There are just three more weeks of the NFL regular season, and head coach hiring-and-firing season is off and running for the 2019-20 cycle. The Washington Redskins and Carolina Panthers each fired their coach, and there are more firings on the way soon.
When we rated the job security for every coach in early December, there were four coaches squarely on the hot seat and a few more inching closer into the danger zone. We also identified the potential candidates who could get interviews.
What’s next on the NFL coaching carousel? Here’s everything you need to know about the movement through hiring-and-firing season, with updates on coaches who could be next to go and latest news with open jobs.
Owner David Tepper’s first priority might be finding a front-office executive to assist general manager Marty Hurney and others on a committee in the search for a coach to replace coach Ron Rivera. Pittsburgh GM Kevin Colbert, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, could be a candidate to join the front office. That’s not a surprise, since Tepper is a former minority owner of the Steelers.
As for the coach, interim Perry Fewell didn’t help his chances of becoming a candidate with Sunday’s 40-20 loss to Atlanta. Tepper is looking for an offensive-minded coach who emphasizes analytics. Somebody like Baltimore offensive coordinator Greg Roman comes to mind. — David Newton
Dan Graziano discusses Cam Newton’s future in Carolina following the firing of Ron Rivera, the only head coach Newton has ever played for in the NFL.
After firing Jay Gruden in October, the Redskins now have to decide what they’re going to do with team president Bruce Allen, who has the power on both the business and football sides. The current power structure will be problematic for some coaches, numerous sources say. There’s a strong belief that owner Dan Snyder will evaluate Allen more closely than in the past.
If Allen stays, the Redskins likely will try to hire someone with previous coaching experience, whether in the NFL or college. They want — and need — a strong leader to handle an often-difficult place. — John Keim
JOBS THAT COULD OPEN
Coach: Dan Quinn (40-37 over five seasons)
Despite an impressive 40-20 win over a reeling Carolina team, Quinn’s status probably hasn’t changed much as the Falcons remain bound for a losing season. There is plenty of talk surfacing about possible replacements, potentially to an offensive-minded coach. Quinn continues to take an optimistic approach despite the odds against him.
A road win next Sunday against his former offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, and the playoff-bound 49ers might open some eyes, but it’s still likely too late to prevent a coaching change. — Vaughn McClure
Coach: Freddie Kitchens (first season)
This continues to be a rough season for the Browns, despite the fact they’ve won four of their last five games. Making the playoffs continues be a long shot, with the Browns now holding only a 3.5% chance of getting in, according to the ESPN Football Power Index.
Still, general manager John Dorsey, who hired Kitchens, seems intent on giving the first-year head coach every opportunity to show he deserves a second season to turn the team around. A strong finish in 2019, which includes winnable games against Arizona and Cincinnati, makes that a possibility, even with all the surrounding drama. — Jake Trotter
Coach: Jason Garrett (83-66 over 10 seasons)
Garrett could be entering the final three games of his career with the Cowboys. Owner Jerry Jones has said a coaching change at this point will not help the Cowboys get to where they want to go, and he has expressed confidence in Garrett. What else can he do? The defense has not made impact plays. The offense has slumped at the wrong time. Garrett has three games to change the fortunes of the season, and even a playoff spot likely will not be enough to earn an extension when his contract expires after the season. The Cowboys might just be good enough to win a bad NFC East but not good enough to do much else. — Todd Archer
Damien Woody feels the Cowboys’ lack of discipline and their unresponsiveness to Jason Garrett show he has lost control of the team.
Coach: Matt Patricia (9-19-1 over two seasons)
The Lions have lost six straight games and nine of their last 10, and Patricia is making the public case that his team is better than its record. Injuries have played a role, but the last time Detroit went back-to-back seasons in last place in the NFC North was in Marty Mornhinweg’s two years as coach in 2001-02. He didn’t get a third season and Patricia receiving a third year to coach the Lions is an open question at this point.
Who makes that decision is also an unknown, as general manager Bob Quinn might also be on the hot seat. — Michael Rothstein
Coach: Doug Marrone (20-27 over four seasons)
Marrone is sitting on a blast furnace at this point. The Jaguars have lost five consecutive games by at least 17 points and have lost 19 of 25 games since a 3-1 start last season. Eleven of those losses have been by double digits.
Owner Shad Khan showed remarkable patience with former coach Gus Bradley, but he finally made the move to Marrone with two games remaining in the 2016 season. The Jaguars play on the road the next two weeks before finishing the season at home. If Marrone survives this week, that might be an indication that Khan is willing to wait until the season ends before making a change — which might include the front office, as well. — Michael DiRocco
Coach: Pat Shurmur (7-21 over two seasons)
The Giants, who wanted to see progress this season, seem destined for change. Shurmur needs to do something special to keep his job. He even seems to understand the spot he’s in after two tough seasons as the coach. He has been pointing out publicly the “historically young” roster and starting a whopping 10 rookies. That’s Shurmur making his case to get one more year. — Jordan Raanan