Monday, December 29, 2008NFL Coaches: Who's In, Who's Out
Tom Coughlin. N.Y. Giants
Brad Childress, Minnesota
Mike Smith, Atlanta
John Fox, Carolina
Ken Wisenhunt, Arizona
Mike Singletary, San Francisco (He would be in the next category but he's making staff changes without pressure)
Jim Mora Jr., Seattle (taking over for the departing Mike Holmgren)
Tony Sparano, Miami
Bill Belichick, New England
Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh
John Harbaugh, Baltimore
Tony Dungy, Indianapolis
Jeff Fisher, Tennessee
Should be Safe, But Might Have to Make staff and/or major personnel changes
Jim Zorn, Washington
Andy Reid, Philadelphia (in Reid's case the change could be removing his front office title)
Lovie Smith, Chicago
Mike McCarthy, Green Bay
Sean Payton, New Orleans
Gary Kubiak, Houston
That's 19 of 32 coaches. Not really a bad retention number for the NFL. I predict 26 of 32 will stick around. Here's who's left and their status.
Already Fired This Morning
Romeo Crennel, Cleveland -- Gone, will go back to being a solid defensive coordinator.
Rob Marinelli, Detroit -- Gone, will go back to being a solid defensive coach.
Eric Mangini, N.Y. Jets -- Gone, needs to refine his coaching skills. Probably will get another job right away and is bound to fail at that one too. Frankly he isn't ready and doesn't have any clue of how to organize his sideline.
Shouldn't Be Safe
Dick Jauron, Buffalo -- Anyone remember when Buffalo went 5-0? Well they finished 2-9 with one inexplicable loss to the Jets (a.k.a dead team walking) based on one of the worse coaching decisions of the year that was made by Dick Jauron. He has "led" the Bills to their third consecutive 7-9 season and has a career coaching record of 56-72. In other words, he's not very good. Never has been.
Wade Phillips, Dallas -- This goes without saying and the only reason I can think of a meglomaniac like Jerry Jones would keep Phillips around is because he's not sold on Jason Garrett but doesn't want anyone else to hire him. This was a terrible hire and yesterday it officially blew up in his face.
Mike Shanahan, Denver -- Here's a situation where a good coach has been in the same place for too long and it's time for a new direction. I expect Shanahan is safe and will be safe until he retires but mark my words when I say that Denver will not be a contender again until he's gone.
Norv Turner, San Diego -- Yes the Chargers won the AFC West...with an 8-8 record after a second consecutive slow start. When the Colts pound this time next Saturday it's going be an 8-9 season. This guy will bleed all the talent on this team to subpar seasons.
Might Be Safer Than You Think
Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati -- He's got the crutch of injuries and disgruntled players that he didn't want on his team to begin with to lean on. He's also got a cheap ownership that doesn't want to pay his contract without getting services rendered.
Jon Gruden, Tampa Bay -- I think Gruden hangs around for one more year because the Bucs are headed into a major rebuilding plan. The defensive stalwarts have past their prime (Ronde Barber should retire while people still think he has an outside shot at the Hall of Fame) and he can take next season's 5-11 record on the chin before getting the axe.
In or Out
Tom Cable, Oakland -- Wow, talk about an interesting situation. Here's a guy, dead in the water when given this interim tag and he's not only shown himself to be a fighter, but he's a RAIDER and is loyal to that franchise. He's also got that locker room believing. A victory over Al Davis nemesis Jon Gruden, kicking the Bucs out of the playoffs, is another positive on his resume. I think he's IN.
Herman Edwards, Kansas City -- The Chiefs weren't good, they weren't expected to be good. They did fight and lost many games by close margins. Unfortunately many of those games they should have won, especially a game against the Bucs earlier this year when they had a 17-point lead. With a new GM coming through the door I just don't see Herm sticking around and I'd be surprised if he gets another job right away. I say OUT
Jim Haslett, St. Louis -- The players are petitioning and the Rams were a tougher team with Haslett at the helm and he quickly improved player-coach relations, but he isn't the right man for this job. That being said, the Rams job isn't a desirable one and with a lot of money spent on defensive upgrades, the NFC West is there for the taking. I say Haslett is IN and gets a full year to show his stuff.
Jack Del Rio, Jacksonville -- Del Rio is going to be safe but a 50-46 record includes two double-digit loss seasons and this one comes after going 11-5 last season and supposedly making upgrades during the off season. So Del Rio is IN for another year but he'll have to make staff changes and quite possibly a couple he doesn't like.