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10 NFL Coaches Under the Most Pressure in 2014
- Updated: June 14, 2014
Training camp has not arrived yet, but it is never too early to discuss the pressure on head coaches. Every year, the expectation for every team is to win the Super Bowl, and yes, even if you play for the Jacksonville Jaguars. A change of scenery has been made for a couple of teams, but the pressure is the same as a long tenured coach with a struggling team. Without further delay, here’s the 10 coaches who have the most pressure going into the 2014 season (Not sequential order):
1. Andy Reid (KC) – The Andy Reid-led Kansas City Chiefs was responsible for one of the biggest playoff collapses in NFL history. 28 points was the deficit the Indianapolis Colts came back from to stub the Chiefs. After starting 9-0 and losing their first game to the Denver Broncos, Chiefs finished 2-5 and limped into the playoffs. Alex Smith, Jamaal Charles, and the defense need to carry this team to keep Andy Reid’s seat cold.
2. Mike Smith (ATL) – Mike Smith is lucky he is not a coordinator for a different team by now. Since Smith’s hiring in 2008, the Falcons were always considered a perennial Super Bowl contender. However, it has been six years, four playoff appearances, one playoff win. That just can not cut it. Falcons will be better this year, but it might be Super Bowl or bust for these guys.
3. Marvin Lewis (CIN) – It is absolutely baffling how Marvin Lewis is still the Cincinnati Bengals head coach. Bengals are among the elite teams in the NFL, but can not seem to get over the hump. Lewis has been the coach for eleven seasons, five playoff appearances, ZERO wins. Just like his playoff wins, he has zero excuses this upcoming season. The pieces are in places, the Bengals have to win this year.
4. Jason Garrett (DAL) – When you are the coach of “America’s Team”, pressure is automatically put on. Now let’s be serious, the pressure on Jason Garrett has only intensified since taking over for Wade Phillips in 2010. Since taking over full time, the Cowboys has finished 8-8 all three years. Not only that, but losing on Week 17 in NFC East deciding games. Garrett has failed to reach the expectations for the Cowboys and Jerry Jones will eventually have to pull the plug on the Garrett Era. Garrett’s seat his as hot as a barbecue on the 4th of July.
5. Mike Pettine (CLE) – Mike Pettine has yet to coach an NFL game, and his seat is already hot. Pettine has two big tasks to accomplish: leading the talented Browns into the playoffs and handling Johnny Manziel. That is no knock on Manziel, but is Pettine’s job to make sure Johnny Manziel is focused on football and just football. Browns have always been “one quarterback away” type of team and we will see if it is Manziel or (Brian) Hoyer that will be the answer.
6. Jeff Fisher (STL) – The St. Louis Rams do not have Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk running the show, but they have the pieces in place. After having one of the best offseasons in the league, Rams are in position to contend. Jeff Fisher has no excuses to not at least be a contending team. The bad news for the Rams is that they play in the toughest division in the NFL, which is the NFC West.
7. Joe Philbin (MIA) – The 2013 season for the Dolphins started with optimism and ended with questioning and disappointment. The Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito saga proved to be a distraction as the Dolphins miss the playoffs again. Despite coming close, Philbin’s seat is hot. Another miss playoff appearance may call for a change in scenery in South Beach.
8. Rex Ryan (NYJ) – Every year, Rex Ryan has had pressure on him. We all thought after the Mark Samchez-Tim Tebow debacle, we all thought Ryan’s time in NY was finished. That was not the case. Last season, the Jets drafted QB Geno Smith and went 8-8. The learning process should become easier for Geno as the team brought in Michael Vick to mentor. The defense has always been solid, but let’s see if the offense can save Ryan’s job.
9. Jay Gruden (WSH) – All football fans saw the demise of the Washington Redskins last season. The Mike Shanahan Era is over and coming in his Jon Gruden’s younger brother Jay. Jay Gruden comes from the Cincinnati Bengals staff to develop Robert Griffin III some more. Safe to say that the Redskins had no strengths last year and they look to correct their misfortunes. Though the Philadelphia Eagles are the class of the NFC East, the division is wide open.
10. Jim Caldwell (DET) – Last years Detroit Lions were on their way to a playoff berth. Then, they choked. The Lions demise was a two-way street which had Matt Stafford on one street with the defense on the other. Jim Schwartz was fired and Jim Caldwell was hired. Caldwell will be tasked with making Matt Stafford an elite quarterback. Also, Stafford will need more help from the WR spot, Calvin Johnson can not do it all.