By: Menachem Ickovitz
Are Any 2020 Playoff Coaches On The Hot Seat Next Season?
While this off-season’s coaching hires are still being finalized, it is never too early to look ahead to next off-season to determine which coaches might find themselves without a job. Of course many things can happen between now and next off-season, but here’s an early guide to the situations to watch.
Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings
So much was expected out of the Minnesota Vikings in 2020 and little was realized. The fact that Zimmer survived this round of coach firings is a bit surprising.
The defense, which is supposed to be Zimmer’s strong-suite, allowed 134.4 rushing yards per game and 258.8 passing yards per game, both in the lowest quartile of the NFL. Offensively, while rookie Justin Jefferson had a great rookie campaign, the rest of the offense sputtered. Adding insult to injury, the offense will be getting a new coordinator for the second straight year as Gary Kubiak plans to retire. With this big change this year, it may well lead to the Vikings making an even bigger change next off-season.
Matt Nagy, Chicago Bears
There’s an old phrase, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” and while the Bears were able to back into the playoffs this year, ultimately saving Nagy’s job the moment, there was a lot of smoke around Nagy getting fired. He will be the most scrutinized coach going into the 2021 season. With questions at quarterback, a slow start for the Bears might mean the end for Nagy.
Zac Taylor, Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals typically do not fire coaches as the Brown family does not like to pay coaches who no longer work for them. With that being said, the Bengals will not want to squander Joe Burrow’s talent with a coaching staff that management is not 100% behind.
Especially, if current Carolina Panthers OC (and former LSU OC) Joe Brady does not get a job this cycle, the Bengals might want to reunite Burrow with his former coach.
Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys
When the Cowboys brought McCarthy in, there was talk about how he spent the previous year, while unemployed, learning everything he could about offensive philosophies he was unfamiliar with.
Watching how the Cowboys performed in 2020, it seems like his hard work in his year off did not help. While there were many problems on defense and that has been dealt with as the Cowboys have a new defensive coordinator in Dan Quinn, the offense was unimaginative and led to paltry results.
If the offense doesn’t upgrade quickly, look for McCarthy’s resume being in need of an update.
Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers
This one will surprise many people for numerous reasons. First of all, Tomlin has been successful since he was hired by the Steelers in 2007. Second of all, the Steelers have had three coaches since Chuck Noll was hired in 1969.
All that being said; Tomlin’s time in Pittsburgh might be numbered. Winning has a way of washing over the problems with an organization but when looking at the Steelers this season, and how their year ended at the hand of the Cleveland Browns it has become clearer to all that there is a lack of leadership emanating from the team.
From JuJu Smith-Schuster’s Tik Tok on opposing team’s logos, to Chase Claypool’s inability to stop trash-talking even after being eliminated there is a lack of control.
Additionally, the on field product has not been up to par either. The Steelers ranked last in the NFL in rushing yards per game. The team also let many of the assistant coach’s contracts expire. Typically, once the assistants are let go, the head coach is not far behind unless things turn around.