By Justin Lasher
Each week in his weekly rewind, Matt does a great job at keeping us updated with the NFL coaches he feels are on the hot seat and their percentages of getting fired. With that in mind, I decided to take Matt’s list after week 14 and dig a little deeper into each coach and offer you my opinion on whether they truly deserve to be fired or not.
Jeff Fisher – Rams – 100% gone
Record with Rams: 31-45-1
Playoff Record with Rams: 0-0
Our Take: It was about time! This was our reaction when we heard Monday that Los Angeles had finally relieved Jeff Fisher of coaching duties. We were miffed when the Rams signed Fisher to a 2 year contract extension, but tried to give them the benefit of the doubt (see our column, https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/57376283/posts/1249207676). Fisher has done nothing since arriving, other than assisting in transitioning the Rams out of St. Louis and into Los Angeles. The team never won under Fisher. The most wins they had under Fisher, was seven, and they never finished a season with a record above .500. In a what have you done for me lately type league, Fisher has only led the Rams to losses in 8 of their last 9 contests, further giving evidence that he needed to be fired sooner than later.
Fire or Retain: Fire (Fisher was fired 12/12/16)
Gus Bradley – Jaguars – 99% gone
Record with Jaguars: 14-47
Playoff Record with Jaguars: 0-0
Our Take: It is time for change in Jacksonville. Since taking over the Jaguars in 2013, Bradley has not won more than 5 games in a single season. Being a guy who has coached on the defensive side of the ball most of his career, one would think that the Jaguars would be half way decent on that side of the ball. However, under Bradley’s leadership, the Jags have consistently ranked in the lower half of the league in most defensive categories. This simply is not acceptable and we’ve yet to look at the offensive side of the ball. Having a lot of young talent on offense in Bortles, Robinson, Hurns, Yeldon, etc, you can excuse the lack of production for a bit while these guys develop, however we are still waiting on the development and Jacksonville has actually showed more regression than progression under Bradley.
Fire or Retain: Fire!
Chuck Pagano – Colts – 90% gone
Record with Colts: 47-30
Playoff Record with Colts: 3-3
Our Take: After starting off his first three years in Indy with success, the Colts have fallen on hard times the last two years. They have gone from winning eleven games each year to winning eight in 2015, and if they win out (which nobody is expecting) they win nine games this year. The defensive numbers under Pagano the last two years have been less than stellar and that is the side of the ball he is most familiar with. I don’t think he gets canned based on the lack of offense, I believe he is solely on the hot seat due to their inability to stop anyone.
Fire or Retain: Retain – if and only if Indianapolis can find a way to win 2 of their last 3 games.
Marvin Lewis – Bengals – 80% gone
Record with Bengals: 117-101-3
Playoff Record with Bengals: 0-7
Our Take: It’s hard to believe that Marvin Lewis has been head coach in Cincinnati for 14 years. In that time, Lewis has only had 3 losing seasons. But his ultimate downfall is, and will always be, that he can’t win a playoff game. The Bengals have been to the playoffs seven times, including the last five seasons, under Lewis, but have never won a postseason game. Lewis is in jeopardy of having his first losing season since 2010. While I can appreciate longevity, I do believe that Lewis has worn out his welcome in Cincinnati and the fan base has to be uneasy with the postseason losing.
Fire or Retain: While it’s been a good run, we say Fire Lewis!
Mike McCoy – Chargers – 50% gone
Record with Chargers: 27-34
Playoff Record with Chargers: 1-1
Our Take: McCoy is in his fourth season at the helm of the Chargers. After two 9-7 seasons, the Chargers have taken a drastic step backwards the last two years going 4-12 and sitting at 5-8 this year. For us, the idea of the Chargers relocating may play heavy in this decision. Do you want a fresh face and new philosophies to add energy and excitement to the fan base if you do follow the Rams to Los Angeles? If so, it may be the end for McCoy. If you believe in stability and maintaining the status quo, then McCoy may be retained.
Fire or Retain: Like our percentage of McCoy being fired, we can see this going either way, but I say Retain McCoy for another year to see if he can turn things around.
Rex Ryan – Bills – 33% gone
Record with Bills: 14-15
Playoff Record with Bills: 0-0
Our Take: The Pegula’s have preached not liking to fire coaches and trying to keep stability within a franchise, so we’ll have to see if they truly believe that, especially if the Bills finish at 7-9 or 6-10. Rex has brought with him a great rushing attack to Buffalo and has LeSean McCoy running great. There are two things that Buffalo has struggled with under Ryan. First, like in NY, Ryan has failed to be able to establish a passing threat. Second, Ryan’s defense has not been anything to write home about. Do I think he deserves to be fired, not yet, but anything can happen.
Fire or Retain: Retain and give another year to put something together!
Todd Bowles – Jets– 25% gone
Record with Jets: 14-15
Playoff Record with Jets: 0-0
Our Take: Bowles hasn’t been given enough time in NY to really prove himself, and is still a young head coach, only having 32 total games under his belt. Yes this defense has struggled this year, but between aging players and injuries, you can’t blame Bowles. The offense has also struggled, but I place more of that on Chan Gailey than Todd Bowles. I believe Bowles needs to be given more time with more of his own players, rather than the players he inherited from Rex Ryan. I trust Bowles, but another bad start next year and his leash is very short.
Fire or Retain: Retain!
Ron Rivera – Panthers – 10% gone
Record with Panthers: 52-40
Playoff Record with Panthers: 3-3
Our Take: While last year’s Super Bowl run is still in our minds, Rivera has only had two winning seasons in Carolina. I believe that he doesn’t have any control in that locker room, and his players have stopped responding to his messages. Carolina has struggled both offensively and defensively this year, and I believe that is due to the players tuning Rivera out.
Fire or Retain: Fire!
Mike McCarthy – Packers – 10% gone
Record with Packers: 111-61
Playoff Record with Packers: 8-7
Our Take: There was a time earlier this season when I thought it was a forgone conclusion that McCarthy would be fired, but the Packers recent turnaround has put them back into the playoff conversation and almost has assured that McCarthy will be retained. The thing that sticks out to me though, is the Packers postseason record. I know they have won a championship (2010) under McCarthy, but outside of that year, the Packers have only gone 4-7 in seven other playoff appearances. Another slow start or an off year next season, and McCarthy may be looking for a new job.
Fire or Retain: Retain!
Doug Pederson – Eagles – 10% gone
Record with Eagles: 5-8
Playoff Record with Eagles: 0-0
Our Take: The fact that we find Doug Pederson on this list is a bit absurd. Pederson is not a miracle worker and cannot fix all of Chip Kelly’s inefficiencies in one season. Add to that, Pederson has a rookie quarterback, and anyone in their right mind knows Pederson should be given more time. The Eagles are playing good defense this year under Pederson and given more time and more weapons, the Eagles offense should turn around as well.
Fire or Retain: No debate here, Retain!
Chip Kelly – 49ers – 10% gone
Record with San Francisco: 1-12
Playoff Record with San Francisco: 0-0
Our Take: My question with Kelly is should he be fired or voluntarily resign. Right from the word Go, this 49ers team has been a disaster. The defense can’t stop anyone, whether it be on the ground or through the air. The offense hasn’t been much better, say Carlos Hyde. Just a couple of weeks ago, they only had six total yards passing. Just once this year have the 49ers threw for more than 300 yards. Save yourself and your fan base from anymore suffering, offer Kelly the option to resign and return to college, or be fired.
Fire or Retain: Fire!