The 10 NFL Coaches Who Will Be Given Their Last Shot in 2012
There's not a more demanding leadership position in sports than that of a head coach in the NFL.
For a job in which that individual can go from genius to incompetent in a matter of moments, it's impossible to guarantee that any of these 10 coaches presented on this list will even be representing their respective teams in 2012.
If any or all remain employed in the same location, they'll certainly be on the hot seat once next season commences.
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If you ever watch a Cowboys game on TV, you'd swear that defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was actually the head coach instead of the mild mannered Garrett.
He did a fine job replacing Wade Phillips in the middle of 2010. A December collapse, no stranger to Dallas, would signal that his inexperience is a detriment.
Owner Jerry Jones and the fans of this franchise have annual expectations that are higher than any team in the league.
With the possibility of Jeff Fisher or Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden available for the taking, Jones will likely make a change at the coaching position if Dallas doesn't make much headway towards a Super Bowl.
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You can pretty much set your watch by it.
At the end of each season (with the exception of the one after winning Super Bowl XLII), questions arise if Tom Coughlin will come back to coach the New York Giants.
Even a rough schedule may not excuse him when 2011 is said and done, but a division title (amazingly still within sight) would quell any negative rumors.
Then, they would all start up again come September.
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The groans from the ever-demanding fanbase in Philly were mostly unnecessary prior to this year considering Reid's successful tenure as the head coach of the Eagles.
But now, they seem slightly more justified with the expectations of the 2011 club being so high and the end results being so disappointing.
Reid has done plenty of good things for Philadelphia...except bring home a long-awaited Super Bowl title.
Time may be running out of him to do that.
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Why not put the entire NFC East into this mix?
Shanahan will be granted a longer leash thanks to his two Super Bowl rings. That shouldn't discount the fact that it would greatly behoove him to make a jump up the division standings in 2012 if he wants to remain safe in D.C.
Impressive showings against New England and New York has helped somewhat. A new quarterback, a more consistent offense and a defense that can make key stops would be beneficial as well.
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It's quite possible that he hasn't been given enough time to prove what he can do.
However, in this high-paced environment known as the NFL, no franchise wants to wait and see.
In 20 games as a head coach (all since Week 12 of the 2010 season), Frazier's record is an unimpressive 5-15. Most of that has come with uneasiness at the quarterback position. His latest signal-caller is rookie Christian Ponder, who's certainly a work in progress.
If the Vikings' brass sees some promise going forward, they'll give more time to a guy on his first go-around at this job.
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It's not all thumbs up for the St. Louis Rams' head coach.
Spagnuolo's club showed promise in 2010, coming within a win of reaching the postseason. St. Louis then regressed in 2011 thanks in part to injuries and terrible protection of young quarterback Sam Bradford.
Those two elements have resulted in a 2-12 record and a spot in the NFC West's cellar.
It's imperative for the likes of Bradford and Steven Jackson to be healthy next year if Spagnuolo wants to remain where he is.
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This has been a dark season to say the least. It got a little brighter when Caldwell and the Colts garnered their first victory of the season at home against the Tennessee Titans.
But this season has been about the losses, including the team's top player.
Without Peyton Manning, Indianapolis can't get out of its own way. And it may appear clear to Colt management that the head coach is dispensable too.
If Manning isn't behind center in 2012 and Indy continues to struggle, Caldwell will be given his walking papers.
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If only Norv Turner's team could make the first half of the season more like the second half.
The San Diego Chargers never play up to their talent level until it's too late. This year is no different.
This underachieving style of play ultimately falls at the feet of Turner, an individual who has never really made a splash as a head coach with the Bolts, Redskins and Raiders.
The Chargers seem to be getting stale and are in need of someone who can provide a fresh approach.
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One would be hard pressed to find a critic of Marvin Lewis' performance in 2011.
That wasn't the case when this season started, as it was widely expected for the Bengals to be among the NFL's worst.
Instead, Cincinnati remains among those in contention for the postseason. The key now for Lewis is to maintain this level, which may be hard for a young squad.
That might take more than a year but don't be surprised if changes are still made on who should try to get this franchise over the hump.
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In late October, the Buffalo Bills were the toast of the AFC. Chan Gailey's club was 5-2 and poised to sit atop the East.
Then, the bottom fell out. The Bills have entered a swoon that's seen them drop seven consecutive contests. And while Gailey's seat is not yet warm, it could heat up soon if the losing continues through next year.
With a 27-35 career record, Gailey hasn't built a reputation that would yield management giving him time to get his club on the winning track. That means a successful 2012 is imperative for his job security.