By: Brandon Blake
With the NFL Season a little more than two months away, it is never too early to discuss the head coaches who look to be on the hot seat heading into the 2016-2017 NFL Season.
Here is my list of NFL coaches who need to perform well in order to avoid getting fired.
*Marvin Lewis-Cincinnati Bengals
*Years as a Head Coach-13
*Career Record: 112-92-2
It goes without saying that Marvin Lewis is the most successful head coach the Bengals have had. In 13 seasons as head coach, Lewis has taken the Bengals to the postseason seven times and have won the AFC North four times.
He is on this list because of his playoff track record, or lack thereof. Lewis is 0-7 in the playoffs and the loss to the rival Steelers at home in the Wild Card round last January, should put Lewis on the hot seat. With the Steelers and Ravens looking to dethrone the defending AFC North champs, if the Bengals have another playoff flameout (or miss the playoffs) will the Bengals front office make the change and drop Lewis?
*Gus Bradley-Jacksonville Jaguars
*Years as a Head Coach-Four
*Career Record: 12-36
The Jaguars front office have been very patient with Bradley by giving him a one-year extension thru 2017 after he has won only 12 games in three years at the helm.
Heading into 2016, Bradley has an offense with some nice, young talent in Blake Bortles, Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson and a talented, but young defense with promising rookies Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack and a healthy Dante Fowler. In a AFC South where the Texans barely won it by one game, the heat is on for Bradley to compete in a winnable division but if not, expect a head coaching change in Duval county in 2017.
*Jeff Fisher-LA Rams
*Years as a Head Coach-19 (Four with the Rams)
* Career Record 170-156-1 (27-36-1 with the Rams)
It has to be a remarkable feat that Jeff Fisher has kept his job for this long with the Rams without having a single winning record. He is 27-36-1 since taking over the Rams and while they have had some moments of success (sweeping the Seattle Seahawks last season and a talented front four on defense), it has not translated into any type of playoff success.
As the Rams move from St. Louis to Los Angeles, a new quarterback who is the number one overall pick in the 2016 draft, and the emergence of running back Todd Gurley, the time is now for Jeff Fisher to make a serious move in the NFC landscape or he could be out as head coach.
*Mike McCoy-San Diego Chargers
*Years as a Head Coach-Three
Last season was difficult to say the least for McCoy and the Chargers. Injuries really took a toll on the team and the possible move the Los Angeles have left the coach in the hot seat should the Chargers fail to either get back to .500 or return to the postseason.
For that to happen, Philip Rivers must be healthy and the offense must be clicking and the defense must elevate itself from bad to at least competent. If Rivers or any key offensive players are hurt and the defense shows no improvement, expect the Chargers to part with Mike McCoy whether they stay in San Diego or not.
*Jim Caldwell-Detroit Lions
*Years as a Head Coach- Five (Two with the Lions)
*Career Record-44-36 (18-14 with the Lions)
Caldwell was pretty close to being fired last season but the Lions closed out the second half of the season very well by going 6-2 to finish the season at 8-8.
But with a new general manager and no Calvin Jonson and competing in a NFC North division with the Packers and the up-and-coming Vikings, it is going to be tough sledding for Caldwell and the Lions this season and he may need another late season finish to give him a fourth season in the Motor City but those chance seem slim.
*Years as a Head Coach-Five and a half years
Here is something that you may (or may not) know about Jason Garrett: Did you know that he is the longest tenured Dallas Cowboys head coach that Jerry Jones has ever had? Garrett has coached the Cowboys longer than Jimmy Johnson has but Jimmy Johnson has two Super Bowls while Jason Garrett has only made the playoffs once back in 2014.
The Cowboys in 2015 were devastated by injuries as the team lost Tony Romo and Dez Bryant to season ending injuries that sent the Cowboys in a tailspin and out of the postseason. Heading into 2016, the Cowboys return Romo, Bryant a still very good offensive line and a new rookie running back in Ezekiel Elliot. This team, in my opinion, should be the favorites to win the up-for-grabs NFC East but if the injuries continue in 2016 and the Cowboys miss the playoffs again, I expect Garrett will be shown the door.