Sep 9, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Texans head coach Gary Kubiak looks at his play list during first quarter NFL action against the Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY
As teams approach the halfway point of the 2013 NFL season it’s clear who the contenders are for the playoffs and for the first overall pick in the draft. Which head coaches might not live to see either event?
Tom Coughlin – New York Giants – Seat: Mild
Normally starting the season 0-6 would have the ravenous newspapers of the Big Apple all over firing the head coach but after helping the New York Giants to two Super Bowls since 2007, he’s earned a long leash towards his job security. The simple fact is injuries and roster turnover haven’t done Tom Coughlin any favors. His defense is a mess and Eli Manning is suffering behind shoddy protection and little to no help in the running game. Coughlin has proven he can turn a team around quickly. He may not be able to save the 2013 campaign, but he’ll be back for at least one more go next year.
Greg Schiano – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Seat: Hot
There is no question the head coach on the fast track to getting fired is Greg Schiano. Aside from the rumors that he’s unpopular with his players, as evidenced by the feud with Josh Freeman, his Tampa Bay Buccaneers have followed up a 7-9 season with an 0-5 start. It really is shocking considering all the talent they have on both offense and defense. One glaring area that Schiano hasn’t fixed is quarterback. Rookie Mike Glennon replaced the ineffective Freeman but still can’t get the Bucs off the snide. Unless the second-year head coach gets a win soon, Tampa Bay will go shopping for somebody who can.
Dennis Allen – Oakland Raiders – Seat: Mild
Al Davis may have fired the head coach by now but in reality everybody knew that the Oakland Raiders brought Dennis Allen in to inherit a bad roster in need of rebuilding. Such a process takes time and unfortunately injuries have continues to hamper progress. Still, it seems Allen has them playing hard. A big win against San Diego was the first sign of life, and the surprising rise of Terrelle Pryor at quarterback should be a nice compliment to the defense Allen is trying to build with GM Reggie McKenzie. He is safe for the time being, but will need a few more wins to justify his mission.
Gary Kubiak – Houston Texans – Seat: Warm
The fact that two-straight playoff appearances haven’t quelled the outcries for blood is pretty much an indication of how long Houston fans have wallowed in getting so close to a football title and coming up short. Gary Kubiak was expected to get the Houston Texans over the hump in 2013 after falling short in New England last January. Instead his team has stumbled to a 2-4 start complete with late collapses and straight up beat downs. Matt Schaub has lost his ability to play efficient, effective quarterback. As a result the team is in danger of falling out of contention early. Kubiak must rescue the slide before it gets out of hand, or his job will be the first thing brought up for changes.
Leslie Frazier – Minnesota Vikings – Seat: Warm
He got the team to the NFL playoffs last season but don’t think that has given Leslie Frazier a very big grace period with the Minnesota Vikings. Brad Childress went to the NFC championship in 2009 and was gone ten games into 2010. Frazier making the playoffs is nice, but after an active off-season to upgrade the Vikings roster, fans fully expected the team to compete for the NFC North division title. Instead they are 1-4 and well behind their three rivals in that race. The first signs of Frazier losing control of the team was when management brought in quarterback Josh Freeman despite reports the head coach wasn’t interested in him. Something like that is never a good sign, which is why Frazier needs to start winning fast.