The Head Coach Hot Seat
The NFL season is at its midpoint and some head coaches are feeling the pressure to keep their jobs. Some are falling short of how their team was supposed to perform thus far. Others have been at a franchise so long and the club needs a change of culture in the locker room. Either way, altering the coaching staff is one of the best ways to achieve the desired effect. There have been rumors being spread all around the league about whose job is on the line. This story will examine a few of those discussions and determine whether those have any merit or not.
Head Coach: Matt Nagy
Matt Nagy has been on the hot seat all season. The Chicago Bears coach only has one winning season with no postseason wins since he was hired before the 2018 campaign. He was viewed as the answer to the team’s dismal offense before he came to the club. Nagy led the Bears well on that side of the ball in his first year there, but that has changed. They are currently ranked 27th in terms of points scored on offense this season. He is expected to be out of Chicago by the end of the year unless he can turn this year around.
It has also been rumored that Bears general manager Ryan Pace might join him in a departure. He was a key part in bringing Nagy in after all. The problem there is he is close to the team’s owner. It is reported that he could be transitioned to a different role within the organization. That would allow the team to bring in a new general manager while keeping Pace in Chicago.
Head Coach: Brian Flores
The Miami Dolphins were projected to be in the running for a playoff spot in 2021. The team won 10 games last year but fell to the Buffalo Bills in the season’s final week. This ensured they would miss the postseason. Dolphins coach Brian Flores looked like he was prepared to lead the team to their first playoff appearance since 2016. That prediction is way off the pace right now. Miami is tied for the worst record in the AFC at the moment. Flores has gone from looking like a rising star in the coaching world to being on the brink of being fired after the season. The team needs to win a few games this year if they want their coach to come back for another campaign.
Head Coach: Mike Zimmer
This season is Mike Zimmer’s eighth year as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. He has been a solid coach for the organization. Zimmer has a record of 67-51-1 as coach of the Vikings. He has led them to three playoffs appearances during his tenure as well. Minnesota even made it to the NFC championship game in 2017. Unfortunately, that is as far as he has gotten the team in his career.
The team has been stuck on the edge of making the playoffs four times during his time in Minnesota. It is looking like that is where they will end up again after this campaign is done. That is no easy task for any coach in the NFL, but stagnation halts progress in this league. The Vikings may be looking for a new starting quarterback after this season if they fail to make the playoffs this year. Maybe Minnesota will be willing to give Zimmer one more shot at making it deep into the playoffs, but it would not be surprising if they do not.
Head Coach: Vic Fangio
Vic Fangio is halfway through his third season with the Denver Broncos. He previously held the role of defensive coordinator for every team he has coached on since 1995. Safe to say he knows how to run a defense. He, however, has been less than impressive as a head coach. He has yet to record a winning season during his time in Denver. The Broncos are currently 4-4 this year. If he can take the team to the playoffs, he may get another year to prove he is the guy. He may not get that chance if he fails to do so.
Interim Head Coach: Rich Bisaccia
Rich Bisaccia is the interim head coach for the Las Vegas Raiders right now. He was thrust into this role after his predecessor Jon Gruden resigned from the job earlier this season. Interim coaches are not expected to hold onto that role for too long. They are placeholders until the team can find a new person to replace them. Bisaccia was expected to be the team’s manager until the season was complete. It appears as though his squad likes him as their leader right now though.
The Raiders are currently 5-2 and sit atop their division. This was a spot few people expected them to hold at all this season. He has guided his team through some rough waters along the way. Bisaccia first had to address the team after Gruden resigned. Now he is navigating another catastrophe with the Henry Ruggs situation.
If he can guide the Raiders through both of these events and make the playoffs at the end of the year, the team should probably give some thought about dropping the interim word from his title. If not or Las Vegas wants to go another direction, they could be looking to bring in somebody new to replace Bisaccia. Perhaps Lincoln Riley may be interested.
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