Who Will Be On The Coaching Hot Seat in 2017? A blog summarizing coaches on the firing line this season.

Every summer, sports fans get to know a new group of coaches who are expected to be fired by the end of the season. Two years ago it was Rex Ryan, then it was Mike Smith, and this year it’s Todd Bowles.

Why do they get to stay? We don’t know. They probably don’t deserve to. But we hope they do.

And it’s not just these teams. It’s teams like the 49ers and Browns, who have gone from 12-4 to 3-13 in one season and 0-16 in the other. It’s the Jaguars, who went from 10-6 to 4-12 last year, and are expected to regress further in 2017 with a new head coach and quarterback combination. It’s teams like that because there is no clear line between success and failure in football. You can go from good to bad or bad to good with a single coaching change without making your team any worse than it was before the change.

It can be hard for casual fans to understand why those coaches get fired. They seem like so many others who were given a chance based on their experience or pedigree but failed to deliver on that promise when put under pressure. So this summer we’ll start keeping track of which coaches are on

So which coaches will be fired?

In my view the only reason this hasn’t happened yet is that it’s too soon to tell. But there are some early signs of trouble.

Offensive coordinator Sean Payton has been on the hot seat since the Saints’ loss to the Vikings in Week 7. He has done a good job but he has certainly come under fire this season as the Saints have fallen further and further behind in the NFC South.

New England’s Bill Belichick also seems vulnerable; his team has a subpar offensive line, a weak running game and no real threat at wide receiver, while Tom Brady remains hobbled by his foot injury. New England’s defense is a top-five unit but it doesn’t win games like that on its own; Belichick will need to improve it if he wants to make it to his eighth Super Bowl.

And then there’s Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh, whose job may be safe for now but who is also taking heat for an offense that has been stuck with injuries and bad luck.

It’s easy to get bored by the sameness of sports on television. But this is a good year for surprises.

The Chicago Bears have reached rock bottom, with no end in sight. The San Francisco 49ers have reached rock bottom and then some, losing their starting quarterback to a broken leg just as they were close to a playoff berth. The Philadelphia 76ers are in rock bottom again, with another two years left on the old coach’s contract and no foreseeable way of getting out of it.

The Cleveland Browns are in rock bottom, at least until they can find a new owner. And the New York Giants could be in rock bottom next season, unless they make a deal before free agency begins.

There are still many teams that don’t have rock bottom written on their tombstones yet – but with one or two more seasons like last year’s awful record, these teams too will be firing their coaches.

Firing people is hard, even when you have a good reason. The NFL’s best coaches are most often fired in the first year of the contract. Among the four coaches who have been fired by their teams in the last three years, none had more than a year left on their contract at the moment they got the axe.

One coach who clearly has a lot of capital invested in him is Mike McCoy of Denver, whose team went from 6-4 to 3-9 this season. McCoy’s first two seasons with the Broncos were marked by a lot of wins and some close games, so he has every right to be optimistic about his team’s progress this year. But McCoy could be in trouble if Denver doesn’t make any progress at all.

In essence, McCoy is under a long-term contract that pays bonuses based on win totals; if he doesn’t get his team to 10 wins this year, he will probably lose half his bonus money. That depends not only on what happens on the field but also on whether other teams fire coaches who do worse than McCoy would do in that circumstance.

NFL head coaches are often on the hot seat. So are NFL general managers. But, interestingly, the NFL has a lot of coaches in a very low-level job, who have limited power to affect the outcome of games and who, statistically speaking, don’t even have a good chance of being fired.

They are the offensive coordinators, many of whom are on their sixth or seventh year with the same team. They get paid a lot of money and do not get enough credit for what they do.

The NFL is a strange animal. It’s the most powerful, richest, and best-run professional sports league in the world, yet its head coaches are among the shortest-lived. The average tenure of an NFL head coach currently stands at less than 3 years; a far cry from the legendary length of tenures of coaches like Red Auerbach (26 seasons) or Bill Parcells (19 seasons) or Vince Lombardi (15). Coaching turnover is only slightly higher in the NBA, MLB, and NHL, other major American sports leagues.

Our obsession with winning has led us to think that coaching is about hiring or firing. When things go wrong it’s because some manager was fired. But coaching is more like a business than a workplace. It’s about supply and demand: finding the best people to do the job, developing them, and giving them enough resources to do it well.

When a team has a good season its coach doesn’t necessarily get fired. But if they don’t make it into the playoffs again next year he might get fired anyway. Or if they come back next year with a new coach there might be complaints about how their old coach was treated, leading to more change at the top. Or maybe they’re successful again but only by

Football coaches are not celebrities. They are not the stars of their own movies and sitcoms. But they do have a political capital that goes beyond the absurd salaries and luxury perks that define the jobs of most other professionals.

The reason for this is simple: for football coaches, winning is everything. It’s a strange world when on-field success is what matters most, but it’s a world where success requires talent and preparation and leadership.

In order to succeed in this environment, you need to work hard at covering up your weaknesses while highlighting your strengths. The amount of effort it takes to cover up your weaknesses is exactly equal to the amount of effort it takes to highlight your strengths. So if you exaggerate the importance of one over the other, you are going to be looking at problems elsewhere.

In practice this means you can’t afford to come across as arrogant or conceited. In fact, it’s important that you don’t come across as conceited or arrogant at all because if you do, people might start associating that with things like winning football games and that would be bad.

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