FIRE MORA! FIRE MORA! FIRE MORA! FIRE DEHAVEN! Oh wait we’re not playing that game anymore? Well…it appears those two have been booted out of the Seahawks organization. Bravo. Jim Mora was one of the few head coaches to get axed in a relatively light firing offseason. After the jump we will begin August with a look at coaches who are relatively safe to those who find themselves in a burning chair.
Guaranteed Stay (1 out of 5)
Sean Payton (New Orleans Saints) – Pretty easy to figure out.
Jim Caldwell (Indianapolis Colts) – It’s not like the Colts will suck as long as Peyton Manning is healthy.
Mike Smith (Atlanta Falcons) – He’s strung together consecutive winning seasons, something no other coach has done with this team.
John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens) – Much like Smith, John Harbaugh has got a very good team despite having an inexperienced QB. Their stellar run game and dominating defense could get them Super Bowl contender status if all goes well.
Jeff Fisher (Tennessee Titans) – Because he’ll never get fired. Ever.
Just About Safe (2 out of 5)
Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks) – Carroll doesn’t have a tendency to act dumb like Jim Mora and anyone with a brain realizes that it’s unlikely Seattle will contend in the playoffs this season. His 2 star rating will be upgraded to 5 out of 5 if the Seahawks are 2-14 or worse.
Bill Belichick (New England Patriots) – The Pats are on the decline and have not won a playoff game in the last two seasons. I think it’s highly unlikely he’ll get fired considering the success he’s had, but with some of his wild gambles (see Colts game from 2009) you’d think he’s lost his mind.
Rex Ryan (New York Jets) – What a stacked squad the Jets have. Rex could find himself looking at winning the AFC East.
Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers) – All of the stuff with Big Ben’s misadventures is not his fault and he’s been put in a tough situation. Management gave him a contract extension so he’ll have to really mess up to get canned this year.
Tony Sparano (Miami Dolphins) – A very fun team to watch with a bright future in Chad Henne. As long as their defense doesn’t suck like it did last year they should be just fine.
Ken Whisenhunt (Arizona Cardinals) – He’s turned one of the worst franchises in football to one of the most above-average teams in football! In all seriousness he’s taken Arizona to places they couldn’t imagine and his job is pretty secure.
Mike McCarthy (Green Bay Packers) – My Super Bowl darkhorse!! That was a hard loss to swallow against the Cardinals, however an improved offensive line could be all that is needed for the Pack to give the Vikes a run for their money in the NFC North.
Jim Schwartz (Detroit Lions) – I might be the only one who thinks the Lions are not going to be terrible this year (by their standards). I’ll tell you more when the season preview comes in a few weeks.
Lukewarm (3 out of 5)
Mike Singletary (San Francisco 49ers) – They’re the favorites to win the NFC West. Considering how weakened Arizona is I’d have to think anything other than a playoff berth could put him on the hot seat. Finishing 8-8….which come to think of it should be enough to win the NFC West, is probably not going to be accepted much longer.
Mike Shanahan (Washington Redskins) – He’s safe for a season but it could get ugly if the Redskins embarrass themselves again, especially since this is a Dan Snyder-run team.
Andy Reid (Philadelphia Eagles) – I’m going to craft this one carefully. I don’t think Andy Reid is ever going to lead the Super Bowl and I definitely don’t see them winning it this year. For Reid to survive this season all he needs to do is properly manage Kevin Kolb. If he throws Kolb to the wolves and has him passing 45 times per game, then he’s an idiot and there’s a higher likelihood of a backfire than a success. The other (smarter) option is to RUN THE BALL more often and make the offense as manageable for Kolb as possible so he can’t increase the chance of mistakes. I got a sneaking suspicion he’ll choose option #1.
Chan Gailey (Buffalo Bills) – He could easily be a one-and-done coach considering he’s already failed in earlier stints in the NFL. Buffalo is rebuilding so maybe they’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and keep him for more than a year, but they won’t give him too much rope to be awful.
Steve Spagnuolo (St. Louis Rams) – 1-15 last year and they probably won’t be that much improved this year. It’s tough to coach a team as bad as the Rams, but you still gotta win.
Josh McDaniels (Denver Broncos) – I honestly don’t know where to put him. Denver is almost a lock to struggle and McDaniels acts like a tyrant…..Pat Bowlen must be gambling on him for another year and looking at what occurs. Even if they go 4-12 though, almighty infallible god Tim Tebow will save him from his walking papers.
Todd Haley (Kansas City Chiefs) – Kansas City definitely showed signs of improvement in the latter stages of the regular season. Once Haley figured out how useful Jamaal Charles was things seemed to work a lot better. He keeps this up and his warm seat will cool significantly.
Raheem Morris (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – I refuse to talk about the Bucs after they whipped the Seahawks last year at Qwest Field and effectively ended any hope I had for Jim Mora and Matt Hasselbeck.
Burning Up (4 out of 5)
Norv Turner (San Diego Chargers) – The only thing holding back San Diego from a Super Bowl appearance is Norv Turner. He can only get away with these slow starts so many times before a late season surge. In each of Turner’s seasons as head coach of San Diego their season has won one game fewer in the postseason than the previous (2 wins in 2008, 1 in 2009, 0 in 2010). With the rise of the Ravens, Jets, Texans, and the staying power of the Colts their window for Super Bowl contending is starting to close. Norv has to win or he’s essentially out. In other words, he’s got one foot out the door.
Marv Lewis (Cincinnati Bengals) – How has he not been fired?
Eric Mangini (Cleveland Browns) – To be fair, you can’t possibly win with Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace picking and sacking themselves to a dismal defeat. Mangini is not a good coach and Mike Holmgren (along with Tom Heckert I guess) will realize that once they find themselves in the cellar for another season.
Brad Childress (Minnesota Vikings) – His expectations are high after coming so close to a trip to the Super Bowl. Previously he was under pressure for mediocre play and “play-it-safe” moments which proved to be costly. Now as one of the title favorites you have to think his superiors will accept another underachieving season.
Gary Kubiak (Houston Texans) – I love the Houston Texans and their offense is very entertaining. They’ve come close but no cigar to their first ever playoff appearance. As long as Matt Schaub is healthy the expectations amongst management and fans will be getting over the hump and into the postseason. Anything less from Kubiak and he could very well be the fall guy.
Tom Cable (Oakland Raiders) – The rule of thumb for the Raiders is that no head coach is safe. Tom Cable is safe from neither the law nor Al Davis.
Towering Inferno (5 out of 5)
Lovie Smith (Chicago Bears) – There is absolutely no possible way he can get another season unless he makes the playoffs.
John Fox (Carolina Panthers) – Sticking with Jake Delhomme through his lousy performances cost them a playoff spot and should’ve cost him his job. It’s playoffs or bust for him.
Jack Del Rio (Jacksonville Jaguars) – The AFC’s John Fox. Del Rio has never had consecutive winning seasons and the last two seasons the Jags have missed the playoffs in front of their hundreds of adoring home fans.
Tom Coughlin (New York Giants) – Boy oh boy did the Giants look awful in their final few games. You almost got the feeling they quit once the playoffs was out of their reach. They miss the services of Plaxico Burress and 2008 Brandon Jacobs and have not found suitable replacements. Can they pull off one more playoff run? I’m not so sure and I think it will cost Coughlin in the end. It’s not that he’s a bad head coach, but it may be time to move on.
Wade Phillips (Dallas Cowboys) – It feels like Wade’s job security has been uncertain since day one. Surprise surprise, it’s not changed all that much.
Any agreements? Disagreements? Fire Mora?