Which NFL Coaches Seat Is Hottest For 2015? Part V- Must Show Improvement Or Else


We know that there are numerous coaching changes in the NFL each offseason. Although we don’t know exactly which teams will flop, we do have an idea of which coaches need to be successful to hold on to their jobs.

We will rank which coaches seats are the hottest entering the 2015 season.

Our first volume featured the “safest” coaches for this year and why.

In volume two, we went over the coaches that are likely safe, but not guaranteed.

The third volume featured coaches who are probably safe, but should be concerned if the wheels fall off the wagon. 

In volume four we discussed the coaches who are in a moderate amount of danger of losing their jobs and why. 

Now we’re going to look at the coaches who need their teams to show improvement in 2015 to keep their jobs.

12. Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals– The good news is that Marvin Lewis keeps making the playoffs with a franchise that had an enormous dry spell for over a decade.  That has bought him the equity that he is currently spending the first weekend in each January.

Lewis needs to win a playoff game this season to keep his job.  I’m not certain that any other coach is in that situation, but it is what it is when you have a completely loaded roster like the Bengals do.  Short of an injury to quarterback Andy Dalton, who Lewis is tied to, they need to advance out of the first round of the postseason.

11. Tom Coughlin, New York Giants- Tom Coughlin works for a great organization in New York and they don’t get caught up in media firings, and if they did they probably wouldn’t have either of the shiny Super Bowl rings that TC helped deliver.

With that said, Coughlin has a potential Hall of Fame quarterback with the best young (or old) receiver in football.  The roster is not wonderful and that isn’t exactly Tom’s fault, but how many coaches in the NFL can withstand four consecutive non-playoff seasons?  It feels like it’s playoffs or bust for Coughlin.

10. Jeff Fisher, St. Louis Rams- Have the Rams been more competitive with Jeff Fisher under the helm? Yes.  Does that matter in 2015? No.  The Rams have not had a .500 season under Fisher and the team keeps having solid drafts, making moves in free agency and it needs to finally pay off on the football field.

St. Louis plays in a tough division with Seattle, Arizona and San Francisco, but no more excuses for Fisher.  Their defense is loaded and he has a quarterback who he went out and traded for.  The Rams don’t need to necessarily make the playoffs this year for Jeff Fisher to keep his job, but they do need to win at least 9 games.

9.  Jack Del Rio, Oakland Raiders- So why is a first-year head coach this high on the hot seat list?  It’s because that first-year head coach works for the Oakland Raiders.  The Raiders have been a model for dysfunction ever since their 48-21 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII.

With general manager Reggie McKenzie on the hot seat, there’s no guarantee that if things don’t go well for the Raiders (and there’s a better chance they won’t than will), the new general manager will want to stay with a head coach that he didn’t hire.  Del Rio is a solid head coach with head coaching experience and the Raiders haven’t had a winning season since that Super Bowl appearance following the 2002 campaign.  It shouldn’t take a lot of improvement for Del Rio to keep his job, but his team must get to at least 6 or 7 wins and that might not be enough to keep him and Mckenzie employed.

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.