NFL coaches on the early hot seat

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton talks to media after an NFL football practice in Metairie, La., Thursday, June 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

We’ve got a few days to kill before minicamp starts next Tuesday. Let’s make a list of the NFL coaches we expect will get fired at the end of the season. I’ll go first.

THE LAME DUCKS. These coaches almost certainly will get the axe.

1. Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints. I’m surprised the Saints haven’t fired Payton already. He hasn’t won more than seven games in a season since 2013 and he can’t hire a good defensive coordinator. He still is living off the Super Bowl he won in 2010, which was long ago, before Bountygate and the accusation that Payton is a “molly-abuser drunk hooked on prescription pills.” I think the Saints will fire him after they inevitably miss the playoffs for the fourth-straight season.

2. John Fox, Chicago Bears. Fox will make the argument to Bears management that he had to work with two new quarterbacks, including a rookie, and deserves one more season after 2017. I don’t think the Bears will give him one more season, though, unless the team makes significant strides. And I don’t think the team will make significant strides. The Bears roster is no good.

3. Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis Colts. The Colts have a new G.M., Chris Ballard, who probably can’t wait to hire his own head coach.For Pagano to hold onto his job, he’ll have to keep Andrew Luck healthy and lead the Colts to the playoffs for the first time since 2014. Good luck.

4. Todd Bowles, New York Jets. It seems the Jets already have given up on Bowles, who is entering his third season with the team. Management has gotten rid of almost every good player and seems to be tanking to get a quarterback with the first pick in the draft next year. Bowles won’t be around to coach that quarterback. The Jets will replace him with someone who has an offensive background.

5. Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers. Rivera is entering his seventh season with the Panthers and is coming off a last-place finish in the NFC South. Rivera will need to make the playoffs to keep his job, but the roster hasn’t improved. I expect another sub-.500 season from the Panthers.

THE LONG SHOTS. These coaches could get fired if their teams don’t make the playoffs.

1. Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers. Recently, I picked the Packers to represent in the NFC in the Super Bowl next season. They clearly upgraded their roster and they have Aaron Rodgers. But, they have underachieved since they won the Super Bowl in 2011. If the Packers miss the playoffs next season or make the playoffs and lose in the first round, I think they’ll fire McCarthy. They can’t waste any more time with him. Their window to win a Super Bowl is slowly shutting.

2. Bill O’Brien, Houston Texans. O’Brien has been with the Texans for three years and they haven’t improved. Their record has been 9-7 every season. They need to take a step forward next season or else management might decide the team has reached its limit under O’Brien.

3. Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings. Zimmer is a Bill-Parcells style coach, and that style doesn’t work in today’s NFL. Zimmer grinds his players and wears them down. Last season his offensive coordinator, Norv Turner, quit, and the Vikings lost eight of their final 11 games. The defensive players even ignored Zimmer’s play calls toward the end of the season. He lost that team. He better find it quick, or else.

4. Dirk Koetter, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Koetter is entering just his second season as Buccaneers head coach, so he’s an ultra-long shot to get fired. But, he’s a limited head coach. He’s obsessed with passing. Doesn’t understand you throw for show and run to win. If the Bucs fall short of the playoffs next season — they have more than enough to make it — I think they’ll fire Koetter and replace him with Josh McDaniels, or some other top offensive coordinator.

This article has 176 Comments

  1. I would slot Payton right above Rivera, with the rest moving up one. John Fox is a dead coach coaching, and Godfather Fangio will be the 49ers DC next year….

      1. I think they’ll go in an offensive direction, similar to the Rams, to keep Trubiscuit from crumbling.

    1. Yeah, most love Fangio, but 9er DC next year? Wishfull thinking? Let’s see what Saleh can do–could be better than Fangio in the years to come…or not. One step at a time.

        1. Year one of a complete rebuild and you are already thinking the 49ers change coordinators?
          Sebrazor you are lame!

          1. Employing rational thinking and showing a bit of restraint is one way to go, Cassie, but there’s a lot to be said for calling for someone’s firing, before they’ve had a chance to show what they can do.

            1. You must be part of fake news, because I never alluded to any such thing. Quite the opposite. Saleh gets his chance to show what he can do this year, knowing Fangio is apt to be available to take over should he falter in 2018. It’s no different than Hoyer getting his shot, knowing Captain Kirk is apt to be available to take over should HE falter in 2018….

              1. OK, Razor, how about this… demoting someone before they’ve had a chance to show what they can do. Is that better?

                BTW, I think most people would call getting removed as DC after one season, even if that coach was kept on the staff, a firing. Hardly “fake news”. Besides, our president calls being held accountable for his own words and actions “fake news”, so I don’t see that as much of an insult.

                If you want real “Fake News” just turn on Fox “News”.

              2. Hiring a first time DC as a bridge is a bad look. Saleh might never get another DC job if he’s fired after one year just because he doesn’t measure up to Fangio. It could also negatively affect our ability to attract quality assistants in the future. Why would anyone want to come here knowing that they could be fired unless they are considered to be elite at their job after just one season? Only one season where a variety of things out of your control can go wrong.

                Foster could be the centerpiece of our D. One of the few knocks on him is block shedding. He needs to flow freely to the ball. That makes him better suited to a one gapping 4-3 scheme with five men on the line.

              3. OK, Razor, how about this… demoting someone before they’ve had a chance to show what they can do. Is that better?

                Nope, more fake news. I’ll talk slower. H e ‘ l l g e t h i s c h a n c e t h i s y e a r a n d i f h e f a l t e r s, F a n g i o w i l l b e a v a i l a b l e.

              4. If Saleh proves himself to not be up to the task, and Fangio is there for the taking, and they stick with Saleh, I’d be more concerned with how that “looked” than I would be demoting Saleh back to LB’s coach….

              5. So Saleh has a whole bunch of new rookies and a new scheme to implement. Has to get everyone on board and playing lights out to keep his job, otherwise the 49ers dump him and go with Fangio?
                All this in year one of a rebuild?
                There have been stupid comments before but this is one of your best Seb.
                Insert self punch in the face now!

              6. Of course he can get fired if he’s not up to task. But you’re suggesting that he has to be on a par with Fangio after one year. That might be fair if Saleh inherited a stacked roster lik Fangio did in 2011.

              7. Fangio is overrated as a coordinator. He inherited a ready to win defense in 2011,and so far in Chicago, has not gotten great production out of that defense.
                Why didn’t Vic want to work for Tomsula Razor? Thought you lost all disrespect for Bradley cause he only wanted to work for Cable.
                Maybe if Vic put his ego aside he would have been the HC in SF after 4 games when Tomsula took over.

              8. Never said he had to be “On Par”. That would be ridiculous. He’s gonna need to show he’s capable, and has the upside that you can feel good about taking a pass on, an available Vic Fangio….

              9. So what’s the measuring stick to live up to Lord Fangio?
                What does Saleh have to do?

              10. OK, tit for tat. You suggested that I said we should keep Saleh if he’s not up to task, which wasn’t true. I suggested you said Saleh should be fired unless he is on a par with Fangio, untrue on my part.

                But at the top of thread you said “Godfather Fangio will be the 49ers DC next year.”

                This is why people are saying you’re not giving Saleh a chance. You said Fangio will be, not Fangio could be if Saleh doesn’t show potential.

              11. I’m just predicting he will be with some credible horse sense. Fangio wanted Shanny. Shanny wanted Fangio. Bears say FO. Shanny hires Saleh knowing Fangio will likely be available. Shanny hires Hoyer, knowing Cousins will likely be available. Fangio>Saleh Cousins>Hoyer. I could be wrong and Saleh is a gem, but I’m betting the odds. He’s never done it before. He’s an unknown in that regard.

                You suggested that I said we should keep Saleh if he’s not up to task.

                Yea, I wasn’t clear enough on my meaning. I meant that hiring a “bridge” DC wouldn’t be a bad look if it was part of the deal. And really, it’s no different than a F/A player. If that player or coach is a substantial upgrade at the position, and it can make your team better, you have to do it. It’s not personal, it’s just business….

              12. Razor,

                The following is your first post on this thread (which was also the overall first post under this article):

                “I would slot Payton right above Rivera, with the rest moving up one. John Fox is a dead coach coaching, and Godfather Fangio will be the 49ers DC next year.”

                I don’t see anything here about Saleh getting a chance to prove his mettle, only a definitive statement that Fangio will be the 49ers DC next year.

                No big deal, but that is what you said, isn’t it?

                Sorry, but “Unwelcome News” isn’t “Fake News”.

              13. You don’t see it because it goes without saying. He’s the DC this year. Fangio was blocked. He gets his chance. For you to suggest that I was implying he wouldn’t is not only disingenuous, it’s impossible….

              14. Razoreater says:
                June 9, 2017 at 11:51 am
                Godfather Fangio will be the 49ers DC next year….

                What was that you said?

                Just like Kap will be obligated to return? Just like the King will get 10 sacks?

              15. Razor,

                I will spell out what I was saying more clearly, although I shouldn’t have to since it was you who made the comment that “…Fangio will be the DC NEXT YEAR” (which is what I was responding to, so it would stand to reason that I was also talking about next year).

                If Fangio is DC next year, instead of Saleh (as you said he would be), then Saleh will have had to have been fired (or if you prefer, demoted, if he’s still on the staff). So, by definition, you have called for Saleh’s firing (or demotion) in the 2018 offseason, before we’ve seen what Saleh can do. I never said you called for his immediate firing / demotion.

                I was simply trying to suggest is that it might be a bit more fair to give Saleh a chance to show what he can do, before we start talking about replacing him. That’s all.

              16. Nope. Saleh gets the year to show what he can do. Always did. I never “called” for him to be replaced. I predicted he won’t be good enough for the 49ers to pass on Fangio should he become available. Nice try though….

              17. You say you didn’t call for Saleh’s firing in the 2018 off season. OK then, are you predicting that Saleh is going to step down to make way for Fangio? Something has to give, if Fangio is going to be the 49ers DC in 2018, as you predicted he would be.

              18. So if Fangio ends up being the 49ers DC in 2018, as you say he will (which it could), how does it happen? How do the 49ers remove Saleh as DC? You don’t think it will involve a firing (or demotion, if you prefer)?

              19. A defensive snap hasn’t been executed and Spameater has already decided Salehs fate.

                Next we’ll here about how Hoyer should be replaced by Kap.

                And the circle jerk goes on and on and on…..

              20. I think that could have been part of the deal. Maybe make him assistant DC until Fangio retires. He could learn a great deal from him. It’s not a coincidence that Vic Fangio’s first hire as HC would have been Kyle Shanahan as his OC, and then the Shanny led 49ers sought out permission to pilfer him from the Bears. It’s no different with players. Case in point, do you think Shanny preferred Hoyer over Cousins? Of course not. If he could have gotten Cousins, he would have. Hoyer knows that Cousins will more than likely be available in 2018, and that the 49ers will upgrade the position if he doesn’t change their minds. I think you’re making this more complicated than it needs to be….

              21. Now Spameater is playing the great Carnac.
                Give me a break Spameater and go listen to some metal and pass out!

              22. Why would Fangio want a 4-3 guy as his assistant DC? That would be like Kyle hiring Chip as an assistant, it’s not a good match. And when Fangio retires we would have to acquire 4-3 personnel again.

                Did Kyle and Lynch tell Saleh he would be one and done but he would become Fangio’s apprentice next year?

                Saleh/Fangio isn’t the same as Hoyer/Cousins. First, Saleh could be as good or better than Fangio, nobody knows yet. Hoyer will never be as good as Cousins. Second, we would have hired a 3-4 DC if we wanted to build a bridge to Fangio.

                Your bridge becomes apprentice theory might make sense if we hired Ed Donatell as DC. Same scheme, he’s worked with Fangio, and they might be friends.

              23. Why would Fangio want a 4-3 guy as his assistant DC?

                Fangio incorporates elements of a 4-3.

                Did Kyle and Lynch tell Saleh he would be one and done but he would become Fangio’s apprentice next year? We know he wasn’t their first choice, and Shanny wanted a seasoned DC. We also know initially, Saleh was to be a co-DC with Jerome Henderson.

                Saleh/Fangio isn’t the same as Hoyer/Cousins.

                Both player and coach were not Shanny’s first choice, and his first choices are likely available in 2018.

                Saleh could be as good or better than Fangio, nobody knows yet.

                That’s pretty funny. Saleh has never called plays, and he has just three years of experience as a lead position coach. He’s the girl you settle for when you arrive to the party as late as the 49ers did, and all the hot girls have been taken….

              24. And Saleh incorporates elements of a 3-4, but their base defenses are very different. With Saleh there is five men on the line with single gapping, one less LB, CBs on an island, a box SS, and a single high FS.

                “Both player and coach were not Shanny’s first choice, and his first choices are likely available in 2018.”

                They signed a bridge QB that will run the same system as their first choice QB next year. That seems likely. You’re saying they hired a bridge DC that is running a different system than the one that would be ran next year with their first choice in Fangio. Not likely.

                It doesn’t add up. If Fangio and Saleh were in cahoots, Saleh would be implementing Fangio’s 3-4 to get the team acclimated. Running the 4-3 single high this year would be a waste of time.

              25. “He’s the girl you settle for when you arrive to the party as late as the 49ers did, and all the hot girls have been taken….”

                Fangio is the hot girl we spurned for a fat chick with a mustache that farts in public. Women never forget.

              26. I think you’re making scheme a bigger issue than it is. They wanted Fangio, and settled for Saleh.

              27. I think you’re downplaying the differences of 4-3 and 3-4, plus the different personnel needed for those formations. Sure they wanted Fangio but settled for Saleh, and they could hire Fangio next year if Saleh fails. But there is no way that Fangio and Saleh will both be on the team next year.

        2. You aren’t switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3 if you’re planning to move back to a 3-4 the year after.
          Moreover, Fangio wasn’t their “first choice”. Yes it was reported that the team inquired about Fangio, but it was also reported that they weren’t very persistent at all.

          They tried to get Gus Bradley harder than Fangio.

    2. I wish Fangio was 49ers DC now, but now that were are with Salah and the new scheme, I want to stick with it. The switch back to a (3-4 or 4-3 Under or hybrid What-ever) could be too disruptive to the brick by brick long term goals.

      1. B2W, if the Bears fire Fox, they’ll likely desire an offensive HC to expedite Trubisky’s development. Fangio is said to have really enjoyed living in the Bay area, and playing golf. As far as scheme goes, Vic Fangio is the architect of defense and I’m quite confident he can run any type of defense you desire….

        1. One scenario I can see Fangio returning is if Ward gets hurt or doesn’t work out at SH-FS and no one else o the roster does either. The whole defense falls apart.

          But if Ward shines and stays healthy, and the Robinson and Witherspoon (or Johnson) excel outside, Saleh sticks unless he totally flubs game preparation and play calling.

          1. If there’s one thing I know, B2W it’s that Fangio is a mastermind at play calling and game prep. That’s my concern with Saleh. First time DC on any level and consequently his game prep/play calling are both unknowns. Let’s hope he’s not a Manusky, but if he is, at least we have the Piece Of Mind knowing Vic Fangio is likely to be available….

      2. +1 I too wanted Fangio, but I’m giving Saleh a chance. The best time to switch schemes is in year 1. If we we’re going to hire a bridge DC, it would have been a 3-4 guy.

        I don’t think Saleh will be fired because the D will be much better than last year’s historically bad D. The front 7 is greatly improved with the additions of Thomas, Mitchell, and hopefully Foster will be ready. We also improved depth.

        We have a logjam on the D line. And while we have depth at LB, only Foster could be considered elite. We have 4-3 personnel now. Barring a complete disaster (not likely), Saleh is safe.

        1. They won’t need to fire Saleh. He should be excited to learn from Fangio. Unless Saleh is fantastic, I think he’s a place holder, similar to Hoyer….

          1. Fantastic as in top 5? I think our d will be ranked somewhere between 12 to 20. That would be a good enough improvement for me. I think that we can agree that the run D will be better.

            The thing that could bite Saleh is the single high scheme. Can the CBs play 1 on 1 press? Can Ward be the eraser? Can Reid play in the box?

            1. Asking young corners to play one on one is difficult.
              Robinson and Witherspoon have the size and length but do not have the experience.

              Unless the pass rush can generate multiple hurries, deflections, knock downs and sacks 40% of the time per series, it’s a risky defense to play.

              1. No no no Sebrazor! It will be on how well he develops the young, up and coming draft picks to his scheme.
                The 49ers next year are not going to out coach anyone.
                They simply don’t have the horses with experience to do that.
                It will be about building the scheme with the personnel they have drafted and it will take a couple years to develop it.
                If Saleh can demonstrate he can do that and get everyone to buy in, that’s what will determine his fate. Not matching X and O’s in a rebuild.
                Stupid thinking!

              2. “Scheming and in game adjustments.” So let’s give him a chance. Shanny and Lynch don’t want to implement a new D scheme in year 2 of the rebuild. They have moved on from Fangio.

              3. If they wanted a bridge DC, then why not hire an older, respected guy on a one year deal with a scheme similar to Fangio’s? Someone like Ray Rhodes.

              4. This year will be his chance. Thought I made that clear. If Fangio becomes available, his football acumen would be too great to pass on. Unless Saleh seizes his opportunity and demonstrates the makings of a great DC, I think Fangio is the guy they wanted all along. Saleh was merely the best of the rest….

              5. They wanted Fangio. Saleh was the best of what was left. Nothing wrong with Saleh getting his chance this year. If he proves himself, they pass on Fangio. If not, Fangio upgrades the defense as soon as he steps inside the facility. Saleh is his assistant, and will eventually take over when Vic retires or he moves on as a DC of another team….

              6. I don’t think Saleh would stay on with Fangio. I don’t think Fangio would even want to retain Saleh unless he proves his worth this year. If Saleh proves his worth, he will keep the DC job.

              7. Take a demotion, sit and be a caddy for a year, then become the DC after Fangio leaves?

                That’s about as far fetched as Kap obligated to return to the 49ers!

              8. What has Fangio ever won?
                The defense he inherited was built to win before he got here.

              9. I don’t think Saleh would stay on with Fangio. I don’t think Fangio would even want to retain Saleh.

                Could be, but it could just as easily be part of the hire. They knew Fangio wanted to be here, and they knew he’d be available in 2018. Saleh knew he wasn’t their first, second or third choice….

              10. So your telling everyone Saleh took the job on the notion he would be demoted or let go after a year?

                I don’t think a donkey without a brain could make me this stuff up.

                Here’s an idea for you Sebrazor. Grab your Sony discman, slap in some Black Sabbath and STFU.

              11. Do we know for sure that Fangio was their first choice? The Fangio story came out on January 19th. Did they ask about Fangio on that day or sooner? Who knows.

                What we do know is that Gus Bradley turned us down on January 17th.

                https://mobile.twitter.com/MikeSilver/status/821581938158776321

                “Gus Bradley wanted to go to SF as Cable’s DC. Niners called today to try to get him to come anyway. He said no. Only wanted Cable.”

                It seems more likely that Bradley was the first choice and they only pursued Fangio after they lost out on Bradley.

              12. It seems more likely that Bradley was the first choice and they only pursued Fangio after they lost out on Bradley.

                That’s your take, but for mine, the 49ers know Fangio is a defensive mastermind. Bradley not so much. I think if given the choice, Fangio. The mere fact that Bradley would only want to work under Cable, does nothing to reinforce my confidence in his football acumen.

                Remember when Fangio was being considered as HC, and his first choice for OC was Shanny?;>)Little heads up for ya….

              13. Sebrazor says “That’s your take, but for mine, the 49ers know Fangio is a defensive mastermind.

                Yeah it’s called a timeline. Just a minor detail you missed during the entire hiring process DA!

                #80, debating with this clown is pointless. He’ll circle back at every point. It’s a joke.

              14. “Fangio is a defensive mastermind. Bradley not so much.”

                Bradley became a HC in 2013 because he got a lot of credit for the 2012 Seahag D. We can debate which one is better and I would pick Fangio, but Bradley is well respected.

              15. Bradley became a HC in 2013 because he got a lot of credit for the 2012 Seahag D. We can debate which one is better and I would pick Fangio, but Bradley is well respected.

                That’s cool, but I’m saying any respect I had for him went out the window when he stipulated he’d only coach for Cable.

                Given that Fangio made Shanny his first choice as his OC during his HC’ing candidacy, I think it’s safe to assume Fangio was Shanny’s first choice as DC. And why wouldn’t he be? The only guy his equal is Phillips….

              16. What’s wrong with wanting to work for a particular person? Why does that offend you Sebrazor? It happens all the time in the NFL dummy.

                As as far as Fangio bein equal to Phillips. Well Phillips has a SB, Fangio not so much.
                You can thank the guy who brought all those wonderful memories to you and your family for that.

          2. You think Saleh will accept a demotion after one year?
            What planet are you from?

            Here is a guy who the NFL is talking about being a HC in a couple years and who players say he is one of the best communicators.

            But once again your ideas are so far fetched from the reality of the game that you seem to think it’s real? You really are coo coo!

          3. Razor,
            The question is, does Fangio want to come back? Jed washed his hands of anything Jim Harbaugh during the “Purge” of 2015.
            He no doubt witnessed the dark age of the 2015 and 2016 seasons from afar with the hiring and firing of Tomsula and Kelly as well.
            This organization has been in disfunctional flux for the last 3-4 years and Fangio lived in some of it before leaving.
            I look at it like this, Fangio is a great coach and deserves better than this.

    3. The fundamental reason that Payton is still there is because the GM Loomis is still there, and the only reason Loomis still has his job (after several disastrous seasons of mismanaging their salary cap and trying to plug inferior, expensive players onto the underperforming defensive unit) is due to the almost total dysfunction of ownership that includes inter-family legal squabbles, lawsuits and counter lawsuits. But that is bound to come to an end sooner rather than later. When it does, Payton, Loomis and ageing overpaid Drew Brees will all be shown the door.

  2. The interesting thing is that every coach is on the hot seat every year. The GM or the owner can be upset for any number of reasons and wins/loses is just one of them. So you can expand or contract your list as one sees fit. Human nature and the reactions will manifest itself in many different ways and hiring and firing is are just two of them.

  3. I would agree with everyone listed. I would also add:

    Lame Duck:
    John Harbaugh – How does this guy still have a job. Sure he made the SB in 2012 but it was gifted to him by his brother’s moronic time out and Kaepernick’s dreadful end zone fade. A weak conference also helped his path to even being there as they earned a 10-6 record that season. Since 2012 their record has been 31-33. If the Ravens miss the playoffs this year again which I suspect they might I think they’ll be looking for a new coach for 2018.

    Long Shots

    Andy Reid: Alex Smith’s pedestrian play might give Reid another season to work with Mahomes under center but they also could decide that their new stud QB is better off with a new mentor, especially if KC has an early exit from the playoffs or misses them all together.

    Jason Garrett: I think the team has under performed with the talent available to it. If the team doesn’t make the SB this year or be in a real position to get to it then it’s time for Jerry to cut the cord he confusingly seems hesitant to severe.

          1. Opinion and not a particularly good one… how about facts with analysis instead of relying on your readers to come up with what the team is actually doing ? Like Razoreater telling us the team dumped a Safety today for yet another guy to play OL. You’ve been doing this gig for seven years, you need to get up off the couch, put the bowl of Cheetos down, turn off the TV and do some work on analysis, not opinions…

            1. Believe it or not, this is a blog site, and this is where posters give their opinions. We rely on Grant to be our eyes and ears in the practices, and he delivers big time.
              .
              He even directs the discussion with his insights, like his comments on A Lynch and Bowman, and he has gotten national attention for being bold with his analysis.
              .
              Cheetos? No, but he HAS given me some delicious cookies. ;p

              1. Ah yes, Grant’s poodle…even if he doesn’t need one.

                I rely on Grant for one set of input. I welcome input from other media sources as well. I couldn’t care less about being handed cookies.

              2. Cassie, that is because you, like your daddy, hated Kaep and cant stand even mentioning his name.
                .
                Grant was trolling you, and engendered the standard response. Nothing happening in the off season, so it is formulaic, and should be expected.
                .
                Personally, I like blog posts that talk about Kaep. Hope he stays in the news, and am wondering where he might land. Niners may be the ultimate destination, but many teams are assessing their QBs after the OTAs. Texans may be hungry enough, Wonder if Semian has fully recovered, especially after playing while injured.
                .
                Of all the posters on this site, who do you think would enjoy more mentions of Kaep? That was a cookie, not a Trubiscuit, and I savored it. You could care less and that made it sweeter.

      1. John Harbaugh will coach as long as Flacco is the QB, just like Payton will coach as long as Breeze wants him.
        .
        Too bad both those QBs may be over the hill.
        .
        However, JH does coach in a division with the Browns and Bengals, two teams who are chronic underachievers.

    1. Andy Reid????

      Dude has made the playoffs 3 of 4 seasons there, won the division last year, and are primed to win it again. And Smith is one of the main reasons they are in the playoff hunt and have won 9 or more games all 4 seasons.

      1. Coaches that continuously get bounced early from the playoffs get replaced. If they do it again this year it’s very possible they look for a coach that can take the team past the divisional round

      2. Yup, Reid is on the hot seat, and his window is closing fast. Both the Broncos and Raiders will be ascending teams, so the Chiefs may not even win their division.
        .
        It was very telling that the Chiefs moved up in the draft to select Mahomes. Yes, Smith takes care of the ball, but I would say that he wants to keep his completion percentage high, so he rarely takes a chance downfield. Also, someday, he may learn to run the hurry up offense without huddling up.

  4. Grant,

    Did you forget about Marvin Lewis? He is always on the hot seat and is in the final year of his contract.

      1. “… the Bengals don’t like to spend or lose money.”

        That sounds familiar. Good thing the Niners have a better, more passionate fan base that is willing to humiliate their owner in public.

        1. Uhhh…I think the fact that the Niners, under the Yorks, have hired and fired Mooch(just fired), Erickson, Nolan, Sing, Harb, Tomsula, Kelly and now Shanny (so far only hired), as well as GMs like Donahue, McCloughan, Baalke, and now Lynch all with time left on their contracts shows the team has NO issue of spending money on a new coach while even paying off an old one (same applies to those GMS as well).

          Theres this notion that that Yorks/49ers are cheap or don’t spend money but it’s completely wrong. Those years when Nolan was coach, everyone forgets that the 49ers were out signing some of the biggest F/As of that year; Jonas Jennings, Nate Clements(highest paid defender at time 8 years 80 million), Justin Smith as well as many of the hot f/as like a Tully Banta-Cain, Antonio Bryant, Brandon Jones (who? 5 years 17 million in 2009), Darrell Jackson, among others.

          Now money poorly spent is not much better than money not spent at all (see 2016), but this idea that the team has been tight with the purse is so far from correct its comical.

          1. “Now money poorly spent is not much better than money not spent at all (see 2016), but this idea that the team has been tight with the purse is so far from correct its comical.”

            So how did we end up with the most cap space in the league? If we’re just talking coaches, they spent money on Harbaugh because they wanted a new stadium. They then went cheap and hired Tomsula. We the fans, threw a fit, flew banners, and Tomsula was fired. Then they hired Kelly. Some fans were appeased, Kelly had some success with Philly. But Chip proved to be incompetent. The fans revolted again. If we had crap fans like the Bengals we would still have Tomsula and would only be signing one FA a year like 2016.

            We held Jed accountable with banners and by booing him anytime he took the field.

            http://deadspin.com/are-the-49ers-cheap-1682507645

            “Tomsula, who is one of the league’s lowest-paid coaches and likely has a staff to match.”

            1. More from that link.

              “It’s in line with the York family’s history.”

              “The Yorks went from Steve Mariucci (Eddie’s hire) to Dennis Erickson (cheap — a college guy who wanted one more shot at the pros) to Mike Nolan (cheap — a coordinator who also served as the team’s GM until that idea proved disastrous) to Mike Singletary (cheap — no tangible experience besides looking and talking like a badass after a badass playing career) to Harbaugh (not cheap) to Tomsula (bottom-five-in-the-NFL cheap).”

              This isn’t comical. The York’s try to go cheap every chance they get, but the fans won’t accept it for too long.

          1. Up until just recently I swore he said “checks” not just because it sounds like it but it makes more sense., Singing about money for nothing and your free paychecks. Chicks, especially when you have money, are never free.

              1. I’m terrible with song lyrics. I was in my 30’s before I realized the line from Hotel CA was “pink champagne on ice.”

  5. The Browns and Jags coaches will be on the hot seat, and the next set after them.
    Jets and Bills coaches tend to have musical chairs.

    1. HCs who may have short tenure.-
      .
      Vance Joseph, Jim Cauldwell, Doug Marrone, Anthony Lynn, Ben McAdoo, Todd Bowles, Doug Pederson, Jay Gruden, Mike Mularky, Sean Mcdermott and Hue Jackson.

  6. Payton is not going anywhere if Drew is still here. Only way he is out next yr is if front office doesn’t extend Drew. Drew will not finish his career on a new coach and offense…not happening.

  7. lol. No Grant, you pass to win. Running is just to kill the clock and keep defenses relatively honest. And that’s been understood for the past twenty years. But I’ll link you up with a basic primer. Burke has moved on from his site (he sold it to ESPN) but he kept his articles up. The data and conclusions are incontrovertible and there’s no need for the jury to retire. (Yeah, that’s a cheap Pink Floyd rip-off.)

    Looking at the relationship of running efficiency (yards per rush attempt), a few things stand out. First, compared to passing efficiency where the efficiencies typically range from about 4.5 to 7.5 net yards per attempt , the range of running efficiency is much tighter. It typically ranges only from about 3.5 to 5.0 yards per attempt. Second, the pattern formed by the relationship with wins is just a big blob. Compared to passing with its nice tight relationship, running’s relationship with wins is weak. There may not be a relationship at all, except that there is a conspicuous absence of many teams with very strong running games and very low wins. To my eyes, this suggests that a good running game can save a bad team from notching only 3 or 4 wins, but it’s not going to lead a team to the playoffs. Notice how few of the very best running teams exceed 8 wins, while the best passing teams win at least 8 games.

    In fact, if you look at only the points at or above the 10-win line, where the playoff teams typically reside, the graphs tell very different stories. Teams with 10 or more wins are no more likely to have strong running games than weak or even extremely weak running efficiency. In contrast, the teams with at least 10 wins are far more likely to have had above-average passing efficiency.

    http://archive.advancedfootballanalytics.com/2010/08/passing-winning.html

    It’s a passing league. And the greatest correlation to winning in the NFL is turnovers followed by passing efficiency (which is greatly influenced by turnovers).

    1. And he’s not the only one. People have been talking about this since the days of Jim Kelly and how Belichick defeated the K-Gun in the Superbowl by playing a 2-3-6 defense.

      https://thepowerrank.com/2014/01/10/which-nfl-teams-make-and-win-in-the-playoffs/

      Power-rushing is crap. It only works if you have an elite defense to carry it. And we saw that under Harbaugh. The second the defense went to hell (well, down to 10th in the NFL, hardly ‘went to hell’ really), the offense dropped to 25th in PPG.

      That’s your ****ing running crap. It doesn’t work. IT’s 1960s thinking. Move on.

    2. No, you run to win. The Falcons lost the Super Bowl because Kyle Shanahan forgot to run the ball with a 25-point lead in the second half.

      1. You run to keep the defense honest and set up play action. You pass to get a lead. You run to finish the game.

      2. Yup, so did the seahags when little Russell passed instead of handing off to Lynch. A run would have been a wrap.

    3. If KS would have run the ball in the 3rd Q when up by around 25 and utilized the clock to his team’s advantage, he might have a ring on his finger. Teams run to close out the win. Analyze how many teams which win have 30 or more carries in the game.

  8. 1. Todd Bowles, NYJ.

    1.5 Seb—-Seb predicted Kaep would “take the league by strorm again………Tick Tock……………………………..Tick tock…………….Hit Snooze Alarm……….Tock tick, tock tick.

  9. Patriots 14-2, 7th in rushing.
    Dolphins 10-6, 9th in rushing.
    Texans 9-7, (made playoffs) 8th in rushing.
    Raiders 12-4, 6th in rushing.
    Cowboys 13-3, 2nd in rushing.
    Falcons 11-5, 5th in rushing.

    6 of the 12 playoffs teams were top 10 in rushing.

    NE 4th in passing.
    Pitt tied for 5th.
    GB 7th
    Atl 3rd
    Sea 10th

    5 of the playoff teams were top 10 in passing. The only two teams that were top 10 in both categories were Atlanta and New England. Those two teams went to the SB.

    1. One of the reasons I like the Packers to go to the Super Bowl next season is they improved their running back position.

              1. Scheme will change, utilizing their new backs to threaten the outside run. More finesse, less power….

            1. Cam is coming off surgery, Benjamin is fat, and Caff and Samuel are rookies. Niners could steal a win in Week 1.

              1. Really comes down to how the 49ers D plays. In fact, I think you can say that for the entire season – the 49ers will go as far as their D takes them because that is where ostensibly their most talented players are. Which may not be very far… its a real unknown right now.

      1. Packers weakness is their secondary. They could not stop the Cowboys, but just out scored them.
        .
        In the NFCC Game, the secondary was porous for 400 yards. Matt Ryan carved them up.

          1. Packers signed Davon House, who used to play for them, and also drafted King and Josh Jones, so their secondary will improve, but drafting 3 rookie RBs may be a work in progress. Jamal Williams was ranked 13th, and Aaron Jones was ranked 20th, so they missed out on all the highest ranked RBs.

  10. Pittsburg should fire Tomlison. Rothlesberger is retiring and that team is super bowl or he is gone. Could the steelers pull Harbaugh from Michigan? I see Daniels taking over Pittsburg next season

    1. Since 1969, the Steelers have had 3 head coaches. They will not replace Tomlinson because they value continuity.

        1. Have fun, Dave! Let us know how you liked it, and I’d imagine Little Joe might want to make an offering;>)

      1. No. Too many changes lately, can’t keep doing that.
        Walsh took over a 2-14 team and promptly went 2-14.
        Long view required; brick by brick.

        1. Didn’t we say that last year though too? I agree BT and I think that this is different but will Jed take the long view or panic?

          1. Alright, alright! Quit throwing my words back at me, LOL. I probably was saying that last year, and meant it. Wasn’t crazy about the Chip hire but thought he (but maybe not Baalke) would get more time.
            The festering pile of offal that the season became presented Jed with little choice but the nuclear option. I think the long term deals are deliberate statements to them and the world, and from Jed to himself going forward.
            So, yes, I look for 3-4 years stability with HC and GM.
            But as you pointed out……….quien sabe?
            : -)

          2. Jed’s pockets are full of money now.
            He’s taking the public scrutiny, and now has a solid shield in Lynch and Shanny in front of him to deflect what is coming in a 3-5 win season.

    1. I think people might assume they were “sucking for quarterback name” if they went 0-16.

      A guy mentioned on a recent Football Guys TV youtube webcast they Jets and Browns could tank the season for draft position. He also mentioned possibly the 49ers. I don’t see that at all. Too many 39+ year old players were brought in for a tanking team.

      My tanking front runners are the Jets and Browns. The Jets are in a better position to tank, but the Browns have much more experience. Even if Kizer works out, the Browns would love the first pick at trade-back bait. Their GM gets to polish his apple as a trade genius, even though its luck, timing and consistently losing that got the Browns all those extra picks.

  11. I disagree with the assessment of Fox, because the Bears were decimated with injuries last season. Looks like they went all out to find a QB by signing Glennon and drafting Trubisky.
    .
    Another long shot who might be fired for not advancing in the playoffs is Andy Reid.

  12. I hope Grant is right about the Saints and Bears having poor seasons. Will increase the value of the extra 2nd and 3rd round picks.

    I’d feel alot better about trading pick 67 to the Saints.

  13. So Bo looks explosive? Why should anyone expect he will be any better this year than pre-injury last year? If anything, once real games with real coverage situations, he will have lost another half step. He’s a liability on first down, any down. But they will play him, other teams will quickly expose then scorch him, and there will be more discussion on this blog.

  14. I’m laughing at the “fake news” references. Yeah? Like Denise Is Going To Fire Jed. Like that?
    Let’s see Opening Day 53 with regards to Mr Bowman and A.Lynch………….
    National attention indeed

  15. 2017 Rookie Throw Velocity

    CJ Beathard, Iowa, 55 (Left), 52 (Right)

    Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee 51 (Left), 50 (Right)

    Jerod Evans, Virginia Tech 50 (Left), 51 (Right)

    Brad Kaaya, Miami, 48 (Left), 47 (Right)

    DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame, 52 (Left), 52 (Right)

    Trevor Knight, Texas A&M, 55 (Left), 53 (Right)

    Mitch Leidner, Minnesota, 53 (Left), 52 (Right)

    Sefo Liufau, Colorado, 46 (Left), 44 (Right)

    Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech, 55 (Left), 55 (Right)

    Nathan Peterman, Pittsburgh, 49 (Left), 49 (Right)

    Cooper Rush, Central Michigan, 45 (Left), 46 (Right)

    Seth Russell, Baylor, 52 (Left), 49 (Right)

    Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina, 51 (Left), 50 (Right)

    Deshaun Watson, Clemson, 45 (Left), 45 (Right)

    Davis Webb, California, 56 (Left), 54 (Right)

      1. Having witnessed him throwing in South Bend, his arm strength was under estimated. P. S. I posted it for reference purposes only, and not inference purposes. Have some fun, and do a meatless Monday;>)

        1. Brady, Montana, Bradshaw, Young all had average arm strength.
          It’s an overrated intangible that means nothing if you can’t fit the ball in a tight window.
          Accuracy is everything at the QB position.

              1. Bradshaw also had Lynn Swan to throw to, and Franco Harris to run the ball.
                .
                Prime also forgot that he had the Steel Curtain, to help him.
                .
                Bradshaw had a 52% completion rate, 212 TDs and 210 interceptions, for a 71 QBR.

    1. Yes, that other player may have been an upgrade because he can block, but I also think that Lynch sent a message to the whole team- Players should not feel entitled, and ANYONE who does not give 100%, all the time, will not fit in the Niner’s future plans.
      .
      Bet there have been no players lagging on the field after that cut.

  16. Yes, it is a passing league, but Running the ball is essential to win.
    .
    Look at Marino. HOF passer, but his passing could not overcome the defensive deficiencies.
    .
    Look at Payton Manning against the Seahawks. Think he threw for 35 TDs, but in the SB, Marshawn Lynch’s running won the game, and the defense shut down the passing game.
    .
    I think the key is balance. Gotta be able to do both, and stop both.

  17. NFL rule changes partially led to the Shanahan hiring. For those 49er fans unaware of just how far the 49ers have advanced with the hiring of Shanahan, I’ve listed some of those rule changes.
    The number of years (can be measured in decades) the 49ers advanced by firing Baalke and hiring Shanahan is:
    2017-57= 1960, the decade most NFL analysts noted the Baalke running game resembled.

    A 60% completion stat was once considered a miles stone…Now it’s commonplace.
    So we will start at the advent of these changes:
    So last years 50.4% compltetion rate (I won’t beat a dead horse by naming him but lets hint–he was a poster named S_B’s favorite QB) by the 49ers starting QB was unacceptable and the main reason he was let go by Shanahan.

    And Baalke never read the NFL rulebook, so the 49ers were stuck with his 1960’s running game.

    Drew Brees setting a new season passing record and two other QBs that topped the 5,000 yards passing mark in a single season.

    1. It started in 1974 when the NFL restricted the amount of contact defenders could have with a WR. Before then, CBs typically mauled WRs not just at the line of scrimmage, but along their routes.

    2. The rules would be altered once again in 1978 when defenders were able to maintain contact with a WR within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage, but were unable to make contact beyond that point.

    3. Since 1995, the NFL has allowed a WR forced out of bounds by a defender to return in bounds and make a play. This helped eliminate the move of “chucking” a WR out of bounds to remove him from a play.

    4. By 2002, they protected the QB even further by barring helmet-to-helmet contact with a QB at any time, even after a change of possession.

    5. QBs received even more protection in 2006 when the NFL barred hits to the QBs below their knees

    6. The shift in passing has been obvious…

    Prior to 2008, a QB has only surpassed 5,000 yards passing in a season only a single time. Brees became the second QB to reach that milestone in 2008. In 2011, 3 QBs alone topped 5,000 passing yards. Only 10 years ago, surpassing 7.0 YPA for a QB was considered very good. Only 11 QBs would reach that mark. 10 QBs surpassed that mark in 2003. By 2008, 17 QBs reached that mark. Over the years, we’ve changed what we have come to expect from QBs. A 60% completion percentage was once considered a milestone for a successful season. In 1983, only 8 QBs completed over 60% of their passes. 20 QBs surpassed that in 2010.

    http://www.thephinsider.com/2012/1/10/2696454/the-evolution-of-passing-in-the-nfl

    1. * Bill Walsh kept a copy of the NFL rule book in his office. Any new rule changes would be met by Walsh incorportating a new play into his offense that reflected the rule change.
      Countless, were the number of times 49er fans would hear the latest NFL announcer wonder out loud: “Why aren’t the 49ers taking advantage of the new passing rules in their offense ??

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