Another NFL season is coming to a close as Black Monday firings are looming. The NFL is a cold, high-stakes business and no head coach escapes keeping his job without winning. The fact of the matter is NFL head coaches face the harsh reality between winning and losing. Every season professional football coaches land on the hot seat.
As a season unfolds, some coaching seats get hotter and some cool off. Any perennial losers will eventually end up on the outside looking in. The NFL coaching shelf life is alive and well in a league notorious for a reset or reallocation. Each NFL owner has his set of parameters and expectation while overseeing his organization.
All 32 owners operate with a bottom line business model. To sum it up it sometimes boils down to a profit versus loss margin. A head coach’s job performance plays an intricate roll in boosting organizational revenue.
Let’s take a look at some pros and cons of head coaching terminations, and the consideration to retain a coach based on his overall job performance. Here are the top ten coaches who are borderline to lose their job on Monday.
Heat Index – Temperature (°F) 80 – 120
NFL Coaches With A Probability Of Being Fired On Black Monday
A Coach Who Lacks A Bonafide Strategy On Offense
(1) Adam Gase – Miami 97 (°F) – Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase cannot and will not right the ship with the Dolphins, ever. No matter how much time owner Steven Ross gives him, the team will continue to underachieve.
Ross has promised sweeping change within his organization. The team is talented but has regressed with Gase as head coach. Ross hired Gase at the young age of 38 years old as a long-term solution to an NFL legacy franchise.
Gase’s record is 23-24 for a winning percentage of .489 in three years. He convinced Ross to spend ten million dollars by signing retired quarterback Jay Cutler. The experiment turned out to be a disaster with Cutler collecting his money and moving on.
His biggest blunder was sending ex-fins running back Jay Ajayi packing, which was a gift to Ajayi. The bruising running back went on to win a Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles last season.
In the event Gase survives and keeps his job, his seat will get even hotter in 2019.
A Lack Of Stability At The Quarterback Position
(2) Dirk Koetter – Tampa Bay 95 (°F) – Dirk Koetter‘s seat is hot at 5-10. The Buccaneers head coach probably will not survive the carnage of this season with an overall 19-28 record. He has a .402 winning percentage in three years.
Koetter has weathered countless setbacks this season. Bucs star QB, Jameis Winston has created many unnecessary distractions with his immature behavior. He benched Winston after a league suspension and started journeyman quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The Bucs have good talent, but the disturbances from Winston caused a great deal of inconsistent performance for the offense. Koetter once said every player on the field deserved a firing including himself after a Bucs loss to the Chicago Bears in Week 4.
Well, he might get his wish soon.
A Proud Western New York Fanbase Running Out Of Patience
(3) Sean McDermott – Buffalo 93 (°F) – Buffalo Bills Head Coach Sean McDermott‘s chair is warming. But most media outlets have under-reported his job status. The team has underachieved on both sides of scrimmage under McDermott’s watch in two years.
Buffalo has some of the most loyal fans in pro football, second only to maybe the Green Bay Packers. His record is 14-17 with a winning percentage of .442. There have been rumors circulating all over the web to fire McDermott.
His decision last season to bench Bills veteran signal caller Tyrod Taylor in favor of fifth-round QB, Nathan Peterman proved disastrous. The Bills rookie QB threw five first-half interceptions with one for a pick-six against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Not Delivering On Time With A Half-Empty Stadium
(4) Jay Gruden – Washington 84 (°F) – Let’s face it and be realistic that Washington Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden seat is heating up. One thing for sure is that owner Daniel Snyder has given Gruden five years to return his team to Super Bowl contention.
Gruden is a talented offensive mind, and he can coach, but the lack of capturing the NFC East leaves him open for scrutiny. His record is 35-42 for a .449 winning percentage. The Redskins looked solid were on a winning streak and poised to win the NFC East. Then QB Alex Smith suffered a broken leg in Week 11.
Gruden might secure his job with a win against the Philadelphia Eagles, which will even his record at 8-8.
A Storm Is Brewing In Charlotte
(5) Ron Rivera – Carolina 82 (°F) – A change in team ownership could be the X-factor whether Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera will keep his job. Rivera has enjoyed a great deal of success making the playoffs four times, including a Super Bowl appearance. He is a good coach but has been unable to produce back-to-back winning seasons. Or control the NFC South consistently enough.
Rivera’s record is 6-9 sitting in third place in the mediocre NFC South. A 6-10 finish could force new owner David Tepper to remove Rivera as the Panthers head coach.
One thing is for sure is Rivera will land another NFL head coaching job.
Top Five Black Monday Imminent Firing Predictions
Lost In The Big Apple
(1) Todd Bowles – New York 120 (°F) – New York Jets Head Coach Todd Bowles is destined to be fired, with a 4-11 season in 2018. He has compiled a 24-39 record in four years which left him with a .381 winning percentage.
The Jets are not getting better but progressively worse every year. Based on his blank stare sideline demeanor in games, he has no solution to the formula of building a consistent winning team.
From the looks of it, Bowles will not coach the Jets in 2019.
Climbing A Mile High But Never Reaching The Crest
(2) Vance Joseph – Denver 120 (°F) – Denver Broncos Head Coach Vance Joseph has coached uphill for two years without all the dots lining up. The Broncos have one of the best defenses in the NFL. But Joseph is another defensive-minded coach, who struggles to put together a solid offense.
His overall record at 11-20 for a .355 win percentage speaks volumes on several fronts. The Broncos offense is talented but has not developed into the high scoring machine, as expected.
The Broncos face the 11-4 Chargers with a 6-9 record in Week 17. Even if the Broncos win against the Chargers, Joseph is not expected to keep his job.
A Roller Coaster Ride For The Ages
(3) Marvin Lewis – Cincinnati 120 (°F) One dubious record sums up Head Coach Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals. Try not winning a playoff game in sixteen years. And yes it seals Lewis’s legacy and fate if he is fired or walks away.
How has Lewis defied the law of averages to keep his job so long? The answer is he enjoys a special relationship with the Bengals owner Mike Brown. That’s the only logical reasoning he was not fired after five years.
Lewis has survived the NFL rigors and earned some credit, but he always comes up short in the postseason. His career record is 131-121 which brings some solace to his long journey. Chances are he will throw in the towel after this season to move on.
A Short Stay In The Desert
(4) Steve Wilks – Arizona 110 (°F) Arizona Cardinals rookie HC Steve Wilks inherited an uninspiring team from ex-Cards coach Bruce Arians. Wilks first rodeo resulted in a record of 3-12 to date. The Cardinals rank dead last in every NFL statistical category imaginable.
All-Pro Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson wants out of Arizona due to the perennial losing. Star receiver Larry Fitzgerald is still a solid performer, but the team continues to spiral in a free fall downward. It’s hard to imagine Wilks could turn things around if given another year.
Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill is not happy with the team’s performance and is having buyer’s remorse, so he is ready to fire Wilks.
Jaguars Players Protecting Thier Own Interests
(5) Doug Marrone – Jacksonville 115 (°F) The Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone‘s team was an 18-1 favorite in the AFC in 2018. Now the Jaguars are 5-10, after dropping eight consecutive games. The biggest The question is whether Marrone who is 16-17 in three years has lost control of his team moving forward.
The Jaguars came within one game of reaching the Super Bowl in 2017, and what a difference a season can make with such a talented squad. Jags QB Blake Bortles was benched in a Week 7 game against the Houston Texans for poor play.
The biggest embarrassment is when the Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry gashed the Jaguars defense for a record 238 yards on 17 carries and four touchdowns. Jaguars players looked timid and afraid to tackle Henry. And they gave up on the running play as Henry violently stiff-armed three defenders to the ground en route to a touchdown.
Jaguars owner Shahid Khan will decide whether to retain Marrone for another year.