The NFL season is now about halfway over. That usually means that we are entering the time when head coaches get fired mid-season, interim coaches will step in, and come January, the frenzy to interview successful assistant coaches will begin.
This year, new coaches have helped teams such as the Los Angeles Rams and the Buffalo Bills be among the top teams in the league. So, which coaches are on the hot seat, and who might replace them next year?
One is Chuck Pagano. The Colts’ head coach once showed signs of being one of the best in the league, but his mismanagement of Andrew Luck and a poor record have created more questions than answers for the team.
Indianapolis’ general manager, Chris Ballard, is in his first year with the Colts and may prefer to make his own hire at head coach for next season. If Pagano is fired, look for Chiefs’ special teams coordinator Dave Toub as a candidate to replace him. Toub has interviewed for head coaching jobs before, and Ballard used to be in the Chiefs’ front office.
Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson is arguably not the most likely to be fired this season, despite this widespread belief. The Browns lack talent on their roster, but Jackson is in just his second year with already relatively low expectations surrounding his abilities. It should be mentioned that Jackson has won just one game in a season and a half. There is a large chance that he gets fired, but it is also difficult to see this as the solution for the deeper problems in the Browns franchise. Cleveland could recruit Texans’ defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel as head coach — the organization may like having a young former player at the position, especially a Bill Belichick disciple.
It’s amazing that Marvin Lewis has remained the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals for so long. Although they have had some strong regular season performances throughout the years, Lewis has also failed to see the team to a playoff win. Without his 15-year tenure as head coach, it’s a near-certainty that the team’s 2–4 start would cost him his job, but this year may finally be his last. Look for Cincinnati to hire within, as defensive coordinator Paul Guenther is a strong head coaching candidate.
The New York Giants are now 1–6, with most of their receivers out for the season, and fans are calling for head coach Ben McAdoo to be fired. If McAdoo gets fired, Vikings’ offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur could replace him. Shurmur has been a head coach before, and has been successful running a talented offense. The Giants need someone who can help their talented offensive core execute. Alternatively, the Giants’ talented roster could be enough to attract Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to the team, but the prospects of McDaniels leaving New England are unlikely.
There are many other head coaches on the hot seat. The Redskins could end up with another mediocre season, and a looming contract battle with Kirk Cousins, which could lead Jay Gruden to be fired. And if the Buccaneers continue to lose games, Dirk Koetter could be canned.
Additionally, there are many other candidates to replace fired head coaches, such as Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, and Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich.