5 Coaches Who Are In Danger Of Being Fired
Heading into week 11 of the NFL Season, we are now more than half way done with the regular season. The playoff picture is beginning to take shape. Along with that, the list of coaches who will be looking for work next season is taking shape, as well. Which coaches are most likely to loss their jobs at the end of the season? Let’s take a look at who’s on the hot seat.
Matt Rhule was hired from Baylor to be the Carolina Panthers saving grace. After almost 2 seasons, the positives of hiring Rhule remain to be seen. The Panthers plan for success in 2020 was signing Teddy Bridgewater and continuing to build around him. The Panthers then traded Bridgewater to the Broncos after finishing 5-11, despite having another year on his contract. In 2021, the plan was to move to former Jets quarterback Sam Darnold. After an exciting 3-0 start, Darnold was benched after suffering a shoulder injury. The Panthers then signed the one quarterback they were trying to move on from. Cam Newton scored 2 touchdowns in his return to the Panthers on Sunday.
To say Matt Rhule’s time with the Panthers has been confusing is an understatement. Often times the Panthers seem to have zero direction. Right now with Cam Newton back as their probable starting quarterback, where is their organization heading? There’s no clear answer. They’re not good enough to be in a super bowl and they’re not bad enough to get a high draft pick. Matt Rhule was supposed to lead the Panthers into a new era of success. So far, that hasn’t been the case. For a team that has never won a Super Bowl, the Panthers need to do anything they can to get the Lombardi trophy. Matt Rhule is not the answer.
Vic Fangio was hired as the head coach of the Broncos before the 2019 season. Since that time, the Broncos have a record of 17-25. The Broncos have never made the playoffs under Fangio. There has been a quarterback carousel under Fangio as well. This year, the answer at quarterback was Teddy Bridgewater. After a hot 3-0 start, the Broncos have been inconsistent every week. The Broncos past 2 games are the perfect example. After getting a huge upset win over the Cowboys, the Broncos were blown out by the Eagles. Inconsistency has been key in Vic Fangio’s time with the Broncos.
Vic Fangio has not shown the ability to coach a consistently winning team since taking over for the Broncos. Fangio’s quarterbacks mirror that issue. Having multiple starting quarterbacks in one season is not a recipe for success. Fangio was also hired for his defensive mind. Fangio’s Broncos defenses haven’t been great. Since a great start, the Broncos defense has fallen to 26th in run blocking. The Broncos have had no real identity since Peyton Manning retired. Vic Fangio has proven that he can’t provide that identity. It’s time for the Broncos to move on.
Zimmer was hired as the Vikings head coach in 2014. The Vikings have enjoyed some success under his leadership. The NFC Championship game in 2017 was the high point. Since 2017 however, the Vikings have failed to be a serious threat in the NFL. They missed the playoffs completely in 2018. In 2019, they made the playoffs only to loss in the divisional round. So far in 2021, the odds aren’t looking great for the Vikings to make a run in the playoffs. A lot of that is because of Mike Zimmer. Zimmer’s run the ball and defense first mentality has often hurt the Vikings rather than help it.
It’s no secret that Mike Zimmer has a defensive first mentality. In the off season, Zimmer makes a point of signing big defensive names and securing a strong run game. The Vikings agreed to a contract extension with Dalvin Cook in 2020 and added Dalvin Tomlinson and Patrick Peterson in 2021. Does this mentality help the Vikings win? Zimmer’s record speaks for itself. It’s led the Vikings to 2 playoff wins and a losing record to winning teams. Viking fans are hungry for a Super Bowl win. Mike Zimmer has shown he’s incapable of getting the Vikings there. It’s time for them to move on.
Matt Nagy was hired as the Bears’ head coach in 2018. Outside of one good season in 2018 with an elite defense, Matt Nagy has provided nothing but mediocrity for the Bears. The Bears went 8-8 in both 2019 and 2020. The Bears seem destined to repeat that fate in 2021, as they are currently 3-6. Questionable play calling has also hurt the Bears’ offense in 2020 and 2021. In 2020, after a string of poorly called games, Matt Nagy handed the play calling responsibilities to Bill Lazor. In 2021, history repeated itself. Matt Nagy again handed play calling to Bill Lazor after week 3. Nagy’s questionable coaching has been most evident in their handling of their rookie quarterback.
In the 2021 draft, the Bears used a first round pick on Justin Fields. Despite that, the Bears also signed Andy Dalton. Throughout the off season, Nagy was adamant about Dalton starting for the Bears. After a string of poorly played games by Dalton, Nagy sent Fields in to be the starter. It was clear from the start that the rookie was not ready. In Fields’ first games for the Bears, he struggled to move the ball down the field and struggled with turnovers. Even while Fields was struggling, Nagy would not put Dalton back into the game. These kind of struggles can ruin a rookie quarterback. Fields has improved since his rough start, despite Nagy’s questionable coaching. The Bears have a potential great quarterback in Fields. They need a coach who will help him grow, not hinder his success. It’s obvious Nagy is hindering his rookie quarterback.
A coach rarely gets fired after their first season with a team. Urban Meyer might be one of those rare cases. His off-the-field issues are a big factor why. Early in the season, a video surfaced showing Meyer with a woman at a restaurant. Meyer had reportedly stayed in Ohio after a game with the Bengals to see his grandchildren. After the video surfaced, a media frenzy ensued. Reports came out that Meyer had also lost the respect of his team, with team members laughing at him behind closed doors. With a winning season and good play, this issue might have disappeared by now. But it’s only heightened by Meyer’s questionable coaching.
Reports started to come out just after the season started that many people were unhappy with Meyer’s coaching. From belittling coaches after preseason losses to a control freak attitude, Meyer has not made a lot of fans in Jacksonville. On top of that, the Jaguars haven’t been good. They are currently 2-7. Their rookie quarterback, Trevor Lawrence, has played inconsistent, but he shown promise. Lawrence needs coaching to develop into a star quarterback. The drama that Meyer has caused this season is hurting that development. With a young quarterback that has a lot of promise, don’t be surprised if the Jaguars decide to move on from Meyer after this season.
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