Is it way too early to talk about coaches being fired? Of course not, this is the NFL and a coach on the hot seat could get axed mid-season.
Heat and pressure create diamonds, but in the NFL, heat creates pressure, which leads to firings. Yeah, we’re talking about NFL head coaches. Sure, every coach in the modern-day NFL is under pressure, given the short leash coaches are on. Long-tenured coaches are few and far between. There’s Bill Belichick, Mike Tomlin, John Harbaugh, Pete Carroll, and Andy Reid. There are some in-betweeners, guys who’ve been a staple in their franchises like Sean McVay, Kyle Shanahan, Mike Vrabel, and Sean McDermott.
In today’s NFL, general managers and owners pull the plug on a head coach quicker than a no-huddle offense. In some cases, it doesn’t matter if the coach has a winning record. Take Brian Flores, who had back-to-back winning seasons with the Miami Dolphins in the 2022 off-season where he got the ax despite his back-to-back winning seasons.
Let’s not kid ourselves. The quarterback plays a major role (not the only role) in determining the outcome of a coach’s success. Unfortunately, not every coach has the luxury of developing their guy. Worse, they might have a guy who just ain’t it. As we get closer to the NFL season, it’s time we take a look at the way-way too-early favorites to get axed on Black Monday.
NFL head coaches on the hot seat in the 2023 season
Bill Belichick – New England Patriots
Yeah, the G.O.A.T. is on the hot seat, kind of. His seat is more lukewarm, given he’s won seven Super Bowls for the Patriots. However, owner Robert Kraft hasn’t been shy about his feelings about the post-Brady Patriots. The race for who was responsible was on the moment Tom Brady left for the Buccaneers. When Brady won a title in his first season with the Bucs, he put the ball in Belichick’s court. Things haven’t gone well for the Pats since Brady left. Cam Newton flamed out. Then, Mac Jones fell into their laps, the perfect prospect for the Patriots.
It started well enough. In his rookie season, Jones looked promising, completing 67% of his passes for 3,802 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. Then his offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels, left. Bill Belichick hired a long-time defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia, as the offensive play-caller. Things took a nosedive for the Pats’ offense and stunted Jones’ growth. Belichick wears both hats, so he is to blame for the success and failures of his quarterback and his team.
He hadn’t won a playoff game as a head coach before Tom Brady became his quarterback, and he has yet to win one since Brady left. Sure, there’s a looming possibility that Robert Kraft could pull the trigger and fire one of the winningest coaches of all time, but it isn’t likely. Still, he’s on the hot seat if you believe Robert Kraft’s statements.