Now that we’re past the midway point of the season, there is a bit more clarity regarding the 2017 NFL season. We have a better of idea of who are the contenders and which teams were fakers. MVP candidates are starting to break away from the rest of the pack. And needs for next year’s NFL Draft are starting to come into focus.
Soon, we’ll also be able to get a better grip of which coaches are safe and which ones might want to freshen up their respective resumes in their free time.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio gets the ball rolling by setting the over/under on coaching vacancies this offseason at 7.5 … and choosing the OVER. The league saw six new coaches in 2017, seven in 2016, and seven others in 2015. Projecting more turnover in 2018 isn’t out of the question and seems more like standard operating procedure for a league that is chewing up and spitting out coaches at a similar rate that it does players.
Florio has a list of nine coaches on the hot seat, which includes John Fox. Yes, the Chicago Bears head coach is joined by Todd Bowles (Jets), John Harbaugh (Ravens), Marvin Lewis (Bengals), Hue Jackson (Browns), Bill O’Brien (Texans), Chuck Pagano (Colts), Ben McAdoo (Giants), and Dirk Koetter (Buccaneers).
Murmurs regarding Fox’s situation on the hot seat began in June and picked up a bit when Jeff Fisher and Bob Stoops were floated as potential replacements who would be on the Bears’ radar if Fox faltered. One report at the end of October placed Fox firmly on the hot seat and whispers of Jim Harbaugh’s potential candidacy were thrown on the rumor mill (he apparently likes Mitch Trubisky), but Fox told reporters he wasn’t concerned about job security as recently as after Sunday’s loss to the Packers. There has been a lot of smoke regarding Fox’s future and it could turn into fire depending on how these final seven games go.
Then again, the temperature on these particular hot seats varies from coach-to-coach, city-to-city, and situation-to-situation. Lewis and Harbaugh (the one currently coaching in the NFL) have been staples of their respective teams. McAdoo and Koetter are newer coaches whose teams have taken a step back from relatively successful showings in 2016. O’Brien looked to have Houston rolling before Deshaun Watson’s season-ending ACL injury. Pagano has been a resident of the hot seat for a few years now.
Still, the idea of nine coaches being asked to walk says a lot about the potential turnover that could lie ahead.