Which Head Coaches Are Safest Entering The 2016 NFL Season?


It’s once again time for our “Hot Seat Rankings.”  How accurate were our rankings last year?  Each of our Top 5 head coaches on the “hot seat” lost their jobs.  Although we certainly don’t root for anyone to lose their job, this is an accurate barometer of the NFL’s tenuous job security.

It’s time to look at which coaches are safest for 2016.

No. 32, The Safest Head Coach- Bill Belichick, New England Patriots

It’s no surprise that the best head coach in the NFL has the most job security.  Belichick is inching closer to best ever status and the only thing that can prevent him from being gainfully employed by Robert Kraft would be another scandal…and that probably wouldn’t even do it.

Belichick is the ultimate example of “he can take his and beat yours, and take yours and beat his.”  There’s no NFL team that has a better game plan on both sides of the ball each and every week.  Although many will point to his proficiency in hiring a great staff (which is a huge part of being a head coach), but since his staff seems to fail every time they leave the proverbial nest, there’s no arguing that Belichick is indeed the guru.

No. 31- Gary Kubiak, Denver Broncos

It generally helps one’s job security to be best friend’s with your boss.  What helps it even more is winning a Super Bowl in your first year as head coach.

Gary Kubiak currently walks on water with the Denver Broncos organization, even if the team he took over was already ready-made.  Still, it was Kubiak that helped guide them over the top and the way he handled an epic quarterback controversy cemented him in Broncos lure.

We’ll find out a little more about Kubiak this season as he has to start fresh at the quarterback position, but if he can lead this Denver team to another playoff berth with either Mark Sanchez or rookie Paxton Lynch, he will be considered among the best in the league.

No. 30- Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers

Riverboat Ron has guided Carolina to three consecutive first place finishes in the NFC South, and last year navigated the Panthers ship to a 15-1 regular season record as well as a Super Bowl appearance.

No longer are Rivera’s sometimes wacky moves questioned now that they’ve been backed up with results.

Rivera has proven himself to be a coach that players love to play for and that ownership respects, and last year’s nearly magical season has bought him at least two more years of equity, regardless of what happens in 2016.

No. 29- Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks

It’s been a tremendous run in Seattle for Pete Carroll, as he’s made the postseason in five of his six years as head coach.  Even after last season’s somewhat disappointing finish which ended with a loss to the Carolina Panthers in the NFC divisional round of the playoffs, Carroll was rewarded with a new contract extension.

The new deal keeps Carroll employed through the 2019 season at which time he’ll be 68 years old.

That alone keeps Carroll safe from any hot seats for at least the next couple of seasons, and the team doesn’t figure to fall off as quarterback Russell Wilson has established himself as a Top 10 signal caller.

No. 28- Bruce Arians, Arizona Cardinals

There might not be a better game to game coach than the Arizona Cardinals’ Bruce Arians.  His players love him, the media loves him and he has his teams prepared for every game.

Arians is coming off an NFC West title with an NFC Championship Game berth, the first of each for the Cardinals since 2009.  That alone gives him a lot of “Quan” in the organization and it’s easy to make a case for Arians as the best coach in the history of the Arizona franchise.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.