NFL: 5 Coaches Poised to Get Themselves off the Hot Seat
The only way to clear your name is to build a team that has the potential to contend for a title each and every year.
In this slideshow, I will provide you with my Intel on five coaches in the NFL who are poised to save their job and lead their team to a captivating season.
Gary Kubiak, Houston Texans
Winning a division that contains the Indianapolis Colts is definitely not a piece of cake. But with Peyton Manning's neck injury and the Colts aging offense, this could finally be Houston's year to take over the division.
Houston had a great offseason this year, both in the draft and free agency. Picking up J.J. Watt, defensive end out of Wisconsin the the first round, and Brooks Reed, outside linebacker out of Arizona, who in my opinion, is one of the standout players in the first two weeks of the preseason. In free agency, they picked up an established corner back in Jonathan Joseph and signed him to a whopping five-year, $48.5 million deal.
With these additions, the Texans absolutely improved their 32nd overall pass defense from a year ago.
I mean, it's impossible to get any worse.
With a more reliable defense and offensive studs like Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson and Arian Foster, the Texans should finally make the playoffs and secure Gary Kubiak's job for now.
Mike Shanahan, Washington Redskins
This was an interesting decision because of how the Washington Redskins organization took a huge step back last season.
By unloading the troublesome Donovan McNabb and the bust Albert Haynesworth, I truly believe the Redskins are poised to take two gigantic steps forward this year.
The Redskins are very much like the Houston Texans, a team that has a potent offense, but a struggling defensive.
So what did they do this offseason? They took care of their needs in free agency and in the draft.
Just to name a few free agent acquisitions, the Redskins signed Barry Cofield, a defensive stud from the New York Giants, Oshiomogho Atogwe, a proven safety from the St. Louis Rams, and defensive end Stephen Bowen from their division rival the Dallas Cowboys.
In the draft, they took Ryan Kerrigan, defensive end out of Purdue in the first round, Jarvis Jenkins, defensive tackle out of Clemson in the second round, and Lenard Hankerson, the wide receiver with amazing hands out of Miami in the third round.
The Redskins aren't expected to have a good season because critics think they lack an NFL ready starting quarterback. But after watching John Beck tear up the Indianapolis Colts and the Baltimore Ravens defense, I believe he is their quarterback for years to come.
If the Redskins can pull off a few division wins and an 8-8 or 9-7 season, I believe Mike Shanahan's job will be saved.
Steve Spagnuolo, St. Louis Rams
Without a doubt, the St. Louis Rams had a very successful season last year, winning seven more games than they did in the previous year. Now 8-8 isn't an impressive record, but it is tremendously better than their previous record of 1-15.
So if the Rams had a successful season last year, why is Steve Spagnuolo on the hot seat?
The answer is simple.
The Rams have everything they need and more to win the NFC West, known as the weakest division in the NFL. If they don't win their division, consider Spagnuolo gone.
Sam Bradford is going into his second year as the Rams quarterback, and for him to lead the Rams to success, it was essential that he has some help.
The Rams brought in Harvey Dahl, free agent starting offensive lineman out of Atlanta, and Mike Sims-Walker, free agent receiver out of Jacksonville to provide Bradford with time to throw and a go to receiver.
They also signed Jerious Norwood and Cadillac Williams to help out Steven Jackson.
On the defensive side, the Rams drafted Robert Quinn, defensive end out of North Carolina in the first round of the NFL draft, signed Quintin Mikell, safety from the Philadelphia Eagles, Braddy Poppinga, outside linebacker from the Green Bay Packers, Justin Bannan, defensive tackle from the Broncos, and many more players.
Even with one of the toughest schedules in the NFL, the Rams now have a revamped offense and defense that should take them to the playoffs for the first time since 2004, thus saving Spagnuolo's job.
Jim Schwartz, Detroit Lions
Each year, the Detroit Lions make a big splash in the NFL draft.
Drafting payers like Mathew Stafford, with the number one overall pick in 2009, Ndamukong Suh, with the second overall pick in the 2010 draft, Jahvid Best, in the first round of the 2010 draft, Nick Fairley, 13th overall pick in this years draft, and Mike LeShoure in the second round of this years draft.
When a team drafts in the top 15 for the past three years, you know they must be stocking up on talent.
That is, unless of course, four out of five of the players I stated above have stuggled with injuries.
Mathew Stafford has the potential to be an elite quarterback, but he can't stay on the field. Jahvid Best struggled with turf toe for most of last season, and now he is dealing with a concussion. Mike LeShoure is out for the year with an achilles injury, and Nick Fairley is out three to four weeks with an injured foot.
With all this talent, the Lions have the potential to compete in their division. But if injuries keep plaguing this team, they will never get over the hump and into the playoffs.
Mathew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Jahvid Best all need to be on the field at the same time for this team to achieve success. Even though Jim Schwartz has no control over injuries, he is responsible for turning the Lions into a competing team, and I believe he will this year.
Tom Coughlin, New York Giants
The New York Giants are competing in arguably the toughest division in the NFL. The Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins all have the potential to be playoff teams.
We have only had two weeks of preseason football, and the Giants are already falling apart.
The Giants have already lost four of their cornerbacks. These players are Prince Amukamara, first round pick in this years draft, Terrell Thomas, their leading tackler in 2010, Brian Witherspoon and Bruce Johnson. Prince Amukamara is the only corner in this group who could potentially play this season.
Don't count the Giants out yet though because they have two proven corners in Corey Webster and Aaron Ross.
The Giants still have Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora headlining their defense, even though Umenyiora may miss a few regular season games. Jason Pierre-Paul should fill in nicely for Umenyiora as a former first round pick in 2010.
I don't expect the Giants to make the playoffs this year, but I don't expect coach Coughlin to lose his job either,
With Eli Manning, the resigning of Ahmad Bradshaw, and three reliable receivers in Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham and Victor Cruz, expect big things in the future for the New York Giants.