Yeah I get it it's early. However, this is one of the most fun times of the year. Teams who start off 0-2 are already hitting the panic button and twitter goes absolutely nuts. Twitter GM's are calling for their Head Coaches heads and are looking to trade everyone away and rebuild. #TankforTua season is in full effect. In this mini piece we're gonna be discussing a few potential coaches who could get yoinked in the immediate future. If you're a fan of one of these teams on here, don't worry, your team could prove me wrong completely. Unfortunately, for some of you though, the tough sledding has only just begun and it's going to be a long season for some of you guys. That being said, let's get into it.
Jay Gruden, Washington Redskins
I'm a big fan of Jay Gruden as a head coach in the NFL. He's a great offensive mind, and has helped sparked the careers of guys like Kirk Cousins, Jordan Reed and Chris Thompson. However, that hasn't translated to wins, which is the most important statistic for a head coach. In his first five years, he's made the playoffs just one time, and has compiled a record of 35-44-1. It's not all on Gruden though. Year after year, the Redskins continue to get decimated by injury. It feels like half of their team is on injured reserve by week seven.
Despite that, many are calling for a change of scenery with the coaching staff and that could be the best decision for both parties. With the Redskins selecting Dwayne Haskins in the first round, they could look to go with a younger offensive mind to help aid in the growth of the Ohio State product. Also, they could choose to go defense, and help build a unit that has one of the most underrated front seven's in all of football. Whatever the case may be, it feels like Jay Gruden has overstayed his welcome in the nation's capital and is likely to be one of the first coaches to get the boot.
Doug Marrone, Jacksonville Jaguars
Doug Marrone had a fantastic rookie head coaching season in 2017. He led the Jacksonville Jaguars all the way to the AFC Championship game, where they were a couple of bad calls from representing the AFC in the Super Bowl. Reasonably, the Jags had extremely high expectations, with an extremely talented defense to go along with a run heavy offense. Unfortunately, the Jags disappointed, going 5-11 and missing the playoffs.
The expectations in 2019 were pretty high once again. They replaced underperforming quarterback Blake Bortles with playoff legend Nick Foles. Foles was supposed to give this offense some life, but he was injured in week one and now won't be back until later in the season. Second string quarterback and absolute legend Gardner Minshew has looked phenomenal in his first two appearances, but that hasn't translated to points. Additionally, Marrone and superstar cornerback Jalen Ramsey were seen getting into a verbal altercation on the sidelines. That led to Ramsey's agent requesting a trade, meaning one of the top defenses loses their best player. With the Jags likely to struggle until Foles gets back, this could spell the end for Doug Marrone in Jacksonville.
Brian Flores, Miami Dolphins
Firing first year head coaches could start becoming the trend. Last year, the Arizona Cardinals let go of first year coach Steve Wilks after a disappointing season. The Cardinals let him go, replaced him with young quarterback whisperer Kliff Kingsbury and selected Kyler Murray. That could definitely be the case for Miami Dolphins first year head coach Brian Flores.
The Dolphins have looked horrific the first two games of the season and I think that's being pretty nice. They've been outscored 102-10 in their first two contests, including a 43-0 bludgeoning at the hands of the mighty New England Patriots. Let's just face it. Brian Flores, while he has the potential to be a great defensive mind, isn't ready to be a head coach just yet. Miami is arguably one of the worst football teams of all time and it's really tough to find games where they can compete this year, let alone win. With the Dolphins likely to take a quarterback with the first overall pick, that could mean the end of the likely disappointing Flores era in Miami.
Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers
This one stings for me. I'm a huge Ron Rivera fan, going back to his days as defensive coordinator with the Chicago Bears and San Diego Chargers. Furthermore, he's been great as head coach with the Carolina Panthers. Since he arrived in Carolina in 2011, Rivera has compiled a record of 74-62-1. That has resulted in four playoff appearances, including a Super Bowl appearance in 2015 where they lost to the Denver Broncos.
It's been a rough past few years for the Panthers though. The made the playoffs in 2017, but sandwiched that with two disappointing years where they finished bottom two in their division. It hasn't been an ideal start to 2019 either, as they've dropped their first two games, both at home. Cam Newton looks like he's playing hurt again, the offensive line seems to be getting worse by the minute and the defense just let Peyton Barber of all people have a quality stat line. I expect the Panthers to continue to struggle, as they have a tough schedule, to go along with their divisional schedule. If that's indeed the case, the Panthers could look to move on from Rivera.
Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers
Best for last. Mike Tomlin is one of the longest tenured coaches in the NFL, getting the job as head man for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2007, at the young age of 37. Tomlin's been wildly successful as well, bringing home the Steelers a Super Bowl in just his second season at the helm. The Steelers have been a consistent playoff team as well, missing the playoffs just three times during Tomlin's tenure, including a disappointing finish last year. Despite that, the future Hall of Fame coach is potentially looking at the clock ticking on his time with the historic franchise.
Problems started to rise last year, first with Le'Veon Bell sitting out due to wanting to sign a fat extension. The Steelers didn't give him that and as a result, he upset many fans and fantasy owners by not playing a single game. Next, Antonio Brown. OOFA. Where do I start with this goofball Jamal. The constant fighting with Ben Roethlisberger, the jabs he took at JuJu Smith-Schuster and the season finale controversy. With the Steelers playoff hopes on the line, Brown decided to not play, costing them a chance at another playoff appearance. With all of that, Tomlin was still able to lead the Steelers to a 9-6-1 record. Honestly, that could go down as one of the greatest coaching performances of all time.
Tomlin will be tested again in 2019. Of course we know he lost two of the top playmakers in the game in Brown and Bell. Now he's lost his future Hall of Fame quarterback as well, as Roethlisberger will be having season ending surgery on his right elbow. An 0-2 start doesn't help Tomlin's case, but the Steelers are doing everything in their power to stay in contention. Last night, it was reported by Adam Schefter that the Steelers had acquired former first round safety/cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick from the Dolphins for a 2020 first round pick. Fitzpatrick will certainly help a secondary that has gotten gashed the first two games. That should definitely help them a bit, but it doesn't help them on offense. Tomlin will be relying on former Oklahoma State product Mason Rudolph to save not only the Steelers season, but his job as well. If Tomlin can't steer the ship, this could be the end of his time in the Steel City.
It's still extremely early. We've only played about 1/8 of the season. However, teams do get off to some rough starts, which means front office guys start looking at what's going wrong. Some focus their attention on the players, and either ask to bench them or try to trade them away. Others look in the direction of coaching and think about giving their Head Coach and his staff the hook. I believe that the five coaches listed above could be fired at any point this year or even next offseason. For some of these guys, like Mike Tomlin and Ron Rivera, it'll be pretty easy for them to find new jobs. But for the others, this could be their last opportunity being an NFL Head Coach.