Grading Every Single NFL Coach Hot Seat Decision Made This Offseason

Zach Kruse@@zachkruse2Senior Analyst IJanuary 4, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 24:  Head coach Raheem Morris of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers watches on during their game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

With the majority of coaching decisions already made by NFL teams this offseason, let's take a quick second to grade the decision each front office made regarding their head coach on the hot seat:


Ideally, the Buccaneers would have shown something over the last month of the season so the Glazer's wouldn't have been forced to can their young coach. There's no doubt that this wasn't a playoff team, but you got the feeling that Morris had won over his locker room after last season's 10-6 finish.

Still, there's no excuse for what transpired in Tampa Bay in 2011. Morris had to go. The Buccaneers are now focusing on getting a big-name coach to bring them back to relevance. This isn't a roster that needs a major overhaul, so it should be a somewhat attractive landing spot.

Grade: B+  

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 24:  Head coach Steve Spagnuolo of St. Louis Rams watches his team play against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the Christmas Eve game on December 24, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Get
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images


I have no reservations in saying that Spagnuolo will one day be a really good head coach in the NFL. But removing Spags from his position in St. Louis was a move the Rams had to make, especially after considering he finished his three-year run with only 10 wins.

Even with all the injuries, 10 wins in three years won't cut it in this day and age of the NFL. It'll be interesting to see who the Rams will choose to replace Spagnuolo, but I guarantee he will be leading a good defense as a coordinator this time next season.

Grade: A 

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 18:  San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner looks on against the Baltimore Ravens at Qualcomm Stadium on December 18, 2011 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images


I understand that Philip Rivers went to bat for his coach, but it's still hard to believe that Chargers owner Alex Spanos retained both Turner and GM A.J. Smith after an 8-8 season. San Diego needs a change of direction at their highest levels, as too many of the same faults are popping up year after year. 

Turner will now get one more season to prove he can get the Chargers where they belong. I'm guessing we'll look back on his firing next year as more than a few years late.

Grade: C-

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 01:  Head coach Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles watches an instant replay during an official review during a game against the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field on January 1, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images


Excuses are excuses, and there isn't one that gets Reid out of the mistakes that were made this season. Still, Jeff Lurie made it clear yesterday that Reid was the man most likely to get him to a championship, and I agree.

There aren't many coaches in the league today that are as good as Reid, and starting over with a new program in Philadelphia wasn't going to cure what ailed the Eagles last season. He needs to rebound next season, but Reid deserved that chance in 2012. 

Grade: A

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 18:  Head coach Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears watches as his team takes on the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field on December18, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Seahawks defeated the Bears 38-14.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Im
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images


The Bears stumbled to a disappointing 8-8 finish after starting the year 7-3, but you'd be hard-pressed to blame that free fall on Smith. Chicago lost both Jay Cutler and Matt Forte in the span of one quarter of play, with Cutler at the end of Bears' win over Chargers and Forte early on the next week.

Few coaches would be able to right a ship that suffered those kinds of losses. Firing GM Jerry Angelo, who insisted on sticking with the status-quo at the quarterback position, deserved to go. Smith deserved to stay.

Grade: B+ 


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.