Sunday, January 21, 2018
Sports

Football coaches (and others) on the hot seat

Andy Reid | Eagles coach

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie says he will evaluate the organization after the season, and the general line of thinking is that Reid, who has been coaching the Eagles since 1999, will be fired if they miss the postseason. Even making the playoffs might not be enough to save his job. A first-round exit could get him a pink slip. So could a playoff blowout. Maybe anything short of a Super Bowl won't be enough. That's a shame, because Reid is a good coach. But he's the longest-tenured head coach in the NFL, and Philly might think it's time to turn the page.

Rex Ryan | Jets coach

Things are so gloomy with the Jets these days that their brash coach hardly pops off anymore. His arrogant comments and promises used to be fun. Now, when he even bothers to make them, they're just pathetic. After Ryan took the Jets to the AFC Championship Game in his first two seasons, the Jets have gone 11-13, including 3-5 this season. Perhaps Ryan's use (or lack thereof) of Tim Tebow in the season's second half will go a long way in determining Ryan's future in New York. But nothing will determine it more than wins and losses. If he finishes with more L's than W's, Ryan and his big mouth might be muzzled for good in New York.

Gene Chizik | Auburn coach

Just two years ago, Chizik won the national championship at Auburn. It seems crazy we're now talking about him being on the hot seat. But that's life in the SEC. That's life at Auburn. That's life in college football. The Tigers went into the weekend with a 1-7 record, and that victory came against little Louisiana-Monroe. Saturday they beat one-win New Mexico State to get to 2-7. At Auburn, Chizik, a native of Tarpon Springs, is 18-17 without Cam Newton at QB. Actually, throw out that 14-0 national championship season with Newton in 2010 and Chizik is 22-36 as a college head coach. His job status comes down to two things: Has he recruited well enough the past couple of years to buy another year or two? Does his national title buy him one year more than most coaches would get?

Norv Turner | Chargers coach

Isn't he constantly on the hot seat? I'm surprised Turner was back after last season's underachieving 8-8 season. It's a wonder he wasn't fired last Sunday when the Chargers lost to the lowly Browns by the ugly score of 7-6. The Chargers are in danger of missing the playoffs for the third consecutive season, and they seem to have too much talent, particularly at QB with Philip Rivers, for those kinds of results. They have won two of their past six games, both against one-win Kansas City. The sand in Turner's hour glass will finally run out before next season.

Romeo Crennel | Chiefs coach

It's not his fault, but winning two or three games (and that's where the Chiefs are headed) won't cut it.

Ron Rivera | Panthers coach

Rivera had a nice rookie season in 2011. The Panthers went 6-10, but at least QB Cam Newton looked like a superstar in the making. This season the Panthers and Newton have taken a big step backward. The Panthers are 1-6, and barring a major turnaround, they are headed for a last-place finish in the NFC. What hurts Rivera is that GM Marty Hurney was fired two weeks ago. After the season, ownership might be looking for another head to put on the chopping block, and Rivera is next in line.

Jason Garrett | Cowboys coach

For years, Garrett was the unofficial coach-in-waiting in Dallas, the bright young mind who eventually was going to take over the franchise and lead it back to glory. His ascension to head coach was accelerated when Wade Phillips was fired after a 1-7 start in 2010. Garrett led the Cowboys to a 5-3 finish, and hopes were high again. Since then, Garrett has gone 11-12, and the Cowboys don't seem to be getting any better. Worse, QB Tony Romo isn't getting better and Garrett is supposed to be an offensive and QB guru. Knowing the high demands of owner Jerry Jones, Garrett doesn't seem long for the Cowboys job if the team keeps swimming in mediocrity.

Skip Holtz | USF coach

I've said this before, and I'll say it again: I think Holtz deserves an entire team of his recruits before anyone has a meeting about his future. This is his third year, so he deserves at least next season. And when you consider redshirts and so forth, maybe Holtz should even get a fifth season. But if USF doesn't win another game this season, you know some fans and alumni will want a change. Some already want it. This much is certain: When Holtz was hired, no one could have imagined his seat would be this hot within three years.

Gary Bettman | NHL commissioner

Ultimately, Bettman isn't making the final decisions in his league's lockout. He is simply a mouthpiece for the owners. He says what the owners tell him to say. He demands what the owners tell him to demand. He negotiations on their behalf. But eventually, someone has to take the blame for three lockouts during his tenure, including one that wiped out a season. Is it his fault? No, not really. Could he be the scapegoat needed by the owners to win back favor from the fans? That's possible.

Marvin Lewis | Bengals coach

The Bengals are a poorly run, cheap organization. That's why Lewis, who is a good guy and perhaps even a good coach, has hung around despite a 72-78-1 record in 91/2 seasons. They are 3-4 this season, and I'll wager right now they will miss the playoffs for the seventh time in what will be 10 seasons under Lewis. But here's the bigger deal: How does this guy keep his job when he has never won a playoff game?

Alex Rodriguez Yankees third baseman

Face it, A-Rod is just another player these days. His power numbers keep dwindling, and this year he had only 18 homers with 57 RBIs in 122 games. More telling, his .430 slugging percentage was the lowest since his debut season, when he appeared in only 17 games. He suffered the embarrassment of being benched and pinch-hit for during the playoffs. The Yankees say he's their third baseman for now, but it feels like the final days of a marriage headed for divorce.

Mark Sanchez | Jets QB

All the numbers put up about coach Rex Ryan are the same numbers used to criticize Sanchez. He has gone 11-13 since taking the Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship Games in 2009 and 2010. The problem is Sanchez seems to be getting worse. Maybe playing in the New York spotlight is too bright for Sanchez. Maybe he would be better off playing in a city where he would get less attention.

tom jones' two cents

We're halfway through the NFL regular season. We're a little more than halfway through the college football season. Already coaches and quarterbacks are on the hot seat. That is, they're dangerously close to losing their jobs. Here's a look at who's in trouble, including a couple people outside the football world, too.

Michael Vick | Eagles QB

There was talk Vick was close to being benched after last week's loss to the Falcons left the Eagles 3-4. But the Eagles are going to stick with him (for now), and don't be surprised if the offense gets going, because Philly's next four games are against the Saints, Cowboys, Redskins and Panthers. Vick could put up some healthy numbers against that foursome, especially the porous Saints pass defense. By the way, Vick hasn't exactly lit it up with the Eagles since returning from his prison stint. He is 18-13 as a starter in Philadelphia.

     
           
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