It’s not even December yet, but it’s not too early to look at what teams should be doing in the offseason. A handful of teams have already pretty much given up on their seasons and they are looking towards the offseason.
I’ve always been someone who believes that teams should always move on from players and coaches earlier than others because this league waits for no one. Not firing a coach on time could set back their team’s rebuild by a year or two. Here are some of the coaches that I believe should and shouldn’t be fired:
Coaches that Have Already Been Fired
Texans: Bill O’Brien
Bill O’Brien was never really a terrible coach, but his absolutely puzzling decisions when he was put in charge at GM was the death of him. The quality of the team dropped heavily, and after an 0-4 start the Texans showed O’Brien the door. This was a good move and it allows them to start their coaching search earlier rather than later.
Falcons: Dan Quinn
Dan Quinn was a coach that should’ve honestly been fired the year before, and the Falcons might have to pay the price for their decision. Firing him this year was the right decision, but it may be too late because the Falcons are not in for a quick turnaround. They have a decent amount of older guys with value, so a rebuild shouldn’t be too hard, but firing Quinn a year earlier would’ve helped.
Lions: Matt Patricia
The fact that Matt Patricia wasn’t fired after last year absolutely blew my mind. He clearly wasn’t taking this team anywhere and they were never close to contending. Since Patricia and Quinn were given one last chance to make the playoffs, they ended up as buyers at this year’s deadline instead of sellers which may come back to hurt them. Patricia has been a terrible head coach and not firing him sooner might sting for the Lions.
Coaches that Should Definitely be Fired
Jets: Adam Gase
Gase didn’t do too bad of a job in 2019, however, this year’s Jets have been absolutely awful. They still haven’t won a game yet, and luckily for them they should be bad enough to get a top quarterback in the draft. Gase is clearly not the right coach, but Joe Douglas looks like a promising GM and they should move forward with Douglas.
What They Should Do – Fire Gase NOW
Jaguars: Doug Marrone
Marrone is a guy who surprisingly hasn’t really been talked about in terms of coaches being on the hot seat, but that might be more about the Jaguars irrelevance rather than Marrone’s coaching. Ever since their magical run in 2017, the entire team has collapsed and Marrone is a big part of that. They need to start over with a new coach with a high draft pick to acquire a lot of young guys. The Jaguars could be competing sooner rather than later.
What They Should Do – Fire Marrone, after the year
Broncos: Vic Fangio
Fangio opens up the list of guys who I believe still have a chance to save their jobs, but he may be one of the easier decisions for me on the list. Fangio is a defensive minded head coach and he makes a great defensive coordinator, but he doesn’t have the tools to be a great NFL head coach. The roster on paper looks pretty solid and despite injuries, I expected the Broncos to show more promise. They should let him go after the year and also perhaps look into replacing Drew Lock.
What They Should Do – Fire Fangio, after the year
Chargers: Anthony Lynn
Lynn is an offensive minded head coach. Although he specializes in the running game more then the passing game, Herbert has shown promise under center. That could also be less about Lynn’s system and more about Herbert’s talent. Lynn has shown a knack to lose close games and he makes odd decisions at the end of games, which costs them sometimes. Even though he’s shown promise, I think hiring a new head coach might help unlock more of this team’s full potential than Lynn.
What They Should Do – Fire Lynn After the Year
Cowboys: Mike McCarthy
If the Cowboys hadn’t lost Prescott for the year to injury, I have no doubts that they would’ve won the NFC East, even though that’s not saying much. That also would be more attributed to the talent on the Cowboys roster, rather than McCarthy’s coaching. This year, even in the games where Prescott was healthy, the team looked completely uninspired and the players look like they lack motivation. McCarthy isn’t a great leader and now it is evident that his success in Green Bay should be attributed almost entirely to Aaron Rodgers. I don’t think he’s a good coach at the NFL level and they should start over, although I doubt Jerry Jones will do such a thing.
What They Should Do – Fire McCarthy After the Year
Eagles: Doug Pederson
Coming into this year there wasn’t even a question of whether Pederson’s job was potentially at risk, but this year has been an absolute disaster for the Eagles. They have dealt with injuries, but none as bad as the Cowboys having to deal with the loss of Prescott. With a division as easy as the NFC East it should’ve been a cakewalk for the Eagles, but Wentz has regressed. Peterson’s decision making has been terrible and it looks unfixable. Pederson has made some terrible decisions going for it on 4th down and going for 2 point conversions at the worst times. costing the Eagles. Unfortunately for the Eagles, they’re locked into Wentz and can’t exactly move off him. Pederson, despite his decision making and erratic play calling, is still a brilliant offensive mind and I think they should keep him for now.
What They Should Do – Keep Pederson
Vikings: Mike Zimmer
This was one of the decisions that I was the most unsure about and I really went back and forth on this one. The Vikings looked really bad to start the year, but even at 1-4, the team still looked hopeful. They outplayed one of the better teams in the league, the Seattle Seahawks, and likely would’ve won had Dalvin Cook not got hurt. They were looking promising and with a win over the Cowboys they could’ve been just one game out of first. They managed to lose that game however, and their playoffs hopes now look bleak. It wasn’t an ideal year for the Vikings, but I don’t think Zimmer is the root of their problems, and I think giving him another chance with a better team may be the smartest decision.
What They Should Do – Keep Zimmer
Bears: Matt Nagy
This is also a decision that I really went back and forth on. Matt Nagy is an offensive minded head coach and was hired to transform the Bears offense. Thus far, the Bears have had one of the best defenses in the league, while having one of the worst offenses. Their only bright spot on offense is Allen Robinson, but he looks likely to leave after this season. Nagy has a great offensive system in theory and with the right players I believe that he would be a great offensive play caller. The only problem is that Nagy hasn’t adjusted to what he’s been given. While the Bears could just ride it out for one more year and try to surround Nagy with weapons that fit his system, it’s telling that he is unwilling to adjust, and I don’t think he can get them to the promise land.
What They Should Do – Fire Nagy
Photo: Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News