Hot Seat Rankings- Which Coaches Are Pretty Safe?


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.

We’ve already looked at which coaches are safest for 2016, and now we’re going to look at those who have to have major things go wrong to lose their jobs at the end of this year.

No. 27- Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers

Mike Tomlin is one of the most respected head coaches in the NFL and he works for an organization who gives their coaches every opportunity to succeed.  They don’t believe in turnover, and a job in Pittsburgh is the closest thing to having a lifetime position in the “not for long” National Football League.  Tomlin’s Super Bowl victory buys him plenty of equity and there’s no reason that he should lose his job anytime soon, even if Pittsburgh were to finish in last place, which likely won’t happen.

No. 26- Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings

Coming off an NFC North title, Mike Zimmer’s stock is at an all-time high.  The team thought so much of him that they granted him a contract extension this summer.

“Mike has instilled a very positive atmosphere over the past three years and our players have thrived under his tutelage and leadership. His focus on helping our players develop and maximize potential, individually and collectively, is critical for our current and future success.  We believe the continuity established with Mike leading our football team is a very positive step for our organization.” – Zygi Wilf, Owner/Chairman

“We are very excited about the direction of our football team with Mike Zimmer as our head coach. His leadership and the strong partnership he has with Rick Spielman has helped transform the culture of our football team. They have established a positive identity for this team with tough minded, disciplined, and smart football players and we believe Mike’s continued leadership bodes very well for our future.” –Mark Wilf, Owner/President

Zimmer has an exciting young defense and if quarterback Teddy Bridgewater develops into the player they think he can be, the Vikings will be contenders for the foreseeable future.

No. 25- Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs

Andy Reid has a remarkable record and probably doesn’t get the credit he deserves for being one the game’s best head coaches.  Reid has won everywhere he’s been and is a great football mind, even with his issues with the clock.  Reid’s system is perfect for quarterback Alex Smith and he has perhaps the best defense he’s ever coached.  This could be the year that Reid makes a return trip to the Super Bowl.

No. 24- Adam Gase, Miami Dolphins

Nobody knows how good of a head coach that Adam Gase is going to be, but he was the hottest assistant coach on the market and that alone will buy him more than one season, even if the Dolphins fall flat on their face.  Gase did a great job with Jay Cutler last season, and he has the endorsement of Peyton Manning, which is alone enough to keep you employed.  Expectations aren’t all that great for Gase in Miami after the Joe Philbin debacle and they will be somewhat patient with him as he tries to fix Ryan Tannehill.

No. 23- Jack Del Rio, Oakland Raiders

Fit is certainly an important thing when evaluating a head coach, and Jack Del Rio seems to be a perfect fit for the Oakland Raiders.  Del Rio had the Raiders competitive last season and should have them in contention for a playoff spot in 2016.  Even if he doesn’t, his entry point in Oakland is low and thus the expectations are as well.  With a potential move (somewhere) on the horizon for Oakland, ownership will want to keep some sort of continuity and Del Rio is very well respected for a coach who’s never won a division title.

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.