The NFL season is rapidly approaching and fans everywhere are trying to remain optimistic. That's harder to do for some franchises that find themselves in a tenuous spot. When things go wrong, the fall guy tends to be the person living in the head coach's office. With great power comes great responsibility. Here's a look at five coaches on the hot seat entering 2022.
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Rhule came in on a rocket from Temple, promising offensive expertise and brighter futures for the Carolina Panthers. That has not happened. The Sam Darnold Experiment has yielded precious little, and will perhaps be replaced by the Baker Mayfield Experiment. Rhule is 10-23 in his two years in Charlotte and will eventually have to show signs of progress. The NFC South is led by Tampa Bay but both the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons could be very beatable. It's no surprise that Rhule is the odds-on favorite to be the first coach fired this year, yet it's very easy to see him gaining some momentum and enjoying a long run. The ultimate make-or-break season.
All of the big-brained football experts are saying that Reich is in danger, yet this seems entirely unfair. He is 37-28 during his four years at the helm, has made the playoffs twice and advanced to the second round. Carson Wentz isn't his problem anymore and here comes Matt Ryan to the rescue. The Colts have played hard-nosed defense and maximized their potential better than two-thirds of the NFL over Reich's tenure. So if I sound angry about this, I am. Justice for Reich!
With Russell Wilson off to Denver and a long and productive marriage in the rearview, a new task awaits the decorated coach. He's earned a tremendous amount of capital but one wonders just how long he wants to commit to a rebuild. Drew Lock does not inspire great confidence. We're not saying this could be it ... except this could be it.
Rivera has only been in Washington for two full seasons and not the 10 it feels like. There's been a tremendous amount of intrigue and controversy packed into that time, along with a 7-9 year that was good enough to make the playoffs. Carson Wentz is his problem now and eventually it'd be nice to get a .500 season. Don't hold your breath.
It wouldn't be a proper list without some Dallas Cowboys intrigue and McCarthy seemed overmatched at times during his first foray as leader of America's Team. It's sort of a big deal when the season ends via botched time management. There's no reason not to win the NFC East this season and failing to do so many force Jerry Jones' hand.