A lot can happen in the second half of the season. It seems like some squad emerges from the cellar of the NFL to make a late-season playoff push every single year, and there’s no doubt it’ll happen again in 2020 (my money’s on Miami).
But for many, many other teams, a bad start leads to a bad season, and without significant changes, they’ll be doomed to repeat the process next season. The easiest way to start over? Fire your head coach. Here are a few head coaches that I believe need to be fired before a team can start the rebuilding process.
NFL Head Coaches That Need To Be Fired
Philadelphia’s Doug Pederson is the only head coach on this list that has won a Super Bowl as a head coach. As a matter of fact, Pederson’s Eagles have made the playoffs in each of the last three years. There will absolutely be those that are livid that I’ve included Pederson on this list.
In 2017, the Eagles were elite. They won 13 games, Carson Wentz should’ve won league MVP, and they were top ten in every category. The incorporation of the RPO and a deep, strong defensive line made the Eagles bonafide contenders, and yes, even after losing Wentz to injury, Nick Foles was able to lead “Philly Philly” to a Super Bowl win.
Since then? They’ve dramatically fallen off. The defense dropped from fourth in 2017 to 23rd in 2018. They were middling on both sides of the ball last year, but managed to turn a 5-7 start into a playoff run by beating the other pitiful teams in the NFC East.
This whole division needs a facelift, but I think Pederson’s lost a step. Maybe the front office just isn’t giving him a good enough roster, but if you take away that magical 2017 campaign, his run with the Eagles has been mediocre at best.
The funny thing? Even with this putrid start, the Philadelphia Eagles are still very much in the NFC East hunt… so Pederson might get to keep his job regardless.
What has Matt Patricia done since he came to Detroit? He’s lost 25 games, tying once. He’s taken a top ten defense and watched it fall into the bottom ten. He’s alienated star corner Darius Slay. And it looks like he’s barreling towards another bottom of the NFC North season.
It’s pretty crazy that they fired Jim Caldwell for going 9-7 while Patricia has produced a six win season, a three win season, and what looks like another losing season here in 2020. If Patricia fails to produce a winning record this year, he should absolutely be fired, assuming anyone’s even behind the wheel in Detroit.
I like Doug Marrone as a person. I think he’s a good guy, and the loyalty he’s shown his assistants over the years is admirable. But that magical 2017 season fades farther and farther into the distance, and there’s no excuse for a coach in his fourth full year with the team to have a squad this terrible. They’ve been outscored by 97 points so far this year, don’t have a pass rush, a consistent offense, or an identity as a squad. A week one upset of the Indianapolis Colts might be enough to cost the Jags a shot at Trevor Lawrence, but every loss since should be enough for Shad Khan to clean house.
It might seem unfair to want Zac Taylor gone 22 games into his head coaching career, but in my opinion, he’s just not ready. He set the NFL’s record for pass attempts last season with Andy Dalton and Ryan Finley under center despite having the excellent Joe Mixon and respectable Giovani Bernard in the backfield.
It’s a passing league, but Taylor seems determined to call plays like he’s got Patrick Mahomes under center and a world-class offensive line when, clearly, he doesn’t. He does have a very bright young quarterback in Joe Burrow, who looks like the real thing, but is in serious danger.
Burrow is being sacked an average of four times a game, and hit an additional three. With him being forcibly knocked around at least seven times a game, Burrow is at risk of becoming gunshy, or worse, injured. You can say it’s not Taylor’s fault that his offensive line is underperforming, but he is responsible for making Burrow drop back an average of 49 times a game.
Taylor is obviously a very bright young offensive mind, but the way he’s coached Burrow this year has been negligent, and the Bengals need someone more experienced to help develop their young star passer.
As I’ve been saying for months…
This man has never done anything to impress in the NFL, and has been riding the momentum of Peyton Manning’s Broncos for far too long. He’s an “offensive genius” that had the worst offense in the league last season and the second worst so far in this winless 2020 season.
His run in New York has seen the Jets lose Jamal Adams, Le’Veon Bell, and a ton of games. Unless the Jets hate Sam Darnold, or at the very least, want Trevor Lawrence, he needs to be fired before the trade deadline sees every talented Jet leave for little-to-nothing.