13 June, 2023
According to the folks over at CBS sports, here is their list of the 8 NFL coaches currently on the “hot seat” ie., in jeopardy of losing their jobs.
Every NFL offseason is a test of adaptability. not only for the players, but for all of the league’s coaching staffs. Just a year after 10 (!) roles changed hands, five different teams this season — or almost 15% of the NFL — will have new head coaches.
Unavoidably, there will be further change on the sidelines after the 2023 season. While many legends, including Andy Reid of the Chiefs and Mike Tomlin of the Steelers, are essentially locked into their positions for as long as they desire, a bevy of others are dipping their toes into murkier waters.
Of course, in a team sport, head coaches are not completely to blame for any issues that may be threatening their career, but in a results-driven industry and in a league that values parity, there is a cost associated with failure.
In light of this, the following list of head coaches will be more precarious in 2023:
Brandon Staley, Chargers
Year: 3rd | Record: 19-15 | Playoffs: 0-1
The 40-year-old Staley has kept Los Angeles competitive. However, despite having an all-star-studded lineup, his teams have dramatically collapsed when it mattered most. His first season concluded with puzzling time management in a Week 18 play-in loss, and his most recent season finished with the worst playoff lead blowout in team history—a 27-0 advantage. Staley is now placing his faith in Kellen Moore, his third offensive coordinator in as many years, to get star quarterback Justin Herbert across the finish line in the absence of consistent results from a quality defense.
Kevin Stefanski, Browns
Year: 4th | Record: 26-24 | Playoffs: 1-1
With Baker Mayfield under control, the seasoned Vikings assistant looked like the star after only one season, leading an 11-5 debut that almost resulted in a playoff upset of the Chiefs. Since then, his teams have steadily gotten worse, going from 8-9 in 2021 to 7-10 last season. All of his eggs are now in Deshaun Watson’s basket, whether he likes it or not; after the troubled former Texans star struggled after his suspension in 2022, Stefanski must swiftly revive the quarterback in the competitive AFC North.
Ron Rivera, Commanders
Year: 4th | Record: 22-27-1 | Playoffs: 0-1
Rivera’s ability to lead, the way he voluntarily accepted a divisive franchise, and the fact that he at least kept Washington in the running for the wild card, cannot be questioned. His signature defensive flourishes have also resulted in a D-line that is consistently stingy. The main reason he has gone 51-58 with no postseason victories since his peak with the Panthers in 2015 is that, like past administrations, he has alternated between mid-tier QB rentals. He is now asking Jacoby Brissett, a journeyman, or 2022 fifth-round pick Sam Howell to handle the load in a crowded division.
Josh McDaniels, Raiders
Year: 2nd | Record: 6-11 | Playoffs: N/A
As the general manager of the Patriots, Dave Ziegler, McDaniels benefits from operating in a power structure that is familiar to him. It’s obvious that he has been given the go-ahead to overhaul the New England lineup, bringing in Jimmy Garoppolo, Jakobi Meyers, and others while banishing stalwarts like Derek Carr. He’s now gone 17-28 in two different roles as the head man, and it still feels like their roster-building has them treading water. The X-factor: Tom Brady, a former business associate, is now an owner of the Raiders.
Mike McCarthy, Cowboys
Year: 4th | Record: 30-20 | Playoffs: 1-2
There is no denying McCarthy’s credentials; he has already been in charge of 10 different double-digit winning seasons dating back to his time in Green Bay. According to reports, team owner Jerry Jones informed him he wants him to lead the Cowboys for as long as Tom Landry did. Additionally, he has only ever won one postseason game in Dallas, upsetting elite offensive tools with puzzling late-game decisions in back-to-back season-ending defeats. It’s all on him as a play-caller to deliver the Cowboys’ first title bid since the 1990s now that OC Kellen Moore has been fired.
Todd Bowles, Buccaneers
Year: 2nd | Record: 8-9 | Playoffs: 0-1
Even Tom Brady couldn’t save a conservative and predictable strategy as the Buccaneers’ head coach, despite the fact that he has proven himself to be an expert defensive strategist. Now that Brady is gone, he will be under even more pressure to lead a top “D.” But given that he is already 34–50 in his head coaching career, will management want him in charge of the inevitable QB reset in 2024?
Dennis Allen, Saints
Year: 2nd | Record: 7-10 | Playoffs: N/A
He understands how to operate a true defense, just like Bowles. In addition, Sean Payton recommended him as his own replacement, thus he will always be revered in New Orleans. However, if you’re the defensive coordinator in 2023, you’d better have a quarterback solution. While the rookie Derek Carr is competent, he doesn’t exactly join an all-star group. Allen, who has a record of 15–38 in his head coaching tenure, must also contend with a strengthened NFC South, where the Falcons and Panthers should be more competitive.
Arthur Smith, Falcons
Year: 3rd | Record: 14-20 | Playoffs: N/A
In contrast to the other players, Smith isn’t viewed as a likely contender for the bench given how much Atlanta appeared to improve its roster after a busy offseason. He also dabbled in wild-card contention despite Matt Ryan’s unexpected departure in 2022. Nevertheless, he is asking second-year QB Desmond Ridder to lead a young squad to a multiple-win improvement as he enters Year 3 with no playoff experience. What if that doesn’t occur for whatever reason?