As the NFL regular seasons winds down, several teams prepare for the playoffs while others mull the futures of many on their roster, including the head coaches. Who is looking good, or not so good for 2014?
Rex Ryan – New York Jets – Status: In
A lot of fans want him out. Not making the playoffs for three years can have that effect but the question at hand is whether Rex Ryan is really the problem for the New York Jets. He’s gotten some quality wins this season, still fields great defenses and has a handle on getting the running game in gear. What he needs is consistency from the quarterback spot, which he’s not getting. One more year may be worth the risk considering his players love him and by that point the offense under Marty Mornhinweg will be fully implemented
Mike Shanahan – Washington Redskins – Status: In
First it was a rumor he almost quit, then it was a power play to try to get fired by benching Robert Griffin III. The only thing clear is Mike Shanahan has a very cloudy future with the Washington Redskins. He did reach the playoffs last year and with some help on defense has the experience to affect a turnaround. The wild card is whether Dan Snyder has that kind of faith.
Wade Phillips – Houston Texans – Status: Out
Gary Kubiak is out and nothing has changed under Wade Phillips. The Houston Texans are still losing and on pace for the first overall pick. News has already emerged that the team is interviewing veteran head coach Lovie Smith for the job in 2014, a clear cut signal that Phillips is gone next year. Changes were expected, so this is by no means a big surprise.
Mike Munchak – Tennessee Titans – Status: Out
Not making the playoffs during his tenure and being unable to stabilize the quarterback position is the blueprint for lots of head coaches losing their jobs. Mike Munchak has done well improving the overall talent of the roster but he can’t get any consistency out of his team. Tennessee Titans ownership is tired of falling short of expectations and Munchak is likely their first dismissal.
Dennis Allen – Oakland Raiders – Status: Out
Being on track for a second-straight season of finishing at 4-12 pretty much says it all. The Oakland Raiders have insisted they’re willing to have patience with Dennis Allen, but it’s clear not winning can often change minds in a hurry. Allen needs a couple of wins to end the year if he’s to have any shot at getting a third try to push the Raiders over the hump and back into relevance. Don’t expect him to make it happen.
Jason Garrett – Dallas Cowboys – Status: Out
If the coach and the team hold true to form, the Dallas Cowboys will finish 8-8 for th third-straight season, proving once and for all that Jason Garrett is an average coach who can’t make the necessary adjustments to win enough close games. Yes, he’s had to deal with injuries but so does every other coach. By contrast Chicago rookie coach Marc Trestman lost five starting defenders and his starting quarterback. The Bears are 8-6. No more excuses are available for Garrett.
Tom Coughlin – New York Giants – Status: In
At the end of the day winning two Super Bowls and not having a losing record since 2004 should afford Tom Coughlin the benefit of the doubt. The New York Giants roster is in need of some work and dumping the head coach is often not the best solution for that. Coughlin has shown an ability to bounce back from tough seasons and the Giants are typically good about showing patience. They should give him another year to correct things.
Jim Schwartz – Detroit Lions – Status: Out
Probably no head coach has his future tied to the final two game of the regular season than Jim Schwartz. His Detroit Lions let a golden opportunity slip away when they collapsed against Baltimore, relinquishing control of the NFC North and their playoff destiny. It’s so hard for many to understand considering the talent Detroit has across their roster, which is often a sign the head coach isn’t doing a good enough job. Winning out is not hard to forsee, but if the Lions fail to make the playoffs it will be on his head.
Leslie Frazier – Minnesota Vikings – Status: Out
Not everything about the 2013 NFL season is his fault but the fact remains Leslie Frazier had a 10-6 squad last year, got three first round picks added to the roster in April and is set to finish well below .500. That is inexcusable for a head coach. There’s no doubt the Minnesota Vikings have talent on their team but the defense is a wreck and there’s no consistency at quarterback. Other head coaches have been fired in Minnesota with far better records than the one Frazier has, which is not a good sign for him.
Greg Schiano – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Status: Out
Some might think the winning streak during the middle of the season in which the offense came to life under Mike Glennon was enough to stave off Greg Schiano from being dismissed as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. No. The fact remains that he is in charge of a very talented roster and holds a record of 4-10. Whispers out of team headquarters throughout the year were a mixed mess of players who claimed they hated Schiano and those who said he was simply misunderstood. Word of mouth doesn’t tell the tale. Being 11-19 in two seasons says a lot more.