Insiders

Who’s on the NFL Hot Seat in 2015?

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They call it the “Hot Seat” and no one wants to be sitting on it. The dubious task of placing your tail end near it means more things have gone wrong than they have gone right. There are plenty of players and coaches who finds their butt’s getting warm and for their sake hopefully they don’t get burned.

Dallas Cowboys- Darren McFadden, Running Back

McFadden is close to becoming an afterthought if he doesn’t play to his potential, in 2015. He enters his eighth season in the league and the replay of 2010 and his only 1000-yard rushing season remains very fresh in everyone’s memory. The other memories are more like nightmares for both fans and McFadden. He has never started in more than 13 games in his career. McFadden has one last chance to prove he’s worthy of being considered a featured back is his recent signing with the Dallas Cowboys. Now he has t0 shoulder the load and replace the NFL’s leading rusher (DeMarco Murray) from last season. Averaging 3.3 yards per carry and being hurt most of his career isn’t a good sign.  You just keep waiting for it from McFadden, but it never comes.

 

Cincinnati Bengals- Andy Dalton, Quarterback

The contract Dalton signed last year only makes his seat heat up that much more. His inability to win in the playoffs continues to raise the odds that last year’s fifth-round selection, A.J. McCarron may get an in-season opportunity if Dalton struggles. Reaching the playoffs in each of his first four seasons would appear to be a positive for most teams and players, but that is not the case for Dalton who has thrown one touchdown and six interceptions in the postseason, creating an immensely irritated fan base in Cincinnati. His passer rating is 29 points worse in the playoffs (56.2) than in the regular season (85.7). The Bengals hosted San Diego in the playoffs last season and lost. The home defeat against the underdog Chargers caused the backlash that Dalton is dealing with now. He’s a winner and productive quarterback in the regular season, but can he duplicate the play in the playoffs?

 

Cincinnati Bengals, Marvin Lewis, Head Coach

You can’t leave Dalton all by his lonesome for the Bengals playoff woes. Marvin Lewis enters his 13th season as the leader of the Bengals. Unfortunately for Lewis, the team has been so bad that his recent run of success has placed immense pressure to win the Super Bowl. Entering their 47th season in the NFL, the Bengals have had 12 seasons winning ten or more games. Six of those seven seasons have come in the last 12 years under Lewis. In the eyes of most, the Bengals have as much talent as any team in the NFL.

Washington Redskins, Robert Griffin III, Quarterback

Like Clark Kent is Superman, Robert Griffin III is RG3. In 2012, we saw the player known as RG3. Since his sensational rookie year we have only seen the man known as Robert Griffin III. His knee has never been right after injuring himself in the playoffs against Seattle at the end of his rookie season, and he has continued to struggle grasping the tendencies of being an NFL quarterback. Entering his fourth year, Griffin has not been the same player, and getting him back to RG3 is now the focus of Washington’s second-year head coach Jay Gruden. A wonderful offensive mind, Gruden has yet been able to tap into the talents and revive Griffin and bring back the magic we saw in 2012. If he doesn’t the fans will start chanting the name of the back-up quarterback…who isn’t very good either.

 

Miami Dolphins, Joe Philbin, Head Coach

Philbin weathered the storm of  whole Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito saga and Philbin has done a fair job in Miami. He took over for Tony Sparano, who finished with a career winning percentage in Miami of .475. Philbin’s percentage after three seasons (.479) is nearly exactly what Sparano’s was before he was let go.  Miami once again was very active in free agency and making trades to upgrade the roster. The only one left from the fallout of “Bullygate” is Philbin.  If Sparano wasn’t good enough, it’s likely Philbin won’t be either if the team doesn’t improve to double digit wins and a serious run at the playoffs.

 

Philadelphia Eagles, Sam Bradford, Quarterback

Bradford dodged the biggest obstacle this off-season by avoiding another season in St. Louis. The Rams elected to trade Bradford for Nick Foles from the Philadelphia Eagles. Bradford never took a regular season snap after suffering a torn ACL in a preseason win over the Cleveland Browns in 2014. He appeared in seven games (2013) before going on to get hurt yet again (ACL) and had a starting record of 3-4.  Under the tutelage of quarterback guru Chip Kelly, Bradford has to distinguish himself between the so-so quarterbacks and take a giant step forward to keep the franchise label next to his name.


About Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte is an NFL writer for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade. His background includes being staff for the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star game as a talent evaluator for player personnel along with an internship scouting with the Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the Canadian Football League. Bo’s draft background includes working for the NFL Draft Bible and currently owns and operates College2Pro.com. He has done radio spots on NBC, Fox Sports and ESPN and their affiliates in different markets around the country. Bo covers the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Panthers along with other colleges in the northeast.