Hue Jackson-Cleveland Browns
Somehow after Hue Jackson became just the second coach in National Football League history to go 0-16 in a season, he was able to save his job. In spite of the ineptitude of the Cleveland Browns this past season, Jackson was given a pass due to the fact that the team’s new general manager John Dorsey feels that Jackson was not given an opportunity to succeed being that the previous front office regime did not do a good job of bringing in quality players. But in two seasons as the head coach of the Browns, Jackson’s record is a pathetic 1-31, and he’s dug himself in such a hole that even a 4-12 campaign in 2018 might not be enough for him to save his job.
Todd Bowles-New York Jets
After three years with Todd Bowles as their head coach, the New York Jets aren’t closer to being a contender than the day in which he was introduced at Florham Park. In three years as the head coach of the Jets, Bowles’ record in 20-28 which includes going 5-11 in each of the last two seasons. The Jets have yet to find themselves a franchise quarterback and the starter at that position for 2018 more than likely is not on the current roster. In three years Bowles has yet to provide the Jets with an identity and even after receiving an extension last month, there is no way that he can survive in New York with not being able to make the playoffs in four consecutive seasons.
Jay Gruden-Washington Redskins
In four years as the head coach of the Washington Redskins, Jay Gruden has primarily seen his squad hover around the .500 mark. Gruden’s best season with Washington came in 2015 when the Redskins went 9-7 en route to winning the NFC East. But since then the Redskins have been done in by injuries and bad moves in free agency. The Redskins inability to re-sign players is not solely the fault of Gruden, but another season without the playoffs could make him the fall guy; especially if quarterback Kirk Cousins leaves.
Hopefully the strategy that the Green Bay Packers have implemented of relying on quarterback Aaron Rodgers to do everything is a thing of the past. A shoulder injury limited Rodgers to just seven games this season, and without him the Packers fell apart. Green Bay failed to qualify for the postseason for the first time since 2008 and they only went 3-6 without Rodgers. Mike McCarthy has been the head coach of the Packers since 2006, and the team’s recent inability to put a solid team around Rodgers really showed up when he was on the sideline.
McCarthy also lost his security blanket this off-season as Ted Thompson was replaced by Brian Gutekunst as the Packers general manager. Gutenkunst did not hire McCarthy therefore he is not attached at the hip with him. And as the Packers have been a perennial playoff team, but have failed to win the Super Bowl since 2010, McCarthy must find a way to develop a good working relationship with Gutekunst in order to remain his job status.
Dirk Koetter-Tampa Bay Buccaneers
At the conclusion of the 2015 National Football League season the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a questionable decision to fire head coach Lovie Smith in order to promote offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. The Bucs front office was fearful that they would lose Koetter to other teams, and that along with his relationship with quarterback Jameis Winston made him a hot commodity in Western Florida.
But since Koetter became the man in charge for the Buccaneers, Tampa Bay is 14-18. The Bucs have not made the playoffs under Koetter, while they are coming off of a 5-11 campaign. Seven of Tampa’s losses this season were by six points, but the fact that the other three teams in the NFC South as well as the quarterback who was drafted immediately after Winston in Marcus Mariota of the Tennessee Titans all made the postseason means that it’s put up, or shut up time for Mr. Koetter.
Vance Joseph-Denver Broncos
Vance Joseph’s first season as the head coach of the Denver Broncos was not one to write home about, and it almost became his last one as well. The Broncos finished 5-11 for their worst season since 2010 as they struggled on offense which included them being only 18th in points per game at 18.1 per contest which led to the team’s executive vice president of football operations John Elway nearly firing him after just one season. The struggles of the Broncos offense took away from the team’s solid defense and this is something that Joseph’s background as a defensive coach has not helped.
And unless the Broncos can get their act together in 2018, they will be in the market for a new head coach come next December.
Adam Gase-Miami Dolphins
In 2016, Adam Gase could do no wrong in his first season as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins as he led them to their first postseason appearance since 2008. But 2017 was not as favorable for Gase or the Dolphins as they finished 6-10, while they finished ranked 25th in total offense in the National Football League. The Dolphins were done in by a lack of maturity from players, while Gase also appeared to have a huge disconnect. Gase should benefit from having a healthy Ryan Tannehill at quarterback in 2018, but another horrific campaign in South Florida won’t be good for anyone involved; especially the head coach.
John Harbaugh-Baltimore Ravens
With just one minute left in the Baltimore Ravens regular season finale, things were looking good for them in regards to making the postseason. The Ravens were nursing a three-point lead as they sought to fend off the pesky Cincinnati Bengals in order to secure their first playoff berth since 2014. But what ensued was that the Ravens saw their beloved defense go to pieces which led to the Bengals raining on their postseason parade. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was at a loss for words when it came to describing what happened to his team, and unless Baltimore is able to rally in 2018, he could be out of employment.
This marks the third consecutive season in which the Ravens failed to make the playoffs, and although that Harbaugh did not have a good team to work with the season, it still falls on him to take care of business versus the Bengals at home with so much at stake for his squad.