clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFL head coaches on the hot seat - NFC 2015 Edition

Our fearless Texas based forecaster once again takes a look around the league at which coaches might be unemployed in 2016. First up - the conference that Bolt fans don't care about too much.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

OK people, you know the rules:  I will rate the job security of the coaches by the heat of the seat.  In the NFC, we Bolts fans really only care about the NFC North in 2015.

NFC East

Philadelphia Eagles - Going into his 3rd year, Chip Kelly was given additional power this offseason and proceeded to make a lot of bold (some called them crazy) personnel moves.  While staking his future to the questionable health of Sam Bradford and the even more questionable ability of Mark Sanchez, Kelly should be safe for another year. This remains a cool seat, despite some predictions out of a Dallas sports reporter (wishful thinking maybe) that he is on a hot seat.  Still, increased expectations can produce heat if those expectations are not met.

New York Giants - This one is tough to predict.  A lot of people are calling the Giants a sleeper pick for NFC East or Wild Card contention in 2015.  While that may be a stretch, expectations are higher for this team than they have been for a while.  This may work against Tom Coughlin if there is another tough season, but the owners seem to genuinely like and respect Coughlin.  The seat is getting warmer here, but how hot is something only the Mara Family knows.  Some thought he would be gone at the end of last season.

Washington Redskins - Jay Gruden needs to get his QB situation figured out.  If he and RG3 are still knife fighting in the press during the 2015 season, it is possible that both will gone in early 2016.  If RG3 is not the guy, that needs to be figured out pretty soon.  Working for a volatile owner like Dan Snyder does not help either.  This seat is warmer than it should be for a second-year coach and there already rumblings last season.

Dallas Cowboys - Jason Garrett coached this team from .500 all the way to a controversial incomplete pass away from playing in the NFC Championship game.  In so doing, he sprayed an industrial sized vat of fire retardant and coolant to a seat that was nearly ready to combust.  He should be safe for another season or two unless things get really ugly in Dallas.  This seat is comfortably room temperature.

NFC South

Carolina Panthers -Ron Rivera coached his way in 2013 into a cooler seat last year.  This year, he begins the season with a seat that is one of the warmest in the league.  The afterglow of the 2013 playoff run, the Hardy issue, and some injuries are probably all that saved him from getting axed last year, but this seat will catch fire in 2015 if even looked at the wrong way.

New Orleans Saints - After missing the playoffs last year, Sean Payton is under some amount of pressure to get another shot at a title before Drew Brees gets too old.  The team lost its best offensive skill player and still has huge questions defensively.  This seat is starting to heat up, but it is not at a dangerous level yet.

Atlanta Falcons - Dan Quinn seems to reinforce the pattern of "Seattle DC today becoming somebody's HC in another year or two".  Replacing Mike Smith, he will need to get this team back to competing in a division that is not too strong.  This is a first-year cold seat.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Lovie Smith is now partnered with Jameis Winston in a 3-crab-legged race to determine his coaching longevity.  This seat is around room temperature unless things go badly sideways in a hurry this season.

NFC West

Seattle Seahawks - Pete Carroll drew a lot of fire for the last play of the last game of the 2014 season and it was deserved.  He still has enough luster on the cold, rainy conference champions throne to be safe this season.

Arizona Cardinals - Bruce Arians needs a good (and full) season from Carson Palmer to perhaps make some noise in the playoffs if the red birds can make it again.  This seat remains a cold oasis of refreshment in the hot desert sun.

St. Louis Rams - Fisher has to be coaching for his job this year.  With Nick Foles at QB and a decent roster, Mr. Kronke will be expecting playoffs or he will leave behind some unwanted dirty baggage when he moves the team to LA next year.  That shimmer over the Archway is the heat from this seat.

San Francisco 49ers - Last July, I termed Jim Harbaugh's seat cool, but did note that there was some tension between him and GM Trent Baalke.  Wow, was I sure wrong on the timing of when the "tension" might turn into something worse!  After Harbaugh resolved the "tension" by stepping down and returning to Alma Mater to coach and enjoy a $50 mil bag o' cash, the 49ers looked inward for the next HC. Jim Tomsula, their defensive line coach since 2007, got the job.  Unless the York family sees Tomsula being grossly incompetent or they figure that emulating Cleveland is a recipe for NFL success, this seat is cold.

NFC North

(This is the division we care about in 2015.)

Green Bay Packers - A backup TE screwing up an onside kick recovery prevented the Pack from reaching the Superb Owl last January.  Expectations are high in Green Bay and McCarthy is highly regarded by the players, fans, media, and the league in general.  Not meeting those high expectations could result in some drastic changes for him, though.  This seat is actually getting warmer.

Detroit Lions - A lot of people (including me) had forgotten about the Lions making the playoffs last season, only to get bounced by the cowpies thanks to a gift DPI call.  This seat is fairly cool, but expectations are higher now than they were last year.

Minnesota Vikings - With Adrian Peterson back on the field and Bridgewater looking like he MIGHT be a franchise QB, Mike Zimmer will be under some pressure for this team to improve.  The seat is now slightly warmer than room temperature.

Chicago Bears - With Trestman publicly losing control of his own locker room last year, this seat burst into flame about one season too soon.  1st year Coach John Fox will now get the pleasure of trying to get a winning team from a crew that features the team-killer known as Jay Cutler as its starting QB.  This is a cold, yet somehow uncomfortable, seat.


I suspect that there will job openings in New York, Carolina, and St, Louis/LA next winter.  I also predict that Pete Carroll will retain Tom Cable as his DC for as long as he wants him...  The expectations that are on a team can have some really adverse effects on job security, too.  Green Bay might be looking for a new coach in 2016, too, but I doubt it.  I think the Pack makes another deep run in the playoffs.  Dan Snyder may be looking for a new coach, too; in 2014 the job looked a little too big for Jay Gruden at times and that team is still a mess.