The NFL’s roster of fired coaches is already three deep this season with Josh McDaniels’ ouster in Denver on Monday. But here’s a news flash: There are more coming.
It’s possible, although not likely, that another one or two could join McDaniels, Wade Phillips and Brad Childress out the door, but you can bank on several more once this season ends. Exactly how new hirings might figure into an impending lockout is a subject for another day, but for the moment, let’s consider current five coaches whose futures look bleaker than Albert Haynesworth’s tenure with the Washington Redskins.
John Fox, Carolina Panthers: The man is a respected coach around the league, but he’s in the last year of his contract and already has one foot out the door. The Panthers want to cut coaches’ salaries; Fox will demand big money from another team.
Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals: One year after winning their division, the Bengals have one of the league’s worst records at 2-10, matched by only the Buffalo Bills in the AFC. With all that offensive talent, how can they be on a nine-game losing streak?
Mike Singletary, San Francisco 49ers: His team was supposed to win the NFC West easily, but the Niners barely have a pulse in the league’s worst division. He fired his offensive coordinator and now has changed quarterbacks for the second time this season. Singletary’s record in San Francisco: 12-16. ‘Nuff said.
Gary Kubiak, Houston Texans: Kubiak’s firing is no sure thing, but the Texans were supposed to be contenders in the AFC South and instead find themselves tied for last. In his favor is that he signed a contract extension last year, but coaches who don’t meet expectations seldom have long shelf lives.
Eric Mangini, Cleveland Browns: Mangini has the Browns, who have already matched their 2009 total of five wins, on the upswing. He was virtually certain to be gone this season, but he’s looking like a better bet to stick around than he was when Mike Holmgren took over as team president. Still, Holmgren might decide to bring in his own coach this offseason. John Fox maybe?