#4 – Jim Caldwell – Indianapolis (hotter than it should be)
Caldwell got little if any credit for the Super Bowl run the Colts made a few years ago in his coaching infancy, so to that end he probably shouldn’t take much of the blame for the season gone awry without the services of his skillful QB. If the Andrew Luck decision isn’t enough to keep the media surrounding the Colts too busy to ask how much blame Bill Polian deserves for the mess that the Colts were this year, or to wonder just how good the Colts roster around Manning has been for the past decade or so, then he may be forced to sacrifice Caldwell. I think without saying so, in Polian’s mind the season couldn’t have played out better for the Colts, nor could the future look brighter…if they play their cards right.
#3 – Norv Turner – San Diego (hotter than usual)
In the minds of the general public (and select Chargers fans) Turner has been on the hot seat since he was hired. Turner, long known for being no one’s first choice has been disappointing Chargers fans now for long enough that some may refer to “Marty-ball” as the good old days. The talent the Chargers displayed to bookend their season should serve to highlight the magnitude of the disappointment sandwiched in between that defined and spoiled the Chargers season.
#2 – Raheem Morris – Tampa Bay (hot)
I have to admit, I have been waiting for this one since the day that he was hired. Prior to his introductory press conference we knew a little about Morris. First was that he was young, second was that unlike other peers of his age on the fast track, he acted young. Morris drew heavy criticism for chest bumps and sideline antics as a position coach on the rise to prominence. The most important (and puzzling) thing that I knew about Morris before the Bucs introduced him as coach was that he seemed more responsible than anyone other than Jon Gruden himself for Gruden’s ouster from the Bucs job that Morris got. The 2007 Bucs made the playoffs and entered ’08 with promise. While they mostly lived up to that promise in the early part of the season, then seemed to fall apart, particularly on defense when defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin decided abruptly leave the team to join his son’s new Tennessee Volunteers staff. From there, under Morris’ direction, the defense appeared to quit. They seemed to do it again this year after a promising start to a season that followed unexpected success.
#1 – Steve Spagnuolo – St. Louis (burnt)
No need to expound here, various sources are already quoting this one as done and the Rams to be joining the Chiefs, Dolphins and Jags in the hunt for the next big thing.