Yesterday, the Jacksonville Jaguars fired their long time head coach, Jack Del Rio. While Del Rio may be the first head coaching casulty of the 2011 season, he won’t be the last. There are many coaches that are feeling the burn under their buns as their seats get warmer and warmer. Who’s a lame duck? Who’s on the bubble? And, who’s about to save their hide? Let’s take a look.
Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis Colts
If the term “dead man walking” doesn’t mean anything to you, look know further for a definition than the Colts’ head coach Jim Caldwell. Now, it’s possible that he could keep his job following this season, but I really don’t foresee the Colts retaining a coach that’s currently leading the Colts towards that infamous 0-16 cliff. Larry Coyer was the Colts coaching staff’s first man out the door, but firing the defensive coordinator won’t appease the fans or the Colts’ owner, Jim Irsay. Heads will roll in Indianapolis, just don’t expect it before the end of the season.
Steve Spagnuolo, St. Louis Rams
Following last season’s near playoff appearance, the Rams along with Sam Bradford looked poised to make the leap to the next level, but they fell flat on their faces from the very get go. I don’t think we can quite call Spagnuolo a lame duck just yet, but something has to change in St. Louis and more times than not, that type of change comes in the form of a new head coach.
Tony Sparano, Miami Dolphins
Four weeks ago, we were waiting every Monday for the news that Tony Sparano had been fired, but now it appears that his seat has cooled from scolding hot to simply boiling. It’s almost a certainty that Sparano will be out at the end of the season, but if his team could find a way to win about four of their last five, he could get a serious look at keeping his job by the Dolphins’ ownership. Still, don’t hold your breath for Sparano to put on a headset in Miami next season. Odds are strongly against it.
Raheem Morris, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Florida has had a rough football season, and the Buccaneers have been the greatest disappointment in the state, and one of the biggest flops in the league. This was their year. They just missed the playoffs a year ago in one of the league’s toughest divisions, the NFC South, and they’re also one of the youngest teams around. Still the talk of this “youngry” team making a post-season run is long gone. They’ve been simply bad in recent weeks. If Morris doesn’t get his team turned around in the near future, he’ll have to worry about more than just feeding his “youngry” team.
Norv Turner, San Diego Chargers
We’ll end with the hottest seat in the league. Norv Turner could be the next head coach to lose his job, especially if the Chargers find a way to get beat by the Jaguars on Monday Night Football. If nothing else, this lackluster prime time matchup could have a sense of irony if the Jaguars can hand Turner his pink slip. Regardless of that matchup, Turner won’t be back following this season. Frankly, his teams have been chronic underachievers, and this season has been no different. In fact, if he’s still the head coach of the Chargers in 2012, I’ll write a 1,000 word article praising his ability as a head coach. Something tells me I don’t have to worry about that.