I thought this would be an interesting exercise to look at with a full 4 months to go before the season starts. In many years, it's easy to pick out 6-8 coaches that seem to be on their last legs and need a miracle to make it past the upcoming season. With the unprecedented number of 1st & 2nd year coaches this year, it becomes a little bit more difficult, but I'll try to rank who I think will be out by Black Monday:
Matt Rhule (Carolina) - this organization is just flailing about with the continuous mediocre QB carousel and an owner who hasn't won yet and doesn't seem to be the most patient guy around. Plus - he doesn't seem to have a lot of respect from players and doesn't seem to be much of a game-day coach either. It's hard to see this team winning more than 6 games, and he'll be done after Year 3. Rhule is far and away the odds-on favorite and a big game from anyone at #2 and lower on this list.
Mike McCarthy (Dallas) - I gave a lot of thought to Kliff Kingsbury in this space, as I think he's "all hat, no cattle". But then I looked it up and saw that Arizona gave him a 6 year extension (!). So it has to be McCarthy, who with all the talent they have on the Cowboys, continues to be a raging tire fire of a game-day coach, as evidenced by the debacle at the end of their last playoff game. I get that Jerry Jones is often overly loyal to coaches that he can push around (Jason Garrett), but I can't see McCarthy lasting past this season with an older and less talented roster.
Ron Rivera (Washington) - hard to believe that he comes in at #3 on my list with all the hard work that he's done to help improve the image and professionalism of that sorry franchise. But he's had consecutive 7 win seasons to start his tenure there, which again, might be seen as a positive given all the turmoil at QB, but he's stuck with Jeff George 2.0 in Carson Wentz, who you can't help but think is going to be a disaster in Washington. Plus, the overall team just isn't that talented either, so you have to wonder if Dan Snyder pulls the plug after this season
Pete Carroll (Seattle) - amazing to see how far this franchise has fallen. Their drafting and personnel decisions have been a mess the past few years and I think that Carroll's act has grown stale as well. He's now on the wrong side of 70 and another mediocre season could see him walk away, if not fired outright.
Lovie Smith (Houston) - does he even see year #2 after how ownership treated David Culley? They're not going to win more than 5 games with Davis Mills and a young roster and Smith just seems to be another placeholder for when they draft a top QB next year and pair him with some rising offensive mind.
Mike Vrabel (Tennessee) - he's been a solid coach for that organization, but he doesn't seem to be on the same page with ownership and/or his GM, and after last year's playoff debacle, I think the Titans could plummet a long way this season, especially if they have more major injuries or Tannehill falls off a cliff.
Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland) - going into a pivotal year #3 - the first season was a raging success, but they went through a lot of organizational upheaval in 2021, and this team could go south quickly in a tough AFC, especially if Watson is suspended for a significant length of time, or if they just lose a lot of tough games. Never count out Cleveland to have a quick trigger finger with coaching staffs.
Bill Belichick (Satan's Armpit) - he's earned the right to go out on his own terms, but with a noodle armed QB and another underwhelming draft, could this be the year that he walks away? I hope so after a 6-11 type season!
So that's my outlook on May 1. I'm sure that many will have different opinions about the rankings but I thought this was a good conversation starter.