NFL Coaching Hot Seat: Ranking the Stability of Every NFL Team's Head Coach

Thomas CopainCorrespondent IJanuary 3, 2011

NFL Coaching Hot Seat: Ranking the Stability of Every NFL Team's Head Coach

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    The NFL Coaching Hot Seat is always hot, but never is it hotter than it is the day after the season ends.

    The so-called "Black Monday" has become synonymous with pink slips, as coaches find themselves looking for work across the league.

    Eric Mangini was the first be let go, being fired by Cleveland this morning.

    There's sure to be more to come with a couple of other coaches rumored to be on the way out.

    So without further ado, here's where your coach stands in terms of job security. 

32. Cleveland Browns: No Coach

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    Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

    Cleveland already became the first team to officially fire its coach this Monday, cutting ties with Eric Mangini.

    Of course, there has been the expectation that Mike Holmgren will take this job going as far back as last year.

    Whoever takes this job will have some pieces in place, but will have to be able to draft well to help Colt McCoy and Peyton Hillis.

    Job Security (from 1-10, with 10 being the highest): One

31. Carolina Panthers: No Coach

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    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    It was only a matter of time before it became fact.

    The rumors for weeks had been that John Fox would not be back after this season and the team confirmed it last week.

    Now the question will be, where do the Panthers go from here?

    Will they look to land a big name, or will they go after a smaller coordinator looking for a chance?

    Job Security: One

30. Cincinnati Bengals: No Coach

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Lewis wasn't officially fired by the Bengals, they just let his contract expire after yesterday's loss to Baltimore.

    It was an easy decision pretty for both sides to part ways, especially in lieu of the highly disappointing season in Cincinnati.

    Of course, now the question is what kind of coach will be a good fit for the Bengals? The talent is there, they just need a leader.

    Job Security: One

29. San Francisco 49ers: No Coach

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    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Mike Singletary famously said that he can't coach with players that are not about the team. But after under—performing in the Bay Area, Singletary's the one without a team.

    Jim Tomsulo took over for the last game of the season.

    There has been no definitive word on who will take over, but Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh has been on of the rumored names.

    Job Security: One

28. Denver Broncos: Eric Studesville

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The Broncos were one of three teams who fired their coach mid—season, and perhaps might be the most tenuous of the three interim positions.

    Eric Studesville took over for the dismissed Josh McDaniels, but struggled down the stretch, going 1-3. reported that Studesville will have a formal interview for the job, but he's a longshot for the position.

    Job Security: One

27. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jack Del Rio

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    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Considering the circumstances, Del Rio has staved off the pink slip for a while as the Jags' coach.

    But they've still only one one playoff game in his tenure and that was with the core that included John Henderson and Marcus Stroud.

    His job is in big trouble after the Jaguars choked away the AFC South and missed the playoffs again. The feelings are it could very well cost him his job this time.

    Job Security: One

26. Oakland Raiders: Tom Cable

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    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Since he's become the coach, Cable's built one of the better defenses in the league. He somehow brought the Raiders back to at least respectability with their first non—losing season since 2002.

    So of course, that means it's time for him to be fired in Al Davis' mind.

    Adam Schefter of ESPN reports there are rumors that Cable's option won't be picked up on January 18, but it'll have to be a wait and see deal.

    Job Security: One

25. Tennessee Titans: Jeff Fisher

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    There's a reason why Fisher is the longest-tenured coach in the league: no matter the season, he seems to survive.

    Of course, that might not be the case this season.

    His public feud with Vince Young was the last straw for both sides. Owner Bud Adams has finally realized that both won't be able to co—exist together.

    His future could be determined this week.

    Job Security: Two

24. New York Giants: Tom Coughlin

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    Win McNamee/Getty Images

    The Maras have already said that Coughlin is safe for next season.

    Of course, the last time they did that was in 2006 after the Giants went 8—8.

    The next year, the Giants went 10—6 and won the Super Bowl.

    But championship aside, Coughlin's Giants collapse in November and December each year and it's a tiring act for the fan base.

    Job Security: Two

23. Houston Texans: Gary Kubiak

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    Bob Levey/Getty Images and other outlets are reporting that Kubiak and owner Bob McNair will meet today to dicuss his future.

    The belief is Kubiak will stay on.

    McNair hasn't been known to have a trigger finger about firing coaches.

    It looking as if despite the Texans underachieving again, Kubiak's staying.

    The seat's plenty hot though.

    Job Security: Three

22. Miami Dolphins: Tony Sparano

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    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Sparano is another coach who's on the hot seat due to underachieving, as the Dolphins have missed the playoffs the last two seasons.

    The Palm Beach Post reported Sparano will meet with Miami ownership today to discuss his future.

    If Sparano has anything going for him, it is that the Dolphins are at least close to relevancy again and he does have a division title under his belt.

    Job Security: Three

21. Washington Redskins: Mike Shanahan

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    Win McNamee/Getty Images

    Shanahan was brought in as the guy who could finally fix the Redskins.

    What transpired instead was a chaotic mess of a season that was more about physical fitness than winning games.

    There's been no talk about firing Shanahan, but he's in this range because of Dan Snyder's trigger finger when it comes to canning coaches.

    Job Security: Four

20. San Diego Chargers: Norv Turner

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Despite having one of the most talent—laden rosters in the league, the Chargers still fell short and missed the playoffs.

    Jim Alexander of the Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) wrote Saturday that the Chargers needed to shake things up after an embarrassing season.

    One might think that if the Chargers struggle again, Turner might be out.

    Job Security: Four

19. Buffalo Bills: Chan Gailey

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    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    It's amazing how Gailey keeps getting head coaching jobs.

    He's one of those coaches who's much better off as a coordinator.

    Yet the Bills made him their head coach.

    The result was another lifeless season for the Bills, although they are making strides on offense with Ryan Fitzpatrick.

    But one has to wonder how patient the fan base will be with Gailey.

    Job Security: Four

18. Arizona Cardinals: Ken Whisenhunt

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The Cardinals had a season that's indicative of, well, the Cardinals.

    Arizona's once well—oiled offense stalled to almost a stop while Whisenhunt played musical chairs with his quarterbacks.

    The Cardinals still have talent and Whisenhunt is arguably one of the most successful coaches the Cardinals have ever had, so as long as the team improves next season, he'll be fine.

    Job Security: Five

17. Detroit Lions: Jim Schwartz

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    I don't know what was more impressive about the Lions; they finished the season on a four-game winning streak or seven of the ten losses were by eight points or fewer?

    Either way, Schwartz has seen his win total improve in each of his two seasons and things seem to be finally heading in the right direction.

    Job Security: Six

16. Chicago Bears: Lovie Smith

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    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    Remember when Lovie Smith seemed to be on the hot seat every year in Chicago?

    Funny what an 11—win season and a division title does to someone's job security.

    Smith seems to be secured in his spot in the Windy City, at least for now.

    Job Security: Six

15. St. Louis Rams: Steve Spagnuolo

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Playoffs or not, Spagnuolo did a phenomenal job of turning around the Rams.

    He took his team from the No. 1 overall pick in the draft last year to a game away from a division title this season.

    He has rebuilt the Rams behind Sam Bradford and an aggressive defense.

    He's not going anywhere, unless the Rams regress badly down the road.

    Job Security: Seven

14. Seattle Seahawks: Pete Carroll

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Losing record or not, Carroll's team is still division champions and heading to the playoffs.

    He still has a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball.

    A division title for the Seahawks is never a bad thing for job security.

    Job Security: Seven

13. Dallas Cowboys: Jason Garrett

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Garrett took over the reigns as the interim coach mid-season and the Cowboys responded as a result.

    They showed enough under Garrett that all signs show the interim tag will be lifted and he will become the head coach.

    Adam Schefter of ESPN pointed out that the Cowboys still have to do interviews to satisfy the Rooney Rule requirement, but Garrett's the guy.

    Job Security: Seven

12. Minnesota Vikings: Leslie Frazier

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Like Garrett, he was brought on mid—season to replace a much-maligned coach.

    Like Garrett's case, the team responded well under him.

    Like Garrett, he has a lot of talent already in place around him, and like Garrett, it looks like he's going to be the permanent head coach.

    Reports are the decision could come as early as this week.

    Job Security: Seven

11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Raheem Morris

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    This time last season, many were wondering aloud whether Morris was the right hire for the Bucs.

    One year later, the Buccaneers have a franchise quarterback, a young running back, an improving defense and a 10—win season.

    Tampa Bay still has work to do, but Morris is definitely heading in the right direction and looks like the right man for the job.

    Job Security: Seven

10. Green Bay Packers: Mike McCarthy

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    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    Mike McCarthy might have needed to squeak his team into the playoffs on the last day of the regular season, but a playoff trip is still a playoff trip.

    Especially in the wide—open NFC, that's enough.

    It's just as impressive considering the amount of injuries his team has to deal with.

    The Packers have nowhere to go but up.

    Job Security: Seven

9. Indianapolis Colts: Jim Caldwell

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Like McCarthy, Caldwell overcame a plethora of injuries to get back to the Playoffs.

    Doesn't hurt that in his two seasons, he has been to the Super Bowl and won two division titles.

    Nor does it hurt to have No. 18 lining up under center every week.

    Job Security: Eight

8. Kansas City Chiefs: Todd Haley

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    Tim Umphrey/Getty Images

    In a short amount of time, Haley turned the Chiefs around and not only landed back into the playoffs, but delivered a division title as well.

    He has built an aggressive defense and the best rushing attack in the league.

    As long as the Chiefs don't revert and slip down again, Haley's a fixture in Kansas City.

    Job Security: Eight

7. Baltimore Ravens: John Harbaugh

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    Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

    Harbaugh was relatively unknown when the Ravens brought him on as head coach.

    But he has made the playoffs now in each of his first three seasons and advanced to at least the Divisional Round in each of his first two.

    The Ravens are a Super Bowl contender again, and Harbaugh seems to have taken control of the job.

    Job Security: Eight

6. New York Jets: Rex Ryan

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    He may be brash, arrogant, somewhat controversial and extremely entertaining, but Rex Ryan's proven to be a winner so far.

    Ryan delivered an AFC Championship trip last season and 11 wins this year with another playoff appearance.

    Ryan has brought accountability and legitimacy to a franchise that has needed it.

    Job Security: Nine

5. Atlanta Falcons: Mike Smith

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    With the exception of the 1998 team that went to the Super Bowl, this might be one of the best eras of Falcons football in team history.

    Under Smith, the franchise went from removing itself from the shadow of Michael Vick to three straight winning seasons, two seasons of double-digit wins, two playoff appearances and now a division title. 

    Job Security: Nine

4. Philadelphia Eagles: Andy Reid

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Despite the numerous playoff choke jobs, Reid has stuck around in Philadelphia and has been highly successful, at least in the regular season.

    Under Reid, the Eagles have consistently been a Super Bowl contender and Reid is bringing them into the playoff as division champs yet again.

    Now if he could only work on clock management.

    Job Security: Nine

3. New Orleans Saints: Sean Payton

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    Payton has presided over the best era of Saints' football in their somewhat dubious history.

    He's the only coach to lead and deliver the Super Bowl championship to New Orleans and two division titles to boot.

    Of course, having one of the best offenses and the best quarterback in the league doesn't hurt either.

    Job Security: 10

2. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Tomlin

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    The Steelers' found themselves yet another fantastic coach in Tomlin.

    His resume includes a 43-21 record in his four seasons in Pittsburgh, has three division titles and a Super Bowl ring.

    Even if he were to struggle in the next year or two, the Rooneys have been known (at least since the 1970s) to stick with coaches and not make hasty decisions.

    It's safe to say Tomlin's staying.

    Job Security: 10

1. New England Patriots: Bill Belichick

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    Regardless of what you think about him and his antics, Belichick has won and won often in New England since 2001.

    Something extreme would have to happen if the Patriots would even consider letting Belichick go, and even that would be a stretch.

    Job Security: 10