Monday, September 2, 2013

Some Like It Hot! 1st Annual NFL Head Coach Hot-Seat Power Rankings

Bill Belichick and Rex Ryan; You could say they're two guys
on polar opposite sides of the Power Rankings.

Do you feel it? Do you see it? The chill in the air. The browning of the leaves. All annual signs that it’s the start of a new NFL season and with it the chance/hope your favorite team can continue their excellence or return to its former glory.

As much as I love seeing which teams will step forward and which ones will fall back, I get just as much joy in the NFL coaching carousel. Watching NFL coaches squirm and wither away from the ever-mounting pressure of losses, the fans and ownership is as entertaining as the games themselves at times. In honor of all this “morbid” fun, I’m starting a new annual tradition. Let’s take a look at all of the coaches in the NFL and the level of job security each enjoys (Some are "enjoying" job security like a hard kick to the nads.) in my 1st Annual NFL Coaching Hot-Seat Power Rankings.

Dead Man Walking (Norv Turner Award)

(Named After the Coach that survived the most seasons as a Dead Man Walking.)
Coaches here already have their pink slips under their office chairs, even if they don’t know it. These guys could literally be fired by the time I finish typing this. Only an improbable Super Bowl victory saves their jobs. 

Rex Ryan – New York Jets 

Oh Rex! How we’ve all enjoyed the "funny" press conferences, Sanchez tattoos and foot fetish videos but it’s all over. Rex Ryan is the example of a guy that reached a job that far exceeded his qualifications. He’s a defensive coordinator at heart so we shouldn't be so surprised he backed the wrong QB and his team has zero offensive firepower. Rex’s seat is so hot, he may not last a full season in New York.

Blazing Hot 

The Coaches here are probably done after this season. Miss the playoffs and it’s over. Make the playoffs and it still may be over. They at least last through the season, but they’d need 10 plus victories and at least one playoff win to get another year.

Jim Schwartz – Detroit Lions

Schwartz is your classic case of a head coach with a seemingly talented team but he isn't winning. He's got a franchise QB, superstar playmakers on offense and defense, so why can’t he win? Look, dude did takeover a 0-16 team, so some credit has to be given but the team is far too talented now to be going 4-12.

The Lions have been horribly undisciplined at times and that always points to a lack of leadership from the head coach. Detroit MUST make the playoffs for Schwartz to come back in 2014. You can’t keep wasting the prime years of guys like Calvin Johnson and Matt Stafford.

The Texas heat isn't the only thing Garrett is feeling.

Jason Garrett – Dallas Cowboys 

I don’t care what Jerry Jones says about Garrett’s job security, this guy is toast if Dallas flops again. Few teams go into each season with as much unwarranted hype as the Cowboys, (Much to they’re own doing most of the time.) so the guy that coaches Dallas will always be under pressure. With Garrett at the helm the Cowboys have gone 5-3, 8-8 and 8-8. Far below the number of wins a team with this type of talent should have.

Bill Callahan was brought in this off season to handle the play calling duties, which still doesn't make any sense to me. I thought that was supposed to be Garrett’s strongest quality as a NFL coach, his unique and aggressive play calling. It’s like having a great pastry chef at your restaurant but when the restaurant starts failing you decide to bring in another pastry chef and move the great one you already had over to the grill to cook steaks. Makes no sense. 

Ron Rivera – Carolina Panthers

Unlike the two coaches above him, Ron Rivera doesn’t quite have the same level of overall talent, but his biggest issue is he seem's to have a franchise QB in Cam Newton but he can’t get the best out of him. There are few things worst/annoying than owning a fast car (Newton) and always driving under the speed limit. (Winning fewer than 8 games.)

In Rivera’s defense, in both of his two seasons as the head coach, the Panthers played much better in the second half. Carolina needs to get off to a much faster start in 2013 and at least be above .500. They win at least 8 games and Newton looks improved, I say Rivera could be safe for another season. Anything less and it’s over.

Mike Munchak – Tennessee Titans

This team really doesn’t look to be going anywhere under Munchak. They don’t look good or average. They’re bad but they don’t look like a complete dumpster fire either. Jake Locker doesn’t seem to be the right guy at QB and Chris Johnson hasn’t been the same since he sat out for his new contract. Playoffs and 10 plus wins saves Munchak’s job. 6-10 and no playoffs again and he’s unemployed.

Hot & Heating Up

Coaches here are in some trouble. Expectations are high so they must win but if they loss too badly they could be out.

Kubiak needs to win big to stay safe beyond 2013.
Gary Kubiak – Houston Texans

I was really close to putting Gary Kubiak in the list of coaches above, but he’s had too much recent success to say he’s in that much trouble. Unlike the Cowboys, Lions and Panthers, the Texans are coming off a season where they had 12 wins, won the division, made the playoffs and won a playoff game. 

Kubiak has the team moving in the right direction the only question is the same question you have with the team’s QB Matt Schaub. Can he get you over the hump? Like Schaub, you can win games with Kubiak, but can he win you Super Bowls?

Mike Smith – Atlanta Falcons

Mike Smith faces the same questions and situation as Kubiak. You could honestly read the above thoughts, replace Kubiak with Smith and Texans with Falcons and it’d be pretty “spot-on” for what Smith is going through in Atlanta. Including the same questions with his QB. The Falcons however, have far more aerial offensive firepower and Matt Ryan is probably a more talented QB than Schaub. Besides that, the Falcons are to the NFC what the Texans are to the AFC.


The coaches here aren’t in any real trouble but all bets are off if they lose 10 plus. Coaches here are relatively safe if they win 7 or more games.

Marvin Lewis – Cincinnati Bengals 

Marvin Lewis has been the coach of the Bengals for over a decade now with "mixed" results. His best team in 2005 looked primed to win big in the playoffs until Carson Palmer got his knee blown out and that was that. Palmer hasn't been the same since and neither were the Bengals. The Bengals really seem to be on the right track since they got Andy Dalton and A.J. Green but Lewis better start winning playoff games soon. There always seems to be some heat on Lewis so he can coach under the pressure, but 10 years, no playoff victories and underachieving with a team that looks to have great balance on both sides of the ball is not a good look. But he’s a Black coach and I gotta support the guy. It’s a Black Law. Like defending OJ and hating George Zimmerman.

Shanahan is pretty safe in Washington thanks to RG3.
Mike Shanahan – Washington Redskins

I really hate this team's nickname, so when addressing them I’ll only type or say “Washington”. Shanahan finally has his best QB since John Elway and he almost immediately screwed it up. Washington wasn’t expected to do anything in 2012, so getting 10 wins, the NFC East crown and making the playoffs should be seen as a huge success. Shanahan put a lot of pressure on himself by his mismanagement of Robert Griffin III's knee injury in the playoffs.              

That pressure has only increased after Shanahan said the team has Super Bowl or bust expectations. If Washington makes the playoffs again in 2013 it should still be seen as a great season. Especially seeing where the team’s coming from the past 15 years, but not making the playoffs isn’t the end of the world either. Shanahan would have to lose at least 13 games, get RG3 injured or killed, drive down to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and slap President Obama to lose his job.

Leslie Frazier – Minnesota Vikings

I’m sure even Frazier himself didn’t see the Vikings having a playoff season in 2012. Namely because his best player Adrian Peterson was coming back from ACL surgery, his QB was “subpar” at best and his defense was aging fasted than milk left out on the counter on a hot day. But Minnesota won anyway.

Peterson had the greatest season ever for a running back, won the MVP, carried the team into the playoffs and probably saved Frazier’s job in the process. The Vikings could and should slip a bit in 2013 and Frazier would still return, but if they lose 10 plus, and look bad doing it, he’s gone. I was "this" close to putting Frazier in "Hot and Heating Up", but remember he's Black.


These coaches are just safe. They could lose 10 plus and still come back, but they definitely see more heat in the next season if they do that. Most of these coaches either just got the job or are in year two of the job. The ones that have a year of service start to move up or down after this season. But for this season, they could win or lose and they still return.

Carroll's all smiles in Seattle.
Pete Carroll – Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks looked primed and ready to do big things in 2013. They have all the talent in the world on both sides of the ball and Carroll really looks to have the team focused on bigger goals than the division title. Russell Wilson just might be the greatest draft day steal in NFL history and could probably run for mayor of Seattle and win in a landslide.

Carroll isn’t in the next group of coaches because he’s missing that sustained or exceptional playoff success. Win or lose he’s safe to return in 2013. Win big and Carroll goes up a level in job safety. Lose big and he goes down a level. Carroll would have to have the Seahawks lose 13 plus and run plays with their helmets on backwards to get fired. 

John Fox – Denver Broncos

John Fox is one of the best coaches in the league that hasn’t won a Super Bowl. He took Tim “I Can’t Complete a Five Yard Out” Tebow and turned him into a playoff winning QB. He went to the Super Bowl with Jake Delhomme! (RE-READ THAT LAST SENTENCE!) So it comes as no surprise to me when he got Peyton Manning last season, he won 13 games including 11 in a row. 

Fox had one of the freakiest stats in NFL history at one point. Teams he coached had a record of 50+ and 0 when his offense scored at least 24 points. That all changed versus Black Jesus Black Tebow Ray Lewis and the Ravens last year. Fox and the Broncos have Super Bowl dreams again, and like Carroll, he could move up or down on this list depending on his team’s success in 2013.

Gus Bradley – Jacksonville Jaguars
Andy Reid – Kansas City Chiefs
Rob Chudzinski – Cleveland Browns
Joe Philbin - Miami Dolphins
Chip Kelly – Philadelphia Eagles
Marc Trestman – Chicago Bears
Jeff Fisher – St. Louis Rams
Greg Schiano - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mike McCoy - San Diego Chargers
Bruce Arians – Arizona Cardinals
Chuck Pagano – Indianapolis Colts
Doug Marrone – Buffalo Bills

Dennis Allen – Oakland Raiders


Nothing to say because the coaches here aren’t going anywhere. They’ve got Super Bowl appearances and/or Super Bowl wins. They'd have to lose 10 plus for a few years before they feel an ounce of heat. These guys basically quit/retire to lose their jobs.

The Harbaughs are going nowhere anytime soon.

Jim Harbaugh – San Francisco 49ers
John Harbaugh – Baltimore Ravens
Mike Tomlin – Pittsburg Steelers
Tom Couglin – New York Giants
Mike McCarthy – Green Bay Packers
Sean Payton – New Orleans Saints

God Mode (Saban Award) 

(Named After The Coach With Greatest Job Security in the history of football.)
This slot is saved for the one guy that could lose every year for a decade and still not move. When this guy retires, the team is going to try to talk him into staying longer. This guy is NEVER EVER feeling heat. He has statues outside of the stadium, fans name they’re babies after him and water towers in his hometown have his name painted across them. He doesn’t lose the job until he quits the job and if he wants to come back, you fire the guy that replaced him on the spot if it means he coaches your team again.

Bill Belichick – New England Patriots

Join the debate by leaving a comment below. Did you like my list or no? Did it get it right or wrong? Feel free to let me know. You can follow me on Twitter @ParisLay. Thanks for reading and as always Enjoy the View!


  1. How dare you misspell the name of the world's greatest coach...Belichick. lol

  2. Replies
    1. And way to put your boy on blast LOL...

  3. Ron Rivera definitely needs to prove himself but I think based on how well they played in the 2nd half, they might be fine. Steve Smith was saying how their previous OC was coaching like he wanted a job, not win games.

    The sooner my boys unload Jason Garrett the better but I have a feeling we'll be better this year. As for my Chargers - new coach (FINALLY!!!) but what I'm hearing is the S.O.S. Terrible O-Line, shaky running game. I don't know how much faith I have.

    Great list, fam.