Marvin Lewis and 10 Head Coaches Who Should've Been Fired But Weren't
Somehow, in the cutthroat business that is the NFL, there are some coaches that might not be bad coaches, but should have lost their jobs this year. This might mean they just needed a different situation or a change of scenery, but something had to change and it very easily could have been them.
Cincinnati Bengals fans know about Marvin Lewis, and like the rest of us, wonder how he still has a job. See where Marvin Lewis ranks amongst active NFL coaches that could have, and in some cases, should have been fired this season.
10. Ken Whisenhunt, Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals were missing a few pieces this year, but namely a quarterback. It's tough to win without that, and the Cardinals proved that with their 5-11 record.
Whisenhunt took the Cardinals to the Super Bowl in 2008, and won one with the Steelers as an offensive coordinator. He is a winner.
In Whisenhunt's first year in Pittsburgh, he took the Steelers from 31st in the league in rushing to second. His Cardinals team this year finished 32nd in rushing and 31st in passing. I understand he doesn't have the horses he had then, but for an offensive-minded coach that's unacceptable.
9. Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears
This is more of a "should have been fired last season" kind of thing. But the Bears are overrated this year, and anyone who has seen them knows this. That's not to say they don't have talent. On defense, the Bears are a veteran group that is playing very well this year, allowing only 17 points per game.
The offense has started playing better as the line played better and Jay Cutler stopped chucking everything off his back foot.
But Lovie Smith has no fire, and his head has been called for dozens of times here in Chicago. He brought them to the Super Bowl in 2006, only to lose 29-17 to the Colts.
Smith seems to get bailed out by his team just when he needs it the most, but the Bears will never win a Super Bowl under him, and they are a franchise that should be playing for rings.
8. Norv Turner, San Diego Chargers
The Chargers were the top-ranked passing team in the league this year, and had one of the better defenses, statistically speaking. But they failed to make the playoffs, so who cares?
This is a common tale with Turner's teams. He has been in San Diego four seasons and made the playoffs in his first three seasons. He advanced to the AFC Championship in the 2007-08 season, where they lost to the Patriots.
This year there was the issues of key players Marcus McNeil and Vincent Jackson holding out to start the season, but it's inexcusable that the most talented team out west didn't make the playoffs.
7. Tom Coughlin, New York Giants
I think of Tom Coughlin, and I think of him wanting to murder his punter Matt Dodge this year after the Eagles game, and I think of his nose almost falling off in that playoff game in Green Bay a few years ago.
But for having such a talented team, he certainly underperformed this year. It didn't help that Eli Manning threw 25 interceptions.
But the Giants are talented enough to win now, and a change at the top might be what they are looking for. They weren't bad statistically, but just didn't win enough games and it wasn't because of a lack of talent.
6. Gary Kubiak, Houston Texans
Texans coach Gary Kubiak had the league's leading rusher (Arian Foster), the best receiver in the NFL (Andre Johnson) and a good quarterback (Matt Schaub). He just couldn't get wins this year with that horrendous defense.
His defense ranked last in the NFL in passing defense, and 30th in overall defense. Watching rookie quarterback Tim Tebow and the struggling Broncos pass for over 300 yards on the Texans was the last straw in the Fire Kubiak campaign.
Houston finished 6-10.
5. Mike Shanahan, Washington Redskins
Mike Shanahan just finished his first season in our nation's capital, and already this guy may have wore out his welcome. He is running off Donovan McNabb, and trying not to kill Albert Haynesworth. But he is also not winning. The Redskins finished the season 6-10, and pretty much openly tried not to win the last few games.
Shanahan decided to have the race for who would be his backup quarterback next season over the last three weeks of this season, and told McNabb to ride the pine.
He doesn't seem to match the culture of overspending for the lack of production the Redskins have going in Washington, and I think this is doomed.
4. Chan Gailey, Buffalo Bills
Why not, right? I actually think it wasn't that bad of a move to keep Gailey. You couldn't give Vince Lombardi the Bills and expect him to win. But if Gailey left, it would just create change when it isn't totally necessary. There are talks that former Dolphins Head Coach Dave Wannstedt, or "The Wannstache", could be joining the staff in Buffalo.
But Chan Gailey could have very easily lost his job this season, and with good reason. He lost 12 games, and only won four. But that is the good thing about playing for a horribly run organization. They don't expect a lot.
3. Jeff Fisher, Tennessee Titans
Fisher is the longest tenured coach in the league right now. In his 16 seasons with the franchise, he has taken the Titans to the playoffs six times, and won one AFC Championship in 1999. Since 2004, the Titans have gotten to the playoffs twice and lost in the first round.
This year Fisher's locker room was in some turmoil due to the fact that Vince Young went nuts, and then apologized via text.
At the end of the season, Titans owner Bud Adams needed time to figure out who will stay and who will go, and this was the most unsure anyone had been about Fisher's future with the franchise. Adams chose to retain him and get rid of Young.
I think get rid of both.
2. Tony Sparano, Miami Dolphins
Tony Sparano's situation went from bad to great pretty quickly. The Dolphins finished the season 7-9, and closed out with a heartbreaking home loss to the Detroit Lions. It was one that left a bad taste in the mouth of Dolphins fans, then it was followed by a 38-7 stomping at New England.
There was talks of the Dolphins targeting Stanford's Jim Harbaugh for obscene amounts of money, then it ended up that the Dolphins never offered him and he signed with San Francisco. But then the Dolphins' brass flew home from their meeting with Harbaugh and extended Sparano's contract through 2013.
Sparano is 25-23, and it is soon to be much worse if they don't get Chad Henne out from behind center.
It left everyone in Miami scratching their heads, and it wasn't from sea lice.
1. Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals
Last week Marvin Lewis signed a two-year contract extension for $6.5 million. Lewis finished this season 4-12. In his eight seasons with the Bengals, Lewis is 60-67, and has taken them to the playoffs twice, only to lose in the first round.
This move by Cincy defies logic. I have no idea why the Bengals would keep Lewis. He had a 10-win season last year, but the Bengals lost in the first round of the playoffs, again. This is like the Sparano deal, but Lewis has more years of proof that he is not the man for the job.