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NFC Coaches On The Hot Seat

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As part of the ramp up for training camp and the season, we take a look at which coaches around the league are in danger (or not) of losing their jobs this season. We begin with the NFC, which we don't usually care about too much, except for one division.

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In January, we saw a fairly typical turnover in NFL head coaches (including the two that were fired in the middle of the season). As usual, I will rate the job security of the coaches by the heat of the seat.  We will start with the divisions that matter the least to us Bolts fans:

NFC East

Philadelphia -€” I predicted that Chip Kelly would be safe going into next year, but it seemed as though GM Kelly managed to get Head Coach Chip canned.  New Head Coach Doug Pederson will get a chance to get the Eagles off the ground.  Pederson has not yet had a chance to warm this seat.

New York -€” Coughlin is gone and former offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo got the promotion to the head coach slot.  This fits with an organization that goes all out to preserve stability.  It may work against McAdoo in this case though.  If the Giants are really, really bad this season, the owners may conclude that they need a head coach that can provide a fresh look at the team and a complete makeover. Some residual heat left over from Tom Coughlin is on this seat.

Washington -€” Jay Gruden did get his QB situation figured out.  Now it remains to be seen if he can get a team that seems to be going in the right direction into the playoffs.  There is some warmth on this seat as Dan Snyder is not too patient of an owner.

Dallas -€” Things got ugly in Dallas, but a season with QB "play" coming from Brandon Weedon and Matt Cassel spared Jason Garrett from getting axed.  If Romo stays healthy this season, and the Cowboys miss the playoffs, Garrett may be cut loose in January.  This seat is warm, but not dangerously so...yet.

NFC North

Green Bay -€” Mike McCarthy keeps winning enough in the regular season to keep his job.  There is not really any reason to think that will change this year, although he could use a little help from a better defense, and the team having the same type of health it had in 2014 and not the injury plagued 2015 season.  This is a fairly cool seat.

Detroit -€” Jim Caldwell returns for season 3 (usually a "make or break" year, unless you coach in San Diego) after a 2015 disaster.  Continued deterioration of the team may have him looking for work in 2017.  This seat is one of the hotter ones in the NFC this season.

Minnesota -€”Mike Zimmer has the Vikings relevant again.  Barring a setback, his job should be safe.  The seat here is pretty cool.

Chicago -€” John Fox gets one more season to get the Bears back on the +.500 side and headed for better days.  How he can do that with a more volatile offensive coordinator than Adam Gase trying to keep Jay Cutler interested will be an interesting storyline at some point this season.  This seat is room temperature.

NFC West

Seattle -€” Pete Carroll is on a coaching seat colder than the January wind blowing across Puget Sound.

Arizona -€” In a similar manner, Bruce Arians seat is also decidedly chilly.  He will get another crack or two at bringing a silver trophy to the Valley of the Sun.

Los Angeles -€” (It still feels strange to type that when discussing an actual NFL team.)  I have wondered for years how Jeff Fisher keeps this job.  If he was not fired after last season, I am wondering what type of behavior would EVER get him canned.  Now he has a built-in excuse of a rookie QB for another season.  My thermometer is apparently broken when it comes to this seat; if I were the Rams GM, he probably would have been gone 3 or 4 years ago.

San Francisco -€” Last season, I figured Jim Tomsula was safe "unless the York family sees Tomsula being grossly incompetent".  I guess the York clan saw what the rest of us did, although he got very little help from his QB's or the rest of the roster.  Now Chip Kelly tries to elevate the ‘Niners to the level that Seattle and Arizona are at, this time without being given control over the roster.  Kelly has a coaches seat that is Year 1 cool.

NFC South

(This division holds some interest for us Bolts fans this season.)

Carolina -€”Ron Rivera, fresh off of a Superb Owl appearance, has one of the coolest seats in the league this season.

New Orleans -€”Sean Payton returns to seat that is growing painfully warm.  One of the best offensive coaches in the game, his team's defensive ability has undermined any success in the Bayou.  This seat is hotter than the Delta in August.

Atlanta -€” Dan Quinn went .500 in his rookie year, which was an improvement.  Barring a complete collapse or losing control of his locker room, he should get a shot at a 3rd season.  This seat has a comfortable temperature.

Tampa Bay -€” Lovie Smith did not get a 3rd season, but in a move similar to the Giants, the Buccaneers promoted their Offensive Coordinator to Head Coach.  This was seen as a way of getting some fresh, energetic blood on the sideline without sidetracking the development of Jameis Winston.  This seat is first year cool, subject to how much progress the front office sees Winston making.

In The Danger Zone

If I were a betting man, I would predict that Jim Caldwell, Sean Payton, and Jeff Fisher are looking for work next January after another bad season for their teams.  I would also not be surprised if Jason Garrett was added to the ranks of the unemployed in early 2017.