By DeMario Davis, co-host of the Cap Show
Will Norv Turner find his way out the door in 2012? (zimbio.com)
With the 2012 season quickly approaching, fans from far and near are starting to finally get ready for some football. The tickets have been purchased, the vacation dates have been approved, and they are ready to go.
Bur for some those feelings are not the same.
With the coaching carousel in the NFL changing the way that it has in the past 15 seasons, the word loyalty is non-existent. For these 10 coaches, they are on the other side of that word, hoping that with a little luck, they can turn their careers around, and avoid being on the way out the door this season:
1. Norv Turner, San Diego Chargers (107-113-1) 2011 Record: 8-8 (2nd in AFC West)
Wasn’t the Chargers projected the AFC favorite in 2011? This is the second straight season that the Chargers have missed the playoffs. The lackluster play of QB Phillip Rivers seemingly got Turner one more chance. In 14 seasons, Turner has achieved a 107-113-1 record and only four playoff appearances (two with Bolts). Anything less than an AFC Title will have Turner booted. There is no way a team this talented can continue to lose in the manner they have under Turner.
2. Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles (126-81-1) 2011 Record: 8-8 (2nd in NFC East)
Entering his 14th season, Reid is the most tenured coach in all of the NFL. You would think that a head coach that has the franchise’s all-time record in wins (126); nine playoff appearances, six NFC East titles, and a NFC Championship (lost Super Bowl XXXIX) would have nothing to worry about.
2011, was abysmal at best for the Eagles, after starting off the season 1-4. The most talented team in the NFC East continued to find ways to lose. It wasn’t until the end of the season, when the team realized what they were capable of, and pulled off four in a row to end the season with an 8-8 mark. It is safe to say that if the Eagles don’t win the division, and make it past the Divisional Round this year, we will be crowning Bill Belichick as the longest tenured coach in 2013.
After starting the 2011 season with a 7-3 record, the Chicago Bears went into hibernation mode, winning only one of their last five games. It can be said that the Bears weren’t the most favorable team, losing both QB Jay Cutler and RB Matt Forte last year. After adding WR Brandon Marshall during the offseason, and having a healthy team, there is no reason why the Bears shouldn’t be able to compete in the NFC North. Smith and the Bears have failed to make the playoffs in five of the last six seasons. Smith’s Super Bowl visit in 2006 has kept him in good graces, even though the Bears have won their division twice since that visit. If not for the 2006 season, Smith would have been gone; and he will be if the Bears fail to make a deep playoff push in 2012.
4. Rex Ryan, New York Jets (28-20) 2011 Record: 8-8 (2nd in AFC East)
If Rex Ryan could manage to keep his mouth shut, the chances of him being on the hot seat would be equal to their playoff run in 2011. Two playoff appearances in three years is never a bad thing; unless winning, you share a stadium with a team that actually has skins on the wall, and doesn’t just promise them every year, like Ryan does. If this team doesn’t make the playoffs this year, Ryan can start to pack up his belongings, and revamp his resume – then again, they do have QB Tim Tebow.
5. Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys (13-11) 2011 Record: 8-8 (3rd in NFC East)
Garrett is in his second full season as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Even though Garrett has completely changed the culture in the locker room, and posted a 15-13 in his tenure, Garrett still has to do more. Success for the Cowboys is measured by playoff wins, something that Garrett has not yet to achieve. He has kept things quiet in the locker room for the most part, but a hiccup from WR Dez Bryant will ensure that GM Jerry Jones will be keeping a closer look at Garrett’s style of coaching – and so will the fans.
6. Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals (69-74-1) 2011 Record: 9-7 (3rd in AFC North) *
Lewis is one of the longest tenured coaches in the NFL; he is also one of the longest tenured coaches with a losing record (69-74-1). In nine seasons, Lewis has given the Bengals faithful two division titles and three postseason appearances. Lewis’ hot-and-cold tenure has yet to yield him back-to-back winning seasons, or playoff berths. If the Bengals are not able to reach the playoffs, after last year’s playoff berth, it is safe to say the Bengals will part ways with being a mediocre team.
7. Leslie Frazier, Minnesota Vikings (6-16) 2011 Record: 3-13 (last in NFC North)
Frazier has been in charge of the Vikings for only one full season. The Vikings are rebuilding, and with the health of RB Adrian Peterson still up in the air, the team is poised to repeat their 3-13 season from last year. If Frazier fails to show upside out of his draft picks, while improving on last year’s season, Frazier will be given the boot, as quick as he put them on.
8. Chan Gailey, Buffalo Bills (28-36) 2011 Record: 6-10 (last in AFC East)
Gailey shouldn’t be in the hot seat just yet, however, with the revamped defense, which includes free-agent signing DE Mario Williams, this is easily the best Bills’ team on paper in over a decade. The Bills have are riding on seven straight losing seasons heading into 2012, and enough is enough in Buffalo – especially after last year’s disappointing season. If this team cannot manage a winning season with a roster this talented, the last thing the Bills will need to worry about is their head coach. Subsequently, he will be the first to leave.
9. Romeo Crennel, Kansas City Chiefs (26-41) 2011 Record: 7-9 (last in AFC West)
Todd Haley was given the boot with only three games left. Crennel took over, and went 2-1 in the final three games. This could quite possibly be Crennel’s last chance to prove himself as a head coach (24-40 with Cleveland from 2005-08). This team is leaps and bounds better than any team Crennel has been able to assemble, and we should be able to see his true character as a coach. This team will be ready to go, and so should Crennel – This is his last shot.
10. Ken Whisenhunt, Arizona Cardinals (40-40) 2011 Record: 8-8 (2nd in NFC West)
It is almost unfair to put head coach Ken Whisenhunt on this list… almost. Since winning two division titles and a trip to Super Bowl XLIII in 2009, the Cardinals has become lethargic, going 13-21, and missing the playoffs in the last two seasons. Arizona has no quarterback to get the ball into the hands of their only playmaker, WR Larry Fitzgerald. Wisenhunt seems to be just as lost as everyone else, when it comes to whom the starter should be, and this could become one of the many reasons why his job could be in jeopardy come the end of the season. If the Cardinals utilize both quarterbacks, and still fail to break even this year, 2013 could be the end for Wisenhunt.
* – denotes playoff appearance in 2011.