Several NFL coaches will wake up this morning uncertain if they will still have a job at the end of the day.Now that we’ve reached the halfway point of the NFL season, most teams now whether they have a legitimate shot at the postseason or need to start planning for next year. And at least a couple of teams know that nothing short of a full scale housecleaning will make a difference.
The No. 1 coach who should be afraid for his employment status is Wade Phillips. The Cowboys were embarrassed for a second straight game, this time on the biggest primetime game of the week. The team is in disarray, fans are growing restless, and owner Jerry Jones is no longer willing to shoulder the full responsibility.
Jones promised after the game that changes were afoot:
“There are a lot of people here who are certainly going to suffer and suffer consequences. I’m talking about within the team — players, coaches who have got careers. This is certainly a setback.”
Wade Phillips is not the only one to be concerned. Here’s who else is waiting in the gallows.
- John Fox: He is the best the coach the franchise has ever had, but at 1-7 with no signs of life, this may be his last go around.
- Gary Kubiak: After beating the Colts in Week 1, it looked like this might be the Texas year. Now two straight losses (including a convincing one to the Colts) have the fans thinking, “here we go again.” At 4-4, there’s still time for Kubiak to turn things around, but the pressure is on.
There are also coaches who may have saved their jobs this week:
- Brad Childress: The Vikings had an inspiring fourth-quarter rally and overtime win, but a) they were playing hapless Arizona and b) most players declared afterward that they were playing for themselves, not their coach. Acrimony is still high, it looks like they did just enough to save Chilly. For now.
- Tom Cable: Cable survived accusations that he punched an assistant last year and team’s home games were blacked out 10 straight times. Now his team is half-a-game out of first place.
- Eric Mangini: The Browns offence has been anemic this season, but they have back-to-back wins against the defending champion Saints and hated rival Bill Belichick. They may also have found a real QB in Colt McCoy.
And finally one coach to watch for tonight.
- Marvin Lewis: Cincy is having yet another disappointing campaign, the T.O./Ochocinco marriage has not lit up the scoreboard, and the team is basically where it was when Lewis took over seven years ago. He desperately needs a win against Steelers to give a reason for hope.
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