Tracking next week's NFL head coaching carousel
- By Gregg Rosenthal
- Updated: Dec. 28, 2012 at 01:28 p.m.
A huge weekend of playoff-like games awaits on Sunday. On Monday, 20 teams starting looking toward 2013.
We'll all have the big moves covered on Around the League starting with Black Monday, the day where many coaching changes are expected. (Less talked about: Black Tuesday and Wednesday to follow.)
This page will be a one-stop shop for links to all the latest news from the Around the League page. For now, let's take a look at what teams we'll be tracking next week for potential changes and whether they are likely to make a head coaching change.
Ken Whisenhunt brought the Cardinals to the Super Bowl not so long ago, but he's struggled to find anything resembling offensive consistency since. Whether it's personnel problems or Whisenhunt's coaching is up for debate, although Whisenhunt has certainly had a big say in the team's quarterback decisions.
Chances for a change: Stronger than you think. In defensive coordinator Ray Horton and former Cardinals assistant Todd Haley, there are two potential hires that the Bidwell family feels comfortable with. It's also quite possible GM Rod Graves loses his job, with Whisenhunt staying and a promotion from within in the personnel department.
Chan Gailey has shown little progress in three years under General Manager Buddy Nix. The team changes its defensive plans every year and Gailey's offense isn't as tough to prepare for as it used to be. Owner Ralph Wilson may not want to swallow the remaining money on Gailey's contract.
Chances of a change: 50-50. Nothing would surprise us here. Nix may want to avoid firing his first coaching hire, but most teams would make a change.
Ron Rivera has struggled to win close games during his tenure and isn't a natural in game management. A strong closing stretch could save his job, but the Panthers will be hiring a new GM after the season.
Chances of a change: Strong. A new GM almost always means a new head coach.
Pat Shurmur's team is probably better than its 5-10 record indicates. And it probably doesn't matter. Shurmur is not an inspiring offensive mind. Like Rivera, he struggles with in-game situations.
Chances of a change: All be certain. This one should happen quickly. Look for a complete overhaul in Cleveland.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has intimated that he hasn't even thought about changing head coaches. Fox Sports insider and NFL Network contributor Jay Glazer says coach Jason Garrett is safe, even if the Cowboys lost on Sunday night.
Chances of a change: Minimal. If Glazer says Garrett is safe, he's safe.
Jim Schwartz and General Manager Martin Mayhew pulled off one of the best rebuilding efforts of all-time after taking over the 0-16 Lions. And then the bottom fell out for a talented roster this year.
Chances of a change: Close to nil. Multiple reports say that Schwartz is safe. He's earned more time and is reportedly signed through 2015.
Mike Mularkey was only hired one season ago, but his boss (GM Gene Smith) is on very thin ice. Mularkey wasn't able to develop Blaine Gabbert. All signs point to new owner Shad Khan making a change in the front office.
Chances of a change: Good. See Rivera. When a new decision maker arrives, a new head coach is likely to follow.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs were a popular playoff pick before the season. (Sorry.) They are without question the worst team in the NFL. When that happens, change is almost inevitable.
Chances of a change: All but certain. The Chiefs deny reports that GM Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel have already learned their fates, but it seems to be only a matter of time. Fans might revolt otherwise.
New York Jets
Rex Ryan has made a pre-emptive strike by reportedly telling people he'd rather be fired than stay without major changes to the offensive coaching staff and personnel. Ryan reportedly wants to stay, just under his own terms. He has more leverage than you think.
Chances of a change: Small. Look for a change at offensive coordinator and in the front office. Ryan may wind up with more power than ever.
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said that 8-8 would not be acceptable before the season. The Eagles have four wins. You do the math.
Chances of a change: All but certain. The only question now is timing. Bill Belichick will be the longest-tenured coach when Andy Reid is let go. Reid should get a job elsewhere and reportedly doesn't want to take a year off.
San Diego Chargers
Chargers owner Dean Spanos surprisingly gave coach Norv Turner another season to turn things around after a dismal 2011. Things only got worse. Kevin Acee of the U-T San Diego reports that GM A.J. Smith and Turner will be let go at season's end.
Chances of a change: All but certain. This one should happen right away.
Titans owner Bud Adams is mad about his team and wants answers. Television ratings are down and ticket sales are likely to follow. Coach Mike Munchak already changed offensive coordinators and could change the defense, if Munchak is allowed to keep his job.
Chances of a change: 50-50. Adams seems unlikely to make a move right away, but he's a 90-year-old owner that sounds like he's running out of patience.