With the mindset of most teams being ‘win now’ teams have little to no patience with head coaches anymore. There is no such thing as taking the time to build a team through the draft anymore. If a head coach can’t turn the team around within three years (or less depending on the franchise), front offices want to move on to the next guy.
It is an accepted reality of life in and around the NFL and often has fans and the media wondering who will be the first to go. Who is going to be the first NFL head coach to get fired?
Most of the time teams wait until the end of the season, but occasionally a head coach will be let go during the year. Sometimes they retire when the season ends or have to step away for health reasons.
Coaches leave their positions for a variety of reasons all the time. So, when Bovada.lv posted odds, they phrased the question carefully so as not to exclude anyone:
- 2019-2020 First NFL Head Coach To Leave His Post
o Jay Gruden +300
o Pat Shurmur +700
o Matt Patricia +1000
o Bill O’Brien, Dan Quinn +1200
o Doug Marrone, Jason Garrett, Mike Zimmer +1500
o Adam Gase, Brian Flores, Mike Tomlin, Ron Rivera +2000
o Kliff Kingsbury, Anthony Lynn, Freddie Kitchens, Mike Vrabel +3000
o Sean McDermott, Kyle Shanahan +3500
o Matt LaFleur, Pete Carroll +4000
o Vic Fangio, Bruce Arians, John Harbaugh, Jon Gruden +5000
o Zac Taylor, Frank Reich, Matt Nagy +7500
o Sean Payton, Andy Reid, Doug Pederson, Sean McVay +10000
o Bill Belichick +15000
Technically, no one is safe; it could happen to anyone. But for guys like Sean Payton, Sean McVay, Andy Reid, Doug Pederson, Matt Nagy, Pete Carroll, and Frank Reich it will take an epically bad season and a few unfortunate scandals for them to get let go.
Bill Belichick could hold up a bank, take hostages, and threaten to bomb New York and still not lose his job.
Pete Carroll, Belichick, Bruce Arians, and Mike Zimmer are all over 60. While none have any known health issues, no one would fault them if they were to retire or step down for health-related reasons.
First-year guys (Zac Taylor, Kliff Kingsbury, Freddie Kitchens, Vic Fangio, Matt LaFleur, Brian Flores, Adam Gase, and Bruce Arians) are usually safe. Teams will often give a head coach at least two if not three seasons to get the team turned around (but not always).
Of course, if there is a feeling that they absolutely have the wrong guy or that he is in over his head, then first-years are fair game.
Several guys will be on the hot seat next season if they have another down year (Pat Shurmur, Dan Quinn Doug Marrone, Kyle Shanahan, on Gruden, Sean McDermott, and Matt Patricia). But the most likely candidates out of this group to be the first to go have to be Jay Gruden, Bill O’Brien, Jason Garrett, and Mike Zimmer.
If Cousins doesn’t play better and the Vikings don’t compete for their division title, Zimmer will be gone. Logic would dictate that another mediocre season would be the end of Jason Garrett—unless Jerry Jones has his blinders on again.
Jay Gruden is the easy and most logical choice, but don’t sleep on O’Brien. If the Texans lose because of his ultra-conservative approach on offense, it is high time the Texans send him packing.