It seems like we are talking about coaching changes earlier than usual this year, with many teams off to terrible starts. Even before the season started, there were rumblings that Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was on the outs with GM Ryan Grigson. They let him go into the season as a “lame duck coach”–meaning no contract for 2016.
Feels a lot like 2014, when rumors of friction swirled between San Francisco HC Jim Harbaugh and 49ers front office. We all saw how that played out.
Vacancies: The Miami Dolphins are the first team to put the axe to their head coach, just 4 games into the season. Depending how Ryan Tannehill and the rest of the team do going forward, seems like they might do a total house cleaning.
On the hot seat: As I mentioned above, Chuck Pagano is already under the gun. Andrew Luck and the offense has taken a step back, more so due to lack of talent on the offensive line. Not extending him a contract going into the season isn’t an automatic dismissal, but it’s not a very nice thing to do.
Jim Caldwell is no doubt feeling the pressure of having an 0-5 start. Just a year ago Lions were considered a playoff contender. Matthew Stafford has taken another step back in the 2nd year of Joe Lombardi’s offense. Even Golden Tate, who had nice success last year is a non-factor. They can’t run the ball. I’m guessing if they finish the season with a sub .500 record, Caldwell and his staff will be looking for work.
Sean Payton is feeling some warmth down in the big easy. The Saints are off to a 2-4 start and Drew Brees is looking more like Matthew Stafford than the All-Pro gunslinger. There are rumblings that Payton would be up for considering a mutual parting. He is also being mentioned for the vacant USC head coaching job.
The Washington Redskins–what can I say? As long as Daniel Snyder is the owner, they aren’t doing anything. Robert Griffin III is not the answer. That is not so much on Jay Gruden, but even Kirk Cousins seems to have taken a step back. Gruden might get one more chance to bring in “his QB”, but I would not be surprised if they made a move at the end of the season.
Chip Kelly might have outdone himself this past off-season with all his crazy moves. If things don’t improve, he will no doubt be highly sought after in the college ranks.
Grass is looking greener: Andy Reid might not be on the hot seat, but after 3 years, his team seems to be headed in the direction his former Eagles were when he left them: losing it’s identity and not very effective on offense. Injuries are playing a big part in the decline, but even when the team was at full strength they had a disappointing loss to Denver and barely beat a horrible Houston Texans team. Not to mention letting a game slip away to my Chicago Bears.
It might be a little too early, but Mike McCoy in San Diego could be feeling a little pressure if the team fails to make the playoffs for a 3rd straight year. Philip Rivers is not the young stud QB he once was. I’m not sure they have enough around him to make a deep playoff run. Would McCoy get the chance to rebuild? Perhaps.
The Cleveland Browns are a mess and Johnny Manziel just got pulled over for a domestic dispute with his gal-pal. While no arrests were made, alcohol was involved which could be a problem for a young man who was in rehab for alcohol abuse not too long ago. Unless they fire the GM, I don’t expect much to happen.
There will no doubt be other considerations as the season progresses and the usual 1-2 surprises. Stay tuned!