Tis the season that NFL coaches get fired.
With just four days until the 2015 NFL regular season concludes, the 20 non-playoff teams will likely be making a decision whether to bring back their head coach for next season or decide to go in a “new direction.” Organizations generally start announcing their plans following their team’s final games, though the Philadelphia Eagles got the ball rolling a little early by letting head coach Chip Kelly go on Tuesday with Pat Shurmur serving as the interim coach for the team’s final game against the New York Giants.
Shurmur has been the Eagles offensive coordinator since 2013 and has 15-years of NFL experience. The 50-year-old also has previously been a head coach, posting a 9-23 record in two seasons with the Cleveland Browns (2011-12).
Penn Live reports that Shurmur is a candidate for the full-time head coaching job, though Shurmur won’t treat Sunday’s game like an audition for the Eagles job or any other team’s head coaching gig.
“I’ve kind of treated everyday of my life as an audition. It just so happens that the last game of the year is against the Giants in the Meadowlands.”
Speaking of the Giants, their head coach Tom Coughlin is one of the seven NFL coaches currently on the proverbial hot seat.
Coughlin, 69, is been one of the best and most respected coaches of his generation. The 20-year NFL coaching veteran has compiled a 170-149 record and has won two Super Bowls though he is in the midst of his third consecutive losing season. Also, the Giants have not reached the playoffs since the team won the Super Bowl in 2011.
Dan Graziano of ESPN wrote about Coughlin that “it is not a sure thing he’s gone yet since he carries serious weight as a two-time Super Bowl champion and is well liked and respected by players and owners. But the vibe around the Giants has shifted, and they seem likely to be in the market for a new head coach for the first time in 12 years.”
The Giants have lost two straight and seven-of-10, plus they got man-handled by the Minnesota Vikings last week, 49-17. The Giants are 16th in the NFL in scoring, and 28th in total offense while their defense is 30th in scoring and 32nd in total defense.
Does Coughlin even want to comeback is an interesting question?
Coughlin was asked that very question and he quickly sidestepped the question without answering, according to New Jersey Online.
“Do I want to come back, I don’t think that’s a great question right now,” Coughlin said. “What I want to do, is win a game on Sunday. That’s the bottom line for this group right now.”
“I always have the competitive spirit,” he continued. “Sometimes it takes me a day or two to figure it all out when it’s over. But right now, let’s stick with the game and let’s go win a football game.”
Indy Sports Central’s Chris Hagan has reportedly been told that the Indianapolis Colts plan on letting head coach Chuck Pagano’s contract expire at the end of the season. Pagano, who turned down a contract extension at the end of the season, was expected to done after this season due to part to his deteriorating relationship with general manager Ryan Grigson. Grigson’s status is also up in the air, but it is believed he will be involved in the search for a new coach.
An official announcement is expected to come following the Colts game with the Tennessee Titans. Indianapolis (7-8) are on the verge of missing the playoffs for the first time in four seasons though it is conceivable that the Colts do luck out and make the playoffs. The Colts need to win this week and have the Houston Texans lose, plus a specific combination of eight other teams win or lose. There is about a 0.06 percent chance of all that happening, per ESPN.
Pagano is 40-23 in his four seasons with the Colts, winning 11 games in each of his first three seasons which includes two AFC South division titles. Indianapolis lost to New England in the AFC Championship game last year.
Interim head coaches Dan Campbell and Mike Mularkey are also not expected to be retained. While Mike Pettine, Mike McCoy, and Jim Caldwell are expected to receive pink slips from their respective teams.
Campbell, 39, replaced Joe Philbin as the Miami Dolphins head coach on Oct. 5 – the Dolphins are 4-7 since then. Mularkey 54, was also an in-season replacement, taking over the Tennessee Titans for Ken Whisehunt on Nov. 3. Mularkey is 2-5 this season and has a cumulative head coach record of 18-37 – guiding Buffalo for two seasons and Jacksonville for a season.
Mike Pettine, who is in his second season as a head coach, is under fire because the Cleveland Browns have lost 17-of-their-last 20 games after starting 7-4 under him.
Caldwell and the Detroit Lions are 6-9 this year but the Lions started the season 1-7. The 60-year old is only in his second year and Detroit made the playoffs last year. Overall, Caldwell is 43-35 in five seasons as a head coach.
Wide Receiver Calvin Johnson told NBC Pro Football Talk that he and his teammates want Caldwell back.
McCoy is in his third season with the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers (4-11) went 9-7 the previous two seasons, making the playoffs in 2013.
Jason Garrett (Dallas Cowboys), Sean Payton (New Orleans Saints), Jim Tomsula (San Francisco 49ers), and Jeff Fisher (St. Louis Rams) could also not be back with their teams.
[Photo by Lynne Sladkey of the Associated Press]