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NFL: 5 coaches on the hot seat


November 16, 2016

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When you’re an NFL head coach, there are high expectations placed upon you, as every franchise and fanbase expect you to win every season.

But it doesn’t always go that way for coaches and things can go haywire and for some coaches, they lose control and end up finding themselves looking for work elsewhere because they didn’t live up to the expectations and when you don’t live up those certain expectations, that hot seat tends to scorch.

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Some head coaches thrive on the adversity of being on the hot seat in the NFL; Tom Coughlin, for example, was on the hot seat twice and responded with two Super Bowl championships with the New York Giants. However, not all head coaches are as fortunate as Coughlin and end up losing control and then, losing their job.

What coaches are currently on the hot seat entering Week 11 of the 2016 season and could find themselves looking for work elsewhere once January hits? Let’s examine:

Mike McCoy, San Diego Chargers

Four years ago, he was considered the innovative, offensive guru and offensive coordinator from the Denver Broncos who would help lead the San Diego Chargers and help Philip Rivers. His first season went well, going 9-7 and winning a playoff game in the 2013 season. But since then, the Chargers are 17-25 (26-32 total), and with the Chargers currently at 4-6 and in the basement of the AFC West, things don’t look to be getting any better for San Diego anytime soon. Another losing season and a third straight season without a trip to the postseason could be the beginning of the end of McCoy in San Diego.

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Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars

It has been awful for Bradley in his four years and the 2016 season hasn’t gotten any better, heading into November with a 2-7 record. Many thought the 2016 season would be the season where the Jaguars made the leap from being a Top 10 pick into a possible playoff contender, but that hasn’t happened, and now there’s talk of the Jaguars already looking elsewhere for a head coach; maybe even a reunion with Tom Coughlin, who was the team’s first-ever head coach in the franchise’s history. Bradley seems like a goner in Jacksonville, and it’s only a matter of time before he has to clean out his office.

Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis Colts

Pagano was rumored to being on the hot seat in Indianapolis last season and some thought the team might be looking to find another head coach elsewhere, but Pagano stuck around, as the Colts were decimated by injuries, especially to franchise quarterback Andrew Luck. But in 2016, things aren’t looking so hot for the Colts and Pagano, as they are 4-5 and trailing in the AFC playoff race. Pagano’s first three seasons in Indianapolis went very well, advancing further in each season until the 2014 season, going 33-11 and 3-3 in the postseason, but since then, the Colts are 12-13. If the Colts stumble again and don’t make the postseason, that might be enough for Indianapolis to consider making a change and looking to relieve Pagano of his head coaching duties.

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Jeff Fisher, Los Angeles Rams

When the Rams hired Fisher to take over as the head coach in 2012, they thought his success in the 17 years he had with the Tennessee Titans would follow, but lets be honest, it hasn’t. Now entering his fifth season with the Rams, they have yet to have a winning season and have hovered right around mediocrity from the start (31-41-1) and off to a 4-5 start.

With the Rams making the jump from St. Louis to Los Angeles, ownership could look for a fresh start at head coach if Fisher can’t get the team to at least a .500 season or better. He’s going to finally start Jared Goff, the team’s number one pick from this past draft. Starting Goff now might not even be enough to save him.

Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers

It’s crazy to think that a Super Bowl winning head coach might be on the hot seat, but when you have one of the best quarterbacks in the league and an offense that is struggling, fingers start getting pointed, and a lot of fingers are getting pointed at McCarthy for the Packers struggles, as they have now fallen to 4-5 in the NFC North.

McCarthy has had a ton of success in his 11 years as the Packers head coach and again, has a Super Bowl to go along with his resume.

But Super Bowl 45 was almost six years ago, and fans are starting to groan about the Packers struggles. Of course, Green Bay can always get things turned around, and McCarthy survives this.

If it doesn’t improve and the Packers end up with a losing season and out of the playoff race, then don’t be shocked to see the team look for another voice to lead the team in the future.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com