The end of another NFL season and the beginning of a new calendar year is sure to bring change as unfilled goals and promises demand accountability. Here are my top 10 NFL coaching candidates to be feeling at least a modest amount of heat on their proverbial seats.
#10 – Chan Gailey – Buffalo (slightly above room temperature)
He’s probably only on the list because 10 is a round number and I only had nine. In fairness it’s probably way too soon to hold him to a standard that hasn’t existed in Buffalo for nearly two decades. Still the Bills have shown just enough promise to make management believe that there’s talent to be found, and although he didn’t make the deals, surely Gailey’s input was sought on the Marshawn Lynch trade and the Ryan Fitzpatrick contract extension, neither of which can have the Bills too happy in hindsight.
#9 – Andy Reid – Philadelphia (genuinely warm)
Deserved or not, Reid’s dismissal will surely be a hot topic this off-season. His resume is fantastic, but much like Jeff Fisher last year, you can only take your team to the brink of glory without finishing the deal so many times before it becomes a hindrance instead of an accolade. The Eagles broke profile and went “all in” this season, only to see September’s expectations turn into a season long folly. Safe money says Reid will bounce back if given the chance, meaning that if his act truly has worn thin there may be no better time than the present to make a move.
#8 – Tom Coughlin – N.Y. Giants (still rising?)
Coughlin is accomplished and putting him on the hot seat seems harsh, but it’s widely believed that his disciplinarian act can only play for so long before it wears down a locker room. The Giants made the playoffs in dramatic fashion, but are limping in and have been utter disappointments more often than not in big games this season. When and how they find their way out of the playoffs this season will likely determine Coughlin’s future.