2011 NFL Prediction: 5 Head Coaches Who Will Be Fired by Season's End
At the beginning of every NFL season, there is always a coach that is in the hot seat, needing to prove himself to either the front office or their own players.
Last year, coaches like Jeff Fisher, Tom Cable, and Eric Mangini were let go after failing to lead their respective teams to success through the course of several years, while coaches like Brad Childress and Josh McDaniels were let go after losing the locker room and as a result, leading their team to disastrous seasons. This year, several coaches are facing similar problems.
This article will look at five coaches who I believe will continue to have struggles in 2011, and as a result, will be fired by the end of the season.
5. Mike Shanahan
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Mike Shanahan had a disastrous first year in Washington, and much of the struggles could be placed on his shoulders given the way he treated many of his players, notably his own quarterback Donovan McNabb, as he benched him under several curious circumstances during the course of the season.
This year, Shanahan opted to let go of McNabb and decided to go with Rex Grossman and John Beck as his starting quarterback. The decision has drawn much criticism by sports pundits and Redskins fans alike, and as a result, the pressure is building for Shanahan to make something happen in Washington.
Unfortunately, with a weak team around him, this may be very difficult for Shanahan to do. Add this to the fact that he has had a very difficult time connecting with his players ever since he arrived in Washington. If the Redskins have another disastrous season, Shanahan will certainly be in the hot seat, and while there is a chance that he will be given another chance, it is also likely that he could be let go as well.
4. Norv Turner
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Some people may consider this a stretch given the fact that Norv Turner has experienced success in San Diego, but consider the fact that the Chargers, despite their talent, have underperformed greatly in the past few years. They have continually gotten off to notoriously slow starts, and after catching fire mid-season, go on a run that promptly ends when they make the playoffs.
Norv Turner has received heat for consistently having one of the most talented teams in the NFL but not being able to lead them to a Super Bowl. Despite the fact that they are perennial contenders, if Turner continues to coach an under-performing team that chokes at the wrong times, he is going to have to answer some questions if he wants to keep his job.
3. Tom Coughlin
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Tom Coughlin has received criticism for not being a player's coach, and all this came to a head at the end of last season when his team blew a 31-10 lead and Coughlin was seen screaming at his punter on the sidelines.
There have been rumblings in the locker room from many players who do not like or respect Coughlin, and much of this may be similar to Mike Shanahan's problem in Washington, where Coughlin simply can't connect with his players.
Coughlin has certainly led the Giants to success, but he is quickly losing his team. If they have another difficult year and Coughlin doesn't respond the way he team needs to, the Giants may have no choice but to can him.
2. Jack Del Rio
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The Jacksonville Jaguars have been struggling with mediocrity for years, and every time they seem to get close to getting over the hump, they find themselves unable to do so. Jack Del Rio's seat has gotten hotter and hotter over the past few years as the Jaguars struggle with sub-par records and overall play.
The Jaguars haven't gotten much better in the offseason, and they are in a tough division where they have to deal with the Colts and the improving Texans and Titans, which doesn't bode well for Jacksonville and coach Jack Del Rio.
In 2011, the Jaguars will face a 6-10 record and will finish last in the AFC South, and as a result, Del Rio will be looking for a new job as the Jaguars will begin to start fresh.
1. Tony Sparano
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Last year, Dolphins management was publicly looking for Sparano's replacement, which obviously doesn't bode well for Sparano. It also doesn't bode well for Sparano when his team receives boos from fans after struggling in training camp.
Like Del Rio, Sparano is working with a sub-par team in a tough division, and unless Sparano can defy the odds and somehow make the playoffs, he will be looking for a new job next year.