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The Six Current Hottest Seats For NFL Coaches

Kansas City Chiefs are in last place in the AFC West – Should Reid be concerned about his future?

Bo Marchionte



There are several derrières amongst head coach in the NFL that are hotter than a sizzling fajita at a Chili’s restaurant.

The Miami Dolphins already sent Joe Philbin packing after their return trip to London that brought back a 1-3 record and more dysfunction, both offensively and defensively.

After Philbin was fired on Monday, interim head coach Dan Campbell stressed at his introductory press conference that he wanted to see more competitiveness on his team.

More press conferences will follow in the same fashion.

Philbin was the first but he will not be the last coach to inevitably receive his pink slip before the conclusion on the current NFL season.

We’re going to look at a half-dozen coaches who need a turn around to keep their jobs.


Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles

Current Record – 1-3

Overall – 21-15

No coach has gone against the grain and performed things to his own liking more than the Eagles’ head coach.

Mired in controversy for trading away big name players who carried a lot of influence internally, Kelly now faces the wrath after a dismal 1-3 start to the season.

Kelly’s ways worked like magic when he was a college coach, but they might be wearing out his welcome in the NFL.  At least that is what former Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick expressed during his “Move The Sticks” podcast appearance.

“This thing is a powder keg ready to blow up because as you guys know you talk to the players,” Billick explained. “I’ve done their games even when they’re 10-6 the last two years the players aren’t real fond of the way they do business and the way they practice. They feel like they’re being treated like college players.”

That is one mans opinion, but it comes from a man who does spout off from time to time to garner a reaction. Billick was simply relaying his views on the sensitivity of the situation in Philadelphia.

The offensive unit in Philadelphia has been slow to resemble the high-octane efficient offense Kelly craves. The Eagles ranked 29th in total offense which highlights how bad things are in Philadelphia and especially in the running game, despite $54 million investments in DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews.

It should be noted that Kelly began his rookie season in the NFL as a head coach with a 1-3 record prior to going 10-6 (back-to-back seasons) and losing a wild-card game at home against the New Orleans Saints.

The Eagles take on the 1-3 Saints this weekend at home at Lincoln Financial Field.


Lovie Smith, Head Coach, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Current Record – 1-3

Overall – 84-80 (3-17 in Tampa)


Lovie Smith doesn’t appear to be the guy to work with a young quarterback.

Before the team played itself into the first pick of the 2015 NFL Draft to select former Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston, it was in fact Smith who quickly shut down the future ability of Mike Glennon.

Smith elected to sign and start journeyman quarterback Josh McCown, who he was familiar with in his days in Chicago, and leaving Glennon, a younger arm possibly with upside, left to languish on the sidelines of their disastrous 2014 season.

Rumors even spread earlier this season that he would have welcomed another Bears quarterback, Jay Cutler, to Tampa via a trade but the incredible cap number of “Cutty” suffocated any real trade talks.

I connect those theories on why Smith himself may prefer to coach a team with a veteran quarterback rather than wait behind a rookie like Winston.

“I just go in every week trying to learn something,” Winston said on a conference call with Jacksonville Jaguars media. “Try to get better. I try to put myself in a better situation.

Winston has to put his head coach in a better situation or he’ll be calling Lovie Smith his ex-coach.

Tampa Bay is 1-3 and no matter if he likes it or not, Smith will have to hitch his future on the rookie signal-caller if he wants to stay in the close knit fraternity of NFL coaches.


Andy Reid, Head Coach, Kansas City Chiefs

Current Record – 1-3

Overall – 151-108-1 (21-15 in Kansas City)

I’ll be the first to admit it, we are spoiled by the success Reid has had since taking his first head coaching job in Philadelphia back in 1999 for the Eagles.

In his previous 16 years of experience, he has coached nine teams that have won more than 10 games and has won six divisional titles along with a trip to the Super Bowl.

Reid’s resume is about as good as it gets, but it becomes vanilla after seeing the same results over, over and over again; Even if they are mostly positive.

We know Reid can make a team good but he has continuously failed to make them great.

The Chiefs sit alone in last place of the AFC West and their defense is tied with the Chicago Bears for allowing the most points in the NFL after the first four weeks of action (125).

Kansas City started off the Reid era by winning their first nine games in his Chiefs debut season (2013) and since that time which includes one playoff loss, they are a combined 12-16.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement, especially considering their slow start so far this season.


Jim Caldwell, Head Coach, Detroit Lions

Current Record – 0-4

Overall – 37-31 (11-9 in Detroit)


If Caldwell wants to keep his job, he may want to look long and hard at his offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, who enters his second season at the controls of the Detroit offense.

There may not be a more talented offensive unit in the NFL than the Lions, yet they rank 30th overall in offense. The same offense that includes a healthy Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Ameer Abdullah and emerging Eric Ebron.

Last season, they ranked 19th, still a far cry from the expectations surrounding the talented cast and crew.

Caldwell is reminiscent of the modern day Barry Switzer, who took over for Jimmy Johnson during the Dallas Cowboys dominant run in the early 1990’s.

Switzer won a Super Bowl with Johnson’s team and many feel that nearly anyone capable of blowing a whistle could have duplicated the notorious feat.

Caldwell replaced Tony Dungy inheriting a very talented Colts roster in Indianapolis.

With a healthy Peyton Manning, he enjoyed to seasons of 10-plus wins along with a trip to the Super Bowl. He slipped 2-14 after Manning was lost during training camp with a neck injury.

It is hard to grasp exactly how good of a coach Caldwell is, considering the two teams he has taken over were already built for winning Super Bowls.

Very few coaches have had the luxury Caldwell has with his first two endeavors as a head coach in the NFL.


Mike Pettine, Head Coach, Cleveland Browns

Current Record – 1-3

Overall – 8-12

For everything he has gone through in Cleveland, I personally think Mike Pettine deserves a raise and an all expenses paid trip to an exotic destination.

Pettine has endured a front office nightmare and handling one of the most provocative rookies over the last decade in Johnny Manziel last year.

He also had to deal with the suspension of his general manager Ray Farmer (first four games this season), who violated the NFL’s policy regarding electronic devices by texting coaches during games.

Then he dealt with his flamboyant franchise quarterback Manziel, floating on a pink flamingo during his rookie season. Several months later he entered rehab and currently sits behind veteran Josh McCown.

Toss in the suspension of receiver Josh Gordon and another disappointment in 2014 first-round pick in cornerback Justin Gilbert.

After just writing all of that, maybe Pettine wants to fired?

All those obstacles thrown in his way, he still managed to finish 7-9 in a division (AFC North) that had three teams head to the playoffs last season.

Think about that for a quick minute and allow it to digest.

Pettine, regardless of all the distractions, will have to succeed above and beyond realistic goals to keep his job in Cleveland.

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam seems like the kind of gent who wants to make a splash with some marquee names roaming the sidelines.

In the end Pettine is just a football coach, (a pretty good football coach) on the wrong team.


Gus Bradley, Head Coach, Jacksonville Jaguars

Current Record – 1-3

Overall – 8-28

It’s hard not to love Gus Bradley and the charismatic energy he brings.

Sadly though, that has not been enough to help the Jaguars get over the hump despite the team showing small signs of improvement.

Bradley inherited one heck of a rebuilding project and even though he needs more time, he likely won’t get it if the team continues to lose games.

“I thought it was a very, very good practice today,” said Bradley as his Jaguars prepare for the Buccaneers. “I saw a lot of guys competing, I saw them competing at the details as well. It’s off to a great start.”

He is hoping that positive vibe continues as his team heads towards the Gulf Coast of Florida to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 5.

They are playing a better brand of football than in the two previous seasons, but this might in fact be a make or break game for Bradley.

Falling to 1-4 with a defeat to Tampa Bay could be the end for the Jaguars head coach.

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 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.

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