Round and round we go, where it stops, nobody knows.
Well, I guess some of the NFL owners know, but as we move forward and teams begin dropping out of contention, or continue their horrible seasons, more head coaches are sure to fall victim to the win-immediately mentality of the NFL.
The first casualty was Dallas Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips—a dumb choice from the beginning. His lackadaisical attitude allowed the team with the biggest spotlight on them this season to melt under those bright lights.
His firing was overdue, and had it occurred sooner the Cowboys might actually still be in playoff contention in this crazy season.
Interim head coach Jason Garrett has the 'Boys at 2-0 with impressive wins over the fading New York Giants and the upstart Detroit Lions. It's going to be nearly impossible to get back into the playoff hunt, but they'll at least close out 2010 with a nice run and leave fans with something to look forward to next year—if Jerry Jones makes Garrett the full-time coach.
The next firing was not just overdue, it wasn't even long overdue, it was beyond long overdue.
Brad Childress was either Zygy Wilf's BFF from childhood or he had compromising pictures of Zygy to have kept his job this long. Some say him even getting the job was comical, much less holding onto it this long. After months of ridicule, second guessing and disrespect from his players, including the almighty Brett Favre, team owner Wilf finally succumbed to pressure and replaced the disappointing Childress with defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier on an interim basis. Hey Zygi, maybe you want to bring back Mike Tice or Denny Green? Wait, is Bud Grant still alive? Now we're talking!
OK, so we've gotten rid of two terrible head coaches, both leading teams that were favored for the NFC Championship Game this year.
Jeff Fisher is suddenly the talk of the town now that Titans' owner Bud Adams has given his public backing of Vince Young as the Titans QB of the future. Before I forget to say this—Bud Adams, you're a senile old moron. If you are seriously even considering keeping Vince Young over Jeff Fisher, please sell the team right now and spare your fans and the NFL.
Other head coaches who could fall off the carousel include Norv Turner (when is he not included in talks of head coaches losing their jobs?), Eric Mangini, Josh McDaniels, Mike Singletary, Gary Kubiak, Marvin Lewis and Chan Gailey.
Turner will win the AFC West again and save his job even with another early exit in the playoffs.
Mangini could go either way, depending on what happens the rest of the season, but I'd be shocked if Mike Holmgren didn't replace him this offseason.
McDaniels has proven to be a buffoon who has destroyed the Broncos and depleted them of all their talented stars. I don't mind the Jay Cutler trade since Kyle Orton is doing very well, and Cutler is a whiny punk. But Brandon Marshall, Peyton Hillis and Tony Scheffler? And drafting Tim Tebow in the first round? Was Al Davis running Denver's draft this year? You think Tebow is the second coming, McDaniels? Maybe he can replace you as head coach next year.
San Francisco is another team that high hopes for this season. In fact, they were the popular pick to win the division—but then the season started. Alex Smith has been, is and always will be a mediocre QB at best, and Troy Smith is not an adequate replacement. The 'Niners need a QB, and hopefully the team will address that need this offseason and give Singletary another year. But I fear he might not get past the 2011 draft as the team's head coach.
Kubiak is only the second head coach the Texans have ever known, and he's led them to three straight non-losing seasons, including the franchise's first ever winning season last year (8-8, 8-8, 9-7). There were high hopes for Houston this year following last year's near-playoff team, but like the Cowboys, Vikings and 49ers, the Texans have disappointed all year. Maybe Kyle Shanahan is missed more than they thought he'd be, but regardless of the reasons, fans are calling for Kubiak's head. At 4-6, he has very little room for error the rest of the way—even with a recent contract extension through 2012.
Marvin Lewis is one of the longest-tenured head coaches in the league, serving as the Bengals' head coach since 2003. He's had a lot of success with Cincinnati, winning a couple of division titles, making the playoffs and winning Coach of the Year honors, but this year the Bengals had big plans, and things haven't quite worked out. I can't see him being fired during the season, but if he can't right this ship quickly, he could be a goner come January 2011. Which would be a shame.
And finally, Chan Gailey.
Gailey went 10-6 and then 8-8 in his two years as the Cowboys head coach a decade ago before hopping around and finally landing in Buffalo this year, where he's currently 2-8. Unless he continues his recent winning streak, this year could be his one and only with the Buffalo "Boy I Love Losing SuperBowls" Bills.
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