5 NFL Coaches Most Likely to Get Fired First

Hal NicholsCorrespondent IOctober 23, 2011

5 NFL Coaches Most Likely to Get Fired First

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    As we near the midway point in the season, it's time for some teams to start jettisoning failing coaches and begin trying to build some momentum under a fresh commander.  

    Cutting a head coach loose in the the middle of the season has it's risk, but it can also clean out a toxic locker room and let players work without the baggage that so often accumulates during frustrating stretches. There are several candidates for mid-season firing this year.  

    Click through the slideshow to see some of the best candidates to get fired first this season.

Tony Sparano

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    Leading the pack in the race to get canned first is Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano.  

    Sparano caught lightening in a bottle during his first season in Miami.  Since then, it's been mostly downhill, with this season, so far, representing rock bottom.  With the franchise already coveting the #1 draft pick in April to rebuild around Andrew Luck, Sparano is a dead man walking.  

    Should Tim Tebow be able to pull out a win today in Miami, he might not even make it to the halfway point of the season.

    Update: Sparano's hot seat got even hotter.

Todd Haley

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    While Todd Haley's position looks a lot less precarious coming off of two straight wins than it did earlier this year, keep in mind that they beat the Viking and Colts, who are both awful.  When beating bottom feeders like that vastly improves your outlook, it gives you an idea just how bad things have gotten.  

    If Haley can string together a few more wins, he might be able to survive this season.  The Chiefs are still a young squad, and if they could bring in someone to get the offense going again, Haley might make it through this.  However, if they bottom out over the rest of the season, the Chiefs just might decide to give someone else the reins.

Jim Caldwell

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    I know, I know.  You can't blame a coach for injuries.  What you can do, however is blame a coach for not having a single clue as to how to react to those injuries.  

    How did Caldwell not know that Painter was better than the corpse of Kerry Collins?  Reggie Wayne knew.  Anyone who watch Collins lobbing up dead ducks in Tennessee last year knew.  So how could a head coach not know?  

    The Colts still have a phenomenal stable of receiving targets.   Bringing in a veteran QB who basically admitted he was retiring because he didn't have it in him to prepare for another season was a really bad idea.  And if Caldwell wasn't calling the shot and Collins got the starting gig directly from the front office, why is he the head coach to begin with?

Jack Del Rio

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    It seems like forever ago that the Jaguars were a legitimate playoff contender. As the Jags have slowly slid into irrelevance, the whispers about relocating to Los Angeles have only gotten louder.  

    The NFL gave Jacksonville two Monday Night Football games in the hopes that they could jump start the fan base.  Unfortunately, watching a boring, listless team is just a bad on a Monday, as they have had the same struggles selling those games out.  

    When you can't sell out the NFL's flagship broadcast, you have big, big problems.  Del Rio is one of them

Andy Reid

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    Finally, Andy Reid is my dark horse candidate for early sacking this year. While it sounds crazy, this is Philadelphia we are talking about. With their season falling off of the cliff of sky high expectations, Reid is bound to get savaged by the fans and the local media.  

    Their defense is pillow soft after making a couple of big name additions in free agency.  Michael Vick is back to his old self of high risk and high reward, with the risk resulting in a lot more turnovers than last season.  And the inescapable QB controversy that comes from Vick being constantly dinged up just puts that much more pressure on Reid.  

    It's a big-time long shot, but don't surprised to see Reid on the chopping block if the season continues to implode.