NFL Coaches on Hot Seats Down the Stretch of 2022 Season
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For each motion, Newton’s Third Law states, there’s an equal and opposite response. NFL head coaches find the scientific belief holds true in regard to job security, too.
Make the playoffs, and also you’re very likely returning next 12 months. Miss the postseason, though, your future could also be unclear.
Already in 2022, the Carolina Panthers (Matt Rhule) and Indianapolis Colts (Frank Reich) have fired the pinnacle coach. More changes can be coming, particularly on “Black Monday” after the regular season ends. Between now, the perceived temperature of coaching seats can rise or fall sharply.
The next order is a subjective rating of a likelihood a specific coach is fired in the course of the current cycle.
On the Radar
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Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland Browns
On condition that Deshaun Watson hasn’t yet played, moving on from Stefanski—the coach who ended an 18-year playoff drought with Baker Mayfield—could be unfair despite the 3-7 record.
Right or improper, Cleveland mortgaged its near future on Watson. Stefanski has earned a probability to construct this reshaped offense, and 6 games in 2022 is a small sample. But when the Browns’ last six games go poorly, a frustrating 12 months might end in Cleveland giving another person a shot.
Dan Campbell, Detroit Lions
Although the Buffalo Bills snapped a three-game winning streak on Thanksgiving Day, Campbell’s security is trending up. After edging the rival Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears, the Lions toppled the seven-win Latest York Giants. Detroit is feeling decent today.
Nevertheless, that perception can change quickly if the Lions disintegrate. For instance, the schedule still includes the Jacksonville Jaguars. Lose there and shut the regular season with consecutive losses to the Carolina Panthers, Bears and Packers, and frustration will return promptly.
Ron Rivera, Washington Commanders
Rivera has similarly put himself on the appropriate side of the bubble as we speak. In mid-October, his outlook was growing bleak as Washington took 4 straight losses. Since then, the Commanders have a 5-1 record and sit merely a half-game out of the NFC playoff race. While it might take a complete collapse for Rivera’s seat to warm again, a difficult remaining slate leaves that possibility open.
5. Josh McDaniels, Las Vegas Raiders
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For those who imagine Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis, Josh McDaniels won’t be a one-and-done coach.
“So far as Josh goes, I don’t have any issues,” Davis said earlier in November, in response to Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I’m attending to know him quite a bit higher. Whenever you sign someone to a contract, don’t you expect him to satisfy the contract?”
Jeff Howe of The Athletic also reported McDaniels has been given assurances he’ll return in 2023. The signs are pointing to a comparatively quiet offseason for the Raiders.
They’re, meanwhile, the league’s most disappointing team.
The offense is very inconsistent. The defense has no meaningful rusher outside of star Maxx Crosby. Las Vegas’ only three victories are against the hapless Houston Texans and disastrous Denver Broncos. They lost to the Indianapolis Colts when interim Jeff Saturday, who’s never coached at a level beyond highschool, made his NFL debut.
Davis’ support keeps McDaniels’ rating low. Nevertheless, much of the evidence suggests he needs to be feeling the pressure.
4. Brandon Staley, Los Angeles Chargers
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Injuries occur to each team across the NFL. By some means, it seems the Los Angeles Chargers annually take an unfair share of health setbacks each season, though.
That could be a legitimate defense for Brandon Staley.
The issue, nonetheless, is L.A.’s nonexistent defense.
Once more, the Chargers have a vulnerable unit. Again, injuries have created a notable drawback. Among the many issues, All-Pro pass-rusher Joey Bosa and cornerback J.C. Jackson, a prized free-agent addition, have missed half of the season. Still, the Chargers rank twenty ninth in scoring defense and thirty first in yards allowed per play.
Staley can be protected if Los Angeles surges into the playoffs, and he probably deserves a 3rd 12 months anyway.
Nevertheless, the potential for rumors clouding Staley’s future will linger—especially if Sean Payton is actually an option.
3. Lovie Smith, Houston Texans
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To be clear, Lovie Smith entered a tricky situation. He accepted the promotion, sure, but each Smith and predecessor David Culley faced an unenviable task because the Houston Texans handled now-former quarterback Deshaun Watson facing quite a few allegations of sexual assault.
If the Texans fired Culley anyway, nonetheless, there isn’t any reason to imagine they will not consider doing the identical to Smith.
The discussion needs to be easy: Is he the correct coach to support a possible franchise-altering quarterback?
Heading into Week 12, Houston benched Davis Mills for Kyle Allen. Barring an incredible surge from him, the Texans are headed for an early pick—and quite possibly No. 1 overall—in a 2023 NFL draft that features touted prospects Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud.
Smith is a really capable leader but has at all times been a defensive-minded coach. The present offensive coordinator is Pep Hamilton, a well-regarded teacher but shaky play-caller.
Houston has several options to contemplate, and a few involve Smith remaining the regular boss he’s been. But when there are doubts Smith can assemble a staff to properly develop a QB, a change could also be made.
2. Kliff Kingsbury, Arizona Cardinals
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In the course of the offseason, the Arizona Cardinals signed each Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim to extensions.
That could be a complicating factor, needless to say. But a 4-7 begin to the 2022 season with one in every of the league’s least explosive offenses is making the calculation less obscure.
At this point, the query is not as much if the Cardinals are willing to set fire to many tens of millions to dismiss him (and perhaps Keim) as much as whether or not they can afford to maintain Kingsbury. It seems clear that either he or quarterback Kyler Murray needs to go away for Arizona to have a fairly fresh start, and Murray just inked a $230.5 million contract that’s way more burdensome to maneuver.
It’s possible the Cards try and make the pairing work in 2023. The very best versions of Murray and Kingsbury are electric.
The danger, nonetheless, is that little improves next season and Arizona wasted one other 12 months delaying a fix to what emerged as an issue late in 2021 and has develop into a glaring issue in 2022.
1. Nathaniel Hackett, Denver Broncos
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Nathaniel Hackett is in over his head.
That is the fast version of the story for the first-year Denver Broncos boss. Inside a month, the Broncos hired Jerry Rosburg to help with in-game decisions and clock management. Across the halfway mark, Hackett ceded play-calling duties to Klint Kubiak.
The issue is not that Hackett has an additional voice or that he isn’t calling plays. Loads of head coaches have analysts dedicated to the previous and coordinators handling the latter.
But when Hackett needs to maintain sharing or passing off responsibilities, where does it end?
Denver is 3-7 with the NFL’s worst offense. The team has wasted an elite defense all the best way out of the playoff race.
Hackett is a proven offensive coordinator who deserves that job somewhere next season. At the very least for immediately, nonetheless, he’s ill-equipped to run the show.