6, and are once again in the basement. Exactly how his team is going to be able to turn things around is an equation with a dead end.
11. Ron Wilson, Toronto Maple Leafs
The Maple Leafs got off to a 4-0 start this season, but have won just one game since in 11 contests.
After having what amounted to a rather disappointing career with the San Jose Sharks, it's starting to look like Wilson's tenure in Toronto is going to be even more disappointing, and will end accordingly.
The Leafs haven't made the playoffs since being a playoff mainstay before the lockout, so Leafs fans aren't exactly patient at this point.
10. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
It's not so much that the Irish are 4-5 in his first season at the helm. And I don't think it's because a lot of people are blaming him for Declan Sullivan's tragic death.
Instead, I for one think that that Kelly's doom is simply part of his job. Being the head football coach at Notre Dame these days is quite possibly the most prestigious death sentence in American sports.
Let's face it, the Irish may never be relevant again considering the ever-changing landscape of college football. As such, Kelly's is bound to become the latest in a list of victims that includes Tyrone Willingham and Charlie Weis.
9. Jay Triano, Toronto Raptors
For all intents and purposes, the Raptors are the dregs of the Eastern Conference. And when it comes to a designation as rotten as that one, you naturally have to direct your eyes to the man in charge.
Triano took over during the 2008-2009 season and the Raptors went 25-40. They went 40-42 last year, which is certainly not that horrid, but they're just 1-7 this year.
He may have the honor of being the first Canadian-born coach in the NBA, but that's not likely to save his skin when the summer rolls around.
8. Kurt Rambis, Minnesota Timberwolves
Is there a more hopeless situation in the NBA than the Minnesota Timberwolves?
I honestly don't think so, although the Raptors come close.
After leading his team to just 15 victories last season, the T-Wolves have just two wins so far this year and look just plain awful. In fact, take away Michael Beasley's two best games and it's hard to see how Minnesota would have any wins at all.
It would be hard to conjure an answer for the T-Wolves' problems out of thin air, but David Kahn seems like the kind of guy who would easily deduce that running Rambis out of town would be the best cure-all possible. The man is an absolute jackwagon and so is his team.
7. John Fox, Carolina Panthers
The Panthers are 1-7 under Fox this season and things are only going to get worse with serious injury issues at quarterback and running back.
Is it all his fault? Not really. He's actually a pretty good coach, if you can bring yourself to remember that he coached the Panthers to the Super Bowl a few years back.
But the pieces from that team are long gone and Fox just hasn't done a good job of building a new team. And Carolina's ownership will probably figure that they may as well find someone else to do so at the end of this season.
6. John MacLean, New Jersey Devils
Just 16 games into his first season as the coach of the New Jersey Devils, MacLean's record stands at 4-10-2. One of the most successful franchises in the NHL over the last 20 seasons is starting to look like a lost cause.
That's not going to fly for very long, and MacLean isn't going to get much rope simply because this is his first gig.
5. Rick Adelman, Houston Rockets
The Rockets won 55 games in Adelman's first season at the helm. The number dipped slightly to 53 the year after. And it went all the way down to 42 last season.
This year the Rockets have one win in seven games and there is not a glimmer of hope to be found anywhere on the floor.
As such, there's probably not much hope for Adelman either. With 903 wins to his name, he's had a very good career.
But that doesn't mean he's not expendable.
4. Mike Singletary, San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers and their tough guy head coach were supposed to be the beasts of the NFC West and a force to be reckoned with in the NFL at large.
Man were we mistaken.
While the 49ers' problems at quarterback have much to do with the 2-6 start, Singletary has definitely not helped things either. His hiring of Jimmy Raye to be the offensive coordinator turned out to be a huge bust and his firing of Raye gave Alex Smith yet another offensive coordinator to deal with.
With several Bay Area teams experiencing a legit rebirth in recent months, the Yorks aren't going to want to be the laughingstock for very long. And the general consensus here in the Bay is that Singletary's days are numbered no matter what he does.
3. Paul Wulff, Washington State Cougars
With Washington State coming into 2010 as the consensus pick to finish last in the Pac-10, Paul Wulff's job was already in question.
Now that the Cougars are just 1-9 through 10 games this season, which runs Wulff's career record to 4-31, you have to imagine that he's due to go the way of Dan Hawkins and Tim Brewster.
Couple in the fact that only one of Wulff's career wins came within the conference and you have a coach that just doesn't have any arguing points.
2. Mike Locksley, New Mexico Lobos
In less than two seasons at the helm of the Lobos, Locksley's record is an astounding 2-19.
I say again, 2-19. And one of those wins came this past weekend against Wyoming, and it took a game-winning field goal to get the job done.
In short, his team might just be the worst in college football.
It pains one to think what TCU is going to do to the Lobos on the final day of the season. It wouldn't be at all surprising if that's the last time we see Locksley roaming the sidelines.
1. Brad Childress, Minnesota Vikings
It's not so much that his team is 3-5, although that's certainly not helping Childress' case.
No, sir. It's all the things that ESPN has been jamming into our earholes just about every single day of this 2010 NFL season.
Brett Favre hates him.
Percy Harvin hates him.
All the Vikings players hate him (anonymously of course).
Randy Moss didn't want to play for him.
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf can fire him at any given moment.
You get the idea. In fact, I won't be surprised if Childress gets fired while I'm typing this.
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