Gary Kubiak was the first can to get shot down. He won’t be the last. Several other head coaches around the NFL are beginning to feel the heat. Which names are in the most danger?
Mike Shanahan – Washington Redskins – Seat: Hot
As if threatening to quit in 2012 weren’t a big enough red flag, the fact the Washington Redskins are 3-10 and won’t have a first round pick in 2013 pretty much says it all about Mike Shanahan and his state with the team. Owner Daniel Snyder is reportedly pissed off, and who can blame him. After making the playoffs last year, this Redskins team looks nothing like that group that went on a late-season run and looked like a serious contender. Yet after regressing almost to point where they started when they drafted Robert Griffin III, it’s clear changes could be coming. Either Shanahan quits as promised, survives or, something that’s becoming more and more likely, he gets fired.
Mike Munchak – Tennessee Titans – Seat: Hot
It’s not a good year for coaches named Mike. Falcons coach Mike Smith is having the worst season of his tenure. Mike Tomlin cost his team a draft pick and himself $100,000 for an idiotic sideline gaffe. Shanahan is stated above. Now it seems Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak is seriously hot water. Getting blown out 51-28 can have that effect. Indeed despite some advances from where they were a few years ago, the Titans remain mired in mediocrity, good enough to contend good teams on occasion but lacking consistency. Given the continued problems at quarterback, Munchak could get the axe for a coach who is more proven at getting the most out of his players.
Leslie Frazier – Minnesota Vikings – Seat: Hot
They certainly get an A for effort. The Minnesota Vikings did everything possible to win their snowdrift of a game in Baltimore but as has become routine, couldn’t hang on to the lead. The failures of that defense, more than the ongoing carousel at quarterback, is the source of their problems. Problems of that nature must fall at the feet of head coach Leslie Frazier. The defense is his baby, and it’s clearly on life support. Never mind the inescapable fact that he’s 19-30-1 as the helm. It’s worth noting that Brad Childress, whom the Frazier replaced, was 39-35 and went to the NFC championship game when he got kicked to the curb.
Dennis Allen – Oakland Raiders – Seat: Warm
The general feeling is there remains a long-term commitment by the Oakland Raiders to let head coach Dennis Allen get the roster he wants in place. He certainly isn’t making that patience easy. Losing to the Dallas Cowboys is one thing. Losing to Geno Smith and the New York Jets is quite another. Allen’s defense and special teams were humiliated to the tune of 37 points allowed. Considering those two areas are his specialty, it was an especially glaring red flag about just how far the Raiders have really come since he took over. Not winning another game down the stretch might get the ball rolling on finding a replacement.
Jim Schwartz – Detroit Lions – Seat: Warm
Could the nightmare actually happen for Jim Schwartz. Just a week ago everything was in place. The Detroit Lions had thumped the Green Bay Packers and were facing what was apparently the easiest schedule left for any team in the NFC North to finish the NFL regular season. All they had to do was play like they did on Thanksgiving and it was in the bag. Then Reggie Bush re-aggravated an injury. Then the Lions blew a fourteen point lead in the second half, allowed over 260 rushing yards and surrendered 28 points in the fourth quarter to get blown out 34-20. Just like that, the feeling of invincibility for head coach Jim Schwartz regarding his job vanished. If his Lions somehow blow winning the division, it’s safe to say he is done in Detroit.