An Update on The NFL Coaching Hot Seats And Most Desirable Openings

Right after Thanksgiving, and shortly after the Raiders fired Josh McDaniels, I evaluated the job security of multiple head coaches across the NFL. With the regular season wrapped up, it’s time to revisit how right, or how wrong, I was about these coaches. There may have even been a surprise or two!

Your Fate is Sealed

Los Angeles Chargers – Brandon Staley

Washington Commanders – Ron Rivera

New Orleans Saints – Dennis Allen

2/3 on our first category. The Chargers ended up firing Brandon Staley after their embarrassing 63-21 loss on Thursday Night Football to the Las Vegas Raiders. Ron Rivera was let go by Washington shortly after the end of the regular season. No surprises for those two.

The big surprise here is that the Saints plan on retaining Dennis Allen. During the Saints season finale against the Falcons, Jameis Winston lead a mutiny. Rather than taking a knee, Winston and the offense decided to pivot and get Jamaal Williams his first TD of the season (he lead the league in rushing TDs last year with Detroit). Falcons HC Arthur Smith was furious, and Dennis Allen swore up and down he didn’t tell his team to do it.

It’s a bit embarrassing that the Saints are keen on keeping a guy who not only has a horrific coaching record, but also throws his entire team under the bus. This one makes no sense to me, fire Dennis Allen.

@frommypointofviewpod Mike Vrabel gets fired but Dennis Allen gets to kee his job? Yeah okay buddy. And ik i def got a bit too emotional here. #fyo #nfl #week18 #football #neworleanssaints #dennisallen #podcast #clips ♬ original sound - John Grimaldi


Chicago Bears – Matt Eberflus

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Todd Bowles

Buffalo Bills – Sean McDermott

Luckily for these head coaches, I’m 0/3 here. Todd Bowles and Sean McDermott are actually in the playoffs! The Bucs were able to come out of the muck that is the putrid NFC South, good for Baker Mayfield and Todd Bowles.

With the Bills, usually the last gasp for head coaches on the hot seat is to fire one of their coordinators, that’s what McDermott did with OC Ken Dorsey. Wow, was I wrong. The Bills completely turned it around and ended up WINNING THE AFC EAST. Honestly, a masterclass by McDermott.

The Bears, like the Saints, confuse the hell out of me. They’ve had years of head coaching mishaps. It went from Mitch Trubisky-John Fox, to Trubisky-Matt Nagy, to Nagy-Justin Fields, to Fields-Matt Eberflus. The Bears have been retaining their head coaches for one year too long and stunting the development of any QB they draft.

They fired basically the entire coaching staff except Eberflus, so will they keep Fields and trade the first overall pick? Or will they move on from Fields and stick Caleb Williams with a bad head coach that they will inevitably fire if the Bears miss the playoffs again?

Above Room Temperature

New York Jets – Robert Saleh

Atlanta Falcons – Arthur Smith

1/2 on this one, but Arthur Smith catapulted himself to “your fate is sealed” territory very, very quickly. Smith was let go just a few hours after the Falcons got blown out by the Saints, in a game that had a weird ended, as previously mentioned. When you squander Drake London, Kyle Pitts, and Bijan Robinson week in and week out, you don’t deserve to keep your job.

It’s clear to see where Robert Saleh sits: he is tied to the hip of Aaron Rodgers. Both Saleh and Jets’ GM Joe Douglas will be gone as soon as Rodgers is.

Might Vacate Their Seat

Tennessee Titans – Mike Vrabel

New England Patriots – Bill Belichick

Shockingly, I was 2/2. The Titans seemingly have decided to go full rebuild tank mode. Vrabel was reportedly denied roster control prior to the start of the season, so that probably lead to his eventual dismissal. Vrabel is a fantastic coach who will undoubtably be in high demand.

Bill Belichick and the Patriots decided to “part-ways” the same day as Nick Saban retired from Alabama, truly a crazy run in sports. During his exit press conference, Patriots owner Robert Kraft actually said that it will be weird to see Bill on the other sideline wearing his signature cutoff hoodie. So it seems like Belichick has every intention of continuing to coach and getting that all-time wins record.

Seattle Seahawks – Pete Carroll

SURPRISE. In a shocking move, Pete Carroll decided to take a step back from coaching. According to the Seahawks, Carroll will continue being a part of the organization in a front office role. Carroll, Belichick, and Saban all in their 70s and hanging it up, insane. 

Most Desirable Head Coaching Vacancies

Washington Commanders

The Commanders hold the second overall pick, which puts them in position to draft North Carolina QB Drake Maye. Their defense is bad, but new owner Josh Harris seems intent on changing the franchises luck. Getting a promising rookie QB is enticing.

New England Patriots

The Patriots are lined up to hire one of their own. Rumors were already circulating that Jerod Mayo will step in as the new head coach, but with Mike Vrabel available, maybe the Patriots give him a ring? They also own the third overall pick, what are the chances they trade up to 1:1 for Caleb Williams? Given how the Bears are setting things up, it seems ever likely that they will move the pick for a haul.

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons have a QB problem. They won’t be in a position to draft one this year, and there aren’t many available in free agency or for trade. Justin Fields would be a great fit, but who knows if he is available? They have a decent defense, decent cap space, and a crazy amount of high upside position players on offense. If they could figure out the QB the Falcons could be dangerous, that’s a big ‘if’ though. 

Seattle Seahawks

The semi-retirement of Pete Carroll took many by surprise, but Seattle could be an interesting job. Their long-term QB situation isn’t great, and to be honest, Carroll had that roster playing well above their expectations for the last two years. They have a solid young core of DK Metcalf, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Kenneth Walker, and others. Not a bad place to go, all things considered.

Los Angeles Chargers

This may have been the second-least desirable spot to land if the QB wasn’t Justin Herbert. The defense is horrendous, and old. The offense is old. They’re something like $40 million over the cap. It’s a mess for the Chargers. But you have Justin Herbert, and that might just be enough.

Las Vegas Raiders

Let’s be real, if Mark Davis doesn’t hire Antonio Pierce then he is a fool, but it would also be classic Raiders to overpay for someone else. Pierce had this team playing with a fire under their ass since he took over, and he clearly has the respect of the players. Easy decision here, but the Raiders never make the easy decision.

Tennessee Titans

Full rebuild, project QB, not a ton of young talent, questionable GM. I don’t see this going well for the Titans. If I had to bet, I’d say they are a top five draft pick next year. Butchering the AJ Brown trade set them back.

Carolina Panthers

Bryce Young struggled his rookie year, to put it nicely. However, the least attractive thing about this job is having to work under arguably the worst owners in sports, David Tepper. Interfering with draft picks, throwing drinks on fans, who would want to work for this guy?

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