I believe that the following Head Coaches will not be with their current team at training camp next year:
1. Andy Reid - Philadelphia Eagles. Andy has had a great run in Philly. 5 NFC Championship games. A Super Bowl appearance. But the 2011 Spending spree did not result in a better team. I believe that there were one or two too many egos and that has caused most of the problems for the Eagles. That and the fact that it seemed like the coaches could not take the time to keep their egos in check as well. I look for Andy out in San Diego next year.
2. Norv Turner - San Diego Chargers.
This firing has been a long time coming. The Chargers went from Marty Schottenheimer, a coach who did real well in the regular season, but couldn't win in the playoffs to Norv Turner, a coach who can't win in the regular season which means no playoffs for the team. Joining Norv will be GM AJ Smith. Exhibit A for the argument of AJ Smith being fired is the Vincent Jackson situation that finally concluded when Jackson went to Tampa. Smith and his hard line stance on contracts caused Jackson to want to leave for three years and now he is blossoming out on the Gulf Coast.
3. Ken Whisenhunt - Arizona Cardinals. Ever since Kurt Warner retired, the Cardinals haven't been the same. This year, the problem came into focus quite clearly. There is a need at Quarterback. Kevin Kolb was supposed to be the answer after signing a big contract after coming over from Philadelphia. Wrong. John Skelton has shown flashes of competence, but not enough. Ryan Lindley? A rookie isn't going to succeed here. The Cardinals are starting Brian Hoyer for their final game this year. He was claimed off of waivers on December 4th. So in 3 weeks, he has gone from Emergency QB to starter. That is a problem. The defense is solid, so the new coach just needs to fix the offense, which Whisenhunt has been unable to do.
4. Ron Rivera - Carolina Panthers. Too little to late for the Panthers. Cam Newton broke out of his sophomore slump after the Cats had been eliminated from the playoff picture. I don't see Rivera being brought back. The team got away from the running game which had been their staple and Newton could not handle it. Newton is the key to the team, and it seems like he has more nuances than most stars in the NFL. So the next coach will have to get him reeled in from his diva attitude.
5. Romeo Crennel -
Kansas City Chiefs. This problem is bigger than the Head Coach. It is an organizational problem. Scott Pioli needs to go, and the new President of the team and new GM will want their own head coach. Crennel isn't being given a fair shot, but that is life. However, there is not a classier coach in the league.
6. Mike Munchak - Tennessee Titans. When your owner, who lives in Houston, comes out to the press and says that he was so disgusted by watching the team that he owned play football, that he turned off the game, as head coach, you should be dead man walking. I believe that Munchak is. I am convinced that the winning record that Munchak had in 2011 was a byproduct of the system in place from Jeff Fisher. The only saving grace for Munchak might be that the Offensive line was decimated by injuries. I don't think that will save him though.
7. Chan Gailey - Buffalo Bills. The Bills spent heavily and believed that they had a playoff team. This was the year for the Bills to make their move and Ryan Fitzpatrick looked like Scott Mitchell. The defense didn't perform up to expectations and the 2 star running backs are both unhappy with the way they are being used. I think that the Bills can be a perennial playoff team, but they need to cut bait with Ryan Fitzpatrick and find a good young QB. Curt Cousins anyone?
8. Pat Shurmur - Cleveland Browns. Shurmur has the Browns playing decently finally. Brandon Weeden could be a serviceable QB and Trent Richardson is a stud running back. However, Shurmur will get the axe because the Browns are under new ownership and a new culture will be put in place for the franchise. The old GM and Shurmur will be part of that change in culture.
9. Lovie Smith - Chicago Bears. This is the unexpected name that I believe will be fired. The Bears missing the playoffs would get George Halas fired after the start the Bears had this season. The defense is having a stellar season, but they are getting old and you can see the cracks in the foundation. The offense is having problems, most notably the offensive line. And how many time can you blame the offensive coordinator for the offensive problems that the Bears have had over the years?
10. Jason Garrett - Dallas Cowboys. I believe that the Cowboys will win the NFC East, but it won't be enough for Garrett. I can see Jerry Jones getting rid of Garrett for a chance at Sean Peyton or Jon Gruden. Garrett hasn't made Tony Romo the QB that Jones can trust.
Rumblings but Coaches who I think get one more year to prove themselves:
1. Mike Mularkey - Jacksonville Jaguars.
Well, we saw that Matt Moore wasn't the answer at QB. With the expected addition of Tim Tebow in the QB picture, does Blaine Gabbert get another chance to prove that he has improved, or does Tim Tebow get his chance to show that he has improved his passing? The return of Maurice Jones-Drew will help Mularkey and the Jags record next year.
2. Dennis Allen - Oakland Raiders. Allen deserves another year. However, the future depends on him getting production out of the QB next year. That and hopefully the improved salary cap situation will allow the Raiders to actually have backups that should appear in an NFL game, not a LFL game.
3. Rex Ryan - New York Jets. For all the bluster that comes out of the Jets headquarters, I believe that the house cleaning that occurs after this season will miss Rex Ryan. But the leash will be short for next year and job #1 for the Jets is to find a QB that can hold the turnovers to under 15 for the year.
4. Jim Schwartz - Detroit Lions. Schwartz is going to have to get tough with his Lions. Too many mental mistakes and cheap shots out of the defense is causing the Lions losses. Another year like this one will have Coach Schwartz finding another job.