THE majority of the NFL has seen their bye week come and go, with the real NFL season set to begin over the next month. The trade deadline is behind us, the playoff picture is starting to take shape, but for some coaches, they are thinking beyond this season. For one reason or another, these six mentor’s find themselves under a ton of pressure to close out the season, with their position in 2019 anything but guaranteed.
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Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers (3-4-1)
Record with team: 124-74-2
TIED with Sean Payton as the third-longest tenured coach you would think Packers frontman Mike McCarthy will avoid the axe as long as Aaron Rodgers is under center. While his past accolades look great on paper, McCarthy’s job is anything but safe. A broken collarbone to their quarterbacking Jesus was the main reason the Packers missed the postseason for the first time since 2008 a year prior, but this season, they have no such excuses. Green Bay has lost three of their last four, albeit against the Lions, Patriots and Rams (away from home too), complicating their playoff pathway with an uphill battle in front of them. We have seen Rodgers finish the season with a flurry before and their record and the end of the season will go a long way in determining McCarthy’s future.
Dirk Koetter, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5)
Record with team: 17-23
NO surprises here. With the Bucs’ defensive coordinator fired already all signs point to Koetter being the next man to fall. Their impressive 2-0 start seems like a lifetime ago and inconsistencies at quarterback have made it impossible for this team to find a consistent groove, while their defense flat out stinks. Shoutout to Ryan Fitzmagic, for trying to breathe some life into Tampa Bay, but they are a lost cause. Harsh, but true. Unless they find some way to spread that Fitzmagic over their running game and the defense, Koetter is toast.
Image from theathletic.com
Todd Bowles, New York Jets (3-6)
Record with team: 23-34
BOWLES forged out a reputation as a defensive guru that helped him land the Jets job in 2015. He stormed to 10 W’s in season one but has only managed 13 wins in the two-and-a-half seasons that have followed. With Sam Darnold under center you could understand why New York covets an offensive orientated head coach, further casting speculation over Bowles’ job security. Some of the Jets’ shortcomings have been natural expectations from a young gunslinger QB, but it’s not like the defense has been well led and performing at a high level. Despite signing an extension in the offseason, signs of growth need to be on display to close out the season or Bowles might be shown the door.
Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys (3-5)
Record with team: 69-58
CONSIDERING the close relationship between Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and their head coach Jason Garrett, an in-season firing is unlikely. That being said, Garrett might not survive the offseason with some Dallas fans clamouring for an overhaul after a disappointing season to date. If this was a list of who should be fired then Garrett could shoot to the top, but the Cowboys’ fate seems sealed, for this season at least. If it’s time for some new blood in Dallas, Jerry Jones might not have to look far for Garrett’s replacement.
Vance Joseph, Denver Broncos (3-6)
Record with team: 8-17
THE bye came at a perfect time for Vance Joseph with mounting pressure on the Broncos head honcho. Fresh off a disappointing loss to Houston, in which Bill O’Brien (maybe) was mocking Joseph’s coaching decisions, we are left to wonder what the Broncos see in him. Joseph was almost replaced last offseason and with three tough road games coming in their first four following the week off, he might not get the chance to coach out the season. It seems like the whole Broncos front office is due for sweeping changes and I expect Joseph, eventually, to be the first domino to fall.
John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens (4-5)
Record with team: 98-69
THE previously 4-2 Ravens are, all of a sudden, back in a familiar position. After missing the postseason in the last three seasons, a string of losses has them sitting with the middle of the pack as their division rivals continue to climb. John Harbaugh is actually a solid NFL coach, but someone has to take the blame, especially if Baltimore fails to make the playoffs once again. The quarterback is the main problem for the Ravens, with Flacco’s health in question against the Bengals in Week 11. A week off could help their QB and galvanise this group as they try to reverse the trend of falling short at seasons end. If not then Harbaugh’s tenure in Baltimore will likely come to an end once the season concludes.
Banner from si.com