NFL

Which NFL Coaches Seat Is Hottest For 2015- Part VI

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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. 

In volume five we looked at the coaches who need to show improvement in 2015.

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

8. Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers

It’s tough to imagine a coach who has led his team to two consecutive division titles this high on the list, but please remember that former Panthers’ head coach John Fox led his Denver Broncos to four consecutive AFC West titles before being shown the door after last season.  Ron Rivera isn’t a great X’s and O’s coach and his team feels like it can go from first to worst almost as easily as it went from worst to first a few years ago.

Rivera is coming off a sub-.500 season and it seems as if he is going to have to win the NFC South again to have a chance to keep his job.  With teams such as Atlanta, New Orleans and Tampa Bay seemingly improved, a three-peat will be difficult.

7. Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars

It’s likely that the Jaguars head coach has more support from his front office than anyone else in this Top 10.  With that said, he has a 7-25 record as a head coach and the team spent significant money in free agency.  Bradley isn’t under the gun to make the postseason next year and simple improvement will keep him employed.

With that said, the Jaguars still have a questionable second-year quarterback, no real No. 1 wide receiver and plenty of holes on the defense.  There’s no guarantee that they won’t be a last-place team and less than four wins won’t look very good on Gus Bradley’s resume, regardless of how much “support” he has from the front office.

6. Jay Gruden, Washington Redskins

It’s rare that a head coach gets blown out after just two seasons, but another disastrous campaign by the Washington Redskins could mean just that for Jay Gruden.  Gruden made his mark in his first season as head coach, but not in the right way.

Gruden benched franchise quarterback Robert Griffin, III and drew a line in the sand with the quarterback.  Unfortunately, the team gave up nearly three years of premium draft picks for RG3 and Redskins owner Dan Snyder is an RG3 guy.  If the Redskins aren’t significantly better in 2015, and there’s no real reason to believe they won’t finish in the cellar of the NFC East, Gruden likely won’t be wearing maroon and gold in 2016.

5. Ken Whisenhunt, Tennessee Titans

Ken Whisenhunt has proven in his coaching career that when he has a very good quarterback, he’s a very good head coach.

So are most guys.

Whisenhunt won just two games last season and his Titans were not competitive for much of 2014.  The team made a lot of moves in free agency and drafted a potential franchise quarterback in Marcus Mariota.  Unfortunately, Mariota doesn’t seem to be a particularly good fit in Whiz’s system.

So who should change?  Whiz’s system only accounted for two victories last year so maybe he should be open to some new ideas.

Whiz doesn’t need the Titans to make the playoffs, but he does need to navigate them out of last place to keep his job.


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.