NFL coaches on the HOT seat

Who could lose their job?

Daniel Racz @Danny___Dimes 

Introduction

Every season, a few NFL teams decide that parting ways with their current head coach are in the team’s best interest. While some coaches retain their job for many years, every bad coach is eventually fired once their flaws are revealed. Even teams with star quarterbacks, like the 2020 Houston Texans, fired their coaches. Whether it be due to an outdated scheme, a lack of interpersonal skills, or the inability to make in-game adjustments, there are a few current men that should be coaching as their lives depend on it.

Kliff Kingsbury

In theory, the Arizona Cardinals have built their team properly. After realizing that Josh Rosen was a failed draft pick, the team went back to the well and took Heisman winner Kyler Murray with the first overall pick. To complement their young quarterback, the Cardinals added college offensive guru Kliff Kingsbury to coach their squad. During the 2020 offseason, the Cardinals added Deandre Hopkins to give Kyler Murray a legitimate alpha wide receiver. This offseason, the Cardinals signed J.J. Watt to shore up their defensive line.

The additions that the Cardinals have made, in addition to Kyler Murray’s lack of major development as a passer, have put Kingsbury’s job security in jeopardy. The Cardinals have yet to have a winning record with Kliff at the helm. The offense that Kingsbury has designed is reminiscent of any college air-raid offense. There were many questions about whether an offense that ran a large portion of their plays with four wide receivers and one running back would work. The Cardinals ran this personnel, called 10 personnel, a record 20 percent last season, 5 percent more than the next team–the Buffalo Bills. Kyler Murray’s lack of major development as a passer has forced many to evaluate if he is the man for the job. If the Cardinals do not post nine wins next season, Kingsbury could be on his way out. 

Zac Taylor

Sean McVay’s disciple Zac Taylor was a surprise hire during the 2019 coaching cycle. The then 36-year-old with no prior experience naturally drew comparison to McVay, his mentor. When McVay was hired to develop Jared Goff, there were doubts. However, once the public saw the transformation Goff underwent, many teams searched for the next young, offensive mastermind. The Bengals took a shot on Taylor, hoping they could find a franchise-changing coach. However, in his first two seasons, Taylor has been underwhelming at best. The Bengals have six combined wins in Taylor’s two seasons and have held a top-five pick in both years. 

After Taylor’s first season, the Bengals selected the heir apparent to Andy Dalton, LSU Heisman winner Joe Burrow. Burrow’s rookie season was cut short when he tore his ACL, but when Burrow played he looked like a franchise quarterback. The issue with Taylor’s tenure is not what he has done at the quarterback position, but rather everything else. The offensive line is among the league’s worst, raising red flags about the viability of the offense long-term. The defensive line lacks edge rush talent, and they let their premier pass rusher, Carl Lawson, walk during free agency. The Bengals still may not have NFL-caliber linebackers, and the secondary is still in shambles. The Bengals are looking at another top ten draft pick, and Zac Talyor will likely be out of a job come January. 

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