There are 32 NFL head coaches. All of them face job scrutiny....but who's job seems to be in the most jeopardy? Here is my ranking of the hottest NFL seats:
1-DOM CAPERS, TEXANS. Capers' honeymoon period is over. Houston is no longer an expansion team - they want results. They've already canned a few peeople under him. Who knows how long it will be before he rights this ship.
2-MIKE TICE, VIKINGS. Okay, his explosive offensive teams could barely make the playoffs. The franchise's top star was shipped out of town. And there is that little issue with those Super Bowl tickets being scalped. Tice's job was saved by Moss wiping his butt on the goal post in Green Bay during the playoffs. No Moss...no playoffs...no butt wiping....no Tice.
3-MIKE SHERMAN, PACKERS. Green Bay may elect to blow this thing up if Brett Favre actually retires after this year. That was made most evident by their lack of locking in Javon Walker, before he was hurt. Like Tice, Sherman benefitted by a strong late season surge that landed them in the playoffs. He may not get that lucky now.
4-JIM HASLETT, SAINTS. This is a tough one. A month ago, Haslett was probably the guy on the hottest seat. But after Hurricane Katrina, Haslett HAS to be commended for holding this franchise together in the toughest of circumstances. Not only is he the head coach of a barnstorming team...he has had to play a home game at the opponent's stadium and playing in the best division in the NFC. It would hard to cut him off after he really has become the glue of the Saints franchise....but if he doesn't win games, he may still get the boot.
5-MIKE HOLMGREN, SEAHAWKS. The shame is that Holmgren has brought the Seahawks to heights it hadn't seen since Steve Largent and Dave Kreig were around. However, this team has struggled with composure in the playoffs and at the end of every game. If Holmgren misses the playoffs, he may be out of a job.
6-MIKE NOLAN, 49ERS. I would never agree with firing first-year coaches....but the Niners are a ways off from being somebody. I also agree that Nolan isn't likely to see an axe anytime soon. But he shouldn't get too secure right now/ How he handles Alex Smith is how he is to be treated himself.
7-MIKE SHANAHAN, BRONCOS. Since John Elway has left....the Broncos just don't win. Well, the do win games and get into the playoffs....but they can't move along in the playoffs.
8-ROMEO CRONELL, BROWNS. Only a few weeks in on a bad team....he has a win at historic Lambeau Field. This franchise has bided their time with previous coaches, too.
9-MIKE MULARKY, BILLS. Mularky's defense is still winning in Pittsburgh. And it is quite successful in Buffalo. The key will be offensive development...namely JP Losman's. In such a tough division, the Bills sometime get forgotten.
10-NORV TURNER, RAIDERS. Well, Al Davis loves to tinker with the coaches. But Turner is a perfect Al Davis coach. He loves to sling it and play brusing football. But, this is Al Davis....and he just made a big move to get Randy Moss in there. He didn't do that just as a fun idea.
11-JACK DEL RIO, JAGUARS. He's a well respected coach who's defense always plays hard and physical. The key will be if his offense can stay on the field and out of the training room.
12-DENNY GREEN, CARDINALS. Green has gotten some talent there in place....but most of it is young. And his QB is a reclaimation project. Still, in the soft NFC West, many thought this was his year. I don't think he'd get canned now...but he doesn't have many more years to get this going.
13-MIKE MARTZ, RAMS. Here is probably the most interesting situation in the NFL. I mean, is there a coach more second guessed than Martz? From replay challenges to run-pass ratio to time management....he's been tore apart by analysts. However, his teams continue to play well [even if they aren't great]. Also, he has had the cojones to know when to send MVP Kurt Warner packing for Marc Bulger [looks like the proper move]....he had the cojones to know when to put MVP Marshall Faulk on the bench for Steven Jackson [looks to be a smart move] and has moved from Issac Bruce to Torry Holt as the main WR threat. If only he was as smart on the other side of the ball.
14-TOM COUGHLIN, GIANTS. It isn't that he cannot coach...it is because his style wears thin on players. Especially veteran players. It was near mutiny last season with Coughlin, but the team fought thru. This year, the team looks much improved...but TC's leash doesn't get any looser.
15-MARTY SCHOTTENHEIMER, CHARGERS. He has brought success to this franchise...but Marty Ball is neither pretty nor a championship caliber option.
MAY BE ON THE HOT SEAT NEXT YEAR
16-LOVIE SMITH, BEARS. Hey, Smith got this Bears defense playing at such a high level....and he can't be faulted for their offense's problems.
17-STEVE MARIUCCI, LIONS. Two things. First, the bad. Despite spending top picks on three WRs [Rogers, Williams, Williams], a running back [Jones] and a QB [Harrington], the Lions offense still sucks. And that looks bad on Mooch. But, the good. Lions' ownership shows loyalty to their personnel to a fault [read: Matt Millen]. Still, the Fords aren't going to like the way this team is headed.
18-HERM EDWARDS, JETS. Great, great coach. But his teams don't always reach their full potential. He's a perfect NYC coach, as he is both quotable and structured. Win in New York, and you are a God.
19-NICK SABAN, DOLPHINS. The name and the pedigree have made him so sought after for years. If he can turn this thing around in Miami, he could be there for a looooong time.
20-JON GRUDEN, BUCCANEERS. Hard to believe that Gruden would have a short leash after taking Tampa Bay to a Super Bowl title....but it is kinda true. Many people feel that Gruden won with Dungy's guys, and when Gruden put his own stamp on the team, the team suffered. I mean, aside from some of the defensive stars [Brooks, Barber], most of Dungy's guys are elsewhere. So far, it looks like Tampa is on it's way back.
LOOKING GOOD RIGHT NOW
21-DICK VERMEIL, CHIEFS. It's hard to imagine firing Vermeil...but it could bedone if he wears out his welcome. Odds are that he would retire before KC would actually fire him.
22-MARVIN LEWIS, BENGALS. He is 18-16 in his first 2+ years in Cincy...but (a) the fans love him, (b) the players love hm and (c) the entire football culture has changed. He has made the Bengals cool again.
23-BRIAN BILLICK,RAVENS. Well, the coach has a Super Bowl ring. But for an offensive genius...he hasn't had much offensive success. The fact he's been able to win games despite this is quite an amazing feat.
PART OF THE FAMILY
24-JEFF FISHER, TITANS. Sometimes, it seems, guys can be there too long. I don't think that's the case in Tennessee. Look, this is the coach that took them from Houston, to Memphis, to Nashville. So he's always in the Titans hearts. And judging by their beat down of the Ravens last week...he can still coach.
25-JOE GIBBS, REDSKINS. It is really hard to even phathom Daniel Snyder firing Joe Gibbs. However, Snyder would pressure Gibbs to pack it in if the team is wanting to make a change. Still, Gibbs' legend keeps him on the self-imposed unemployment plan.
26-BILL PARCELLS, COWBOYS. It is just as hard to see Bill Parcells getting canned...but this is Big D where Jimmy Johnson and Tom Landry were run out of town. The Big Tuna has had sucess everywhere he's gone...so if Dallas can't get over the hump, it may not be Bill's fault.
WE REALLY, REALLY LIKE YOU GUYS!!!
27-JIM MORA, FALCONS. Of course, the key is to have Michael Vick like you...and it seems that is the case in Hot-lanta. I mean, that Falcons defense buys plenty of leg room for Vick to grow into a great QB. Everyone in the organization is in love with him....and if he keeps Atlanta in the hunt, then he should be fine.
28-JOHN FOX, PANTHERS. This is a franchise with only 3 head coaches....and Fox has been, by far, the mos successful! Fox has become part of the Carolina's community and has kept his team at a high, championship level. The organization will forever be endebted to him after taking over after the Rae Curruth and Fred Smith incidnets.
29-TONY DUNGY, COLTS. With that explosive offense winning games and that defense ever improving...Dungy looks to be a rock. But, remember, this was the guy that essentially lifted Tampa Bay from the dead, only to get canned and have Jon Gruden take them the final step.
NOT GOING ANYWHERE
30-ANDY REID, EAGLES. He has the distinction of helming a team that doesn't allow their players to act outside the team's interests. And despite all the griping and the like that Owens and Westbrook have done....Philly hasn't bitin to their demands. So it says alot about Reid that the front office backs him up like that. I mean, they did when he lost 3 straight NFC title tilts.
31-BILL COWHER, STEELERS. First off...who has the cojones to fire this guy?? The Steelers are one of the classiest organizations in all of sports. They crave and strive for consistency. Cowher has provided it over the past decade. They've been Super Bowl good and they've been a bad team as well. But Cowher has the respect of everyone in that organization.
32-BILL BILLICHICK, PATRIOTS. Well, duh. He's won 3 Super Bowls in New England and is regarded as the best head coach currently in the league. He's going nowhere.....except for Canton.