So, who’s next?
The Green Bay Packers made an uncharacteristic, yet very necessary move on Sunday following their loss at home to the Arizona Cardinals. They finally fired head coach Mike McCarthy, who’s been on the hot seat pretty much since the season began.
Many were stunned. Two-time Super Bowl winner Tony Dungy, now an analyst with NBC Sports, decried the move. So did others. But it absolutely was the right call. McCarthy had completely lost his team and had fallen to a Cardinals squad that didn’t have a franchise win at Lambeau since the 1949 season.
So, who’s next? Which other NFL head coaches are going to see their names plastered on headlines nationally when their number is called?
These five are likely next up on the chopping block.
Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals
This is a move that’s about five years too late already. The Cincinnati Bengals have been a constant disappointment to their fan base ever since Lewis took over 2003. Since then, he’s put together a record of 130-119-3 during the regular season and has not won a playoff game in seven tries.
The Bengals have really cratered since opening the season with a 4-1 start. Since then, they’re 1-6. And while injuries have been a factor, it’s particularly alarming that Cincinnati’s defense ranks dead last in both total defense and points allowed. Remember, Lewis is a defensive-minded head coach.
Then there’s the matter of Lewis’ constant enabling of players whom other teams wouldn’t even consider bringing in due to off-field issues. He simply has no business coaching this team any longer.
Todd Bowles, New York Jets
When Bowles signed on with the Jets, he was one of the hottest assistants in the league coming out of Arizona, where his defensive prowess turned the Cardinals into one of the most feared units in the league.
The Jets had one good year, as they went 10-6 during his rookie campaign. Since then, it’s been all downhill. He now has a career record of 23-37 with Gang Green, and they enter the final quarter of 2018 with just three wins.
In addition to the wins and losses issue — a big issue — Bowles simply doesn’t possess what the Jets are going to need more than anything going forward. Young quarterback Sam Darnold needs an offensive-minded head coach to bring him along in the years to come. Time to move on.
Doug Marrone, Jacksonville Jaguars
Perhaps no team has been a greater disappointment this year around the league than the Jacksonville Jaguars. This was a team that appeared to be destined for greatness. A team that many expected to take that next step from contender to legitimate championship caliber.
Things have not gone according to plan. Blake Bortles, who never should have been extended in the first place, is no longer the starting quarterback. The offense is a stagnant mess. The vaunted defense has been a punching bag for much of the year, making Rex Ryan look like a very smart man.
Even worse, Quinn seems to have lost control of his locker room — London being a prime example of a team that’s not focused on football whatsoever. If the Jags are ever going to take advantage of all the talent on this roster, it appears Marrone isn’t the guy to make it happen.
Dan Quinn, Atlanta Falcons
Much like Bowles, Dan Quinn came to Atlanta with a ton of fanfare as one of the league’s hottest young assistants worthy of taking a team to the next level. And he almost did. Of course, the Falcons’ legendary Super Bowl collapse against New England will live on in infamy.
Since then, of course, they have sputtered.
Sure, Atlanta’s defense was hit with some devastating injuries this year. But the issues that have plagued Quinn’s team go beyond that. He’s made some really bad in-game decisions. The team’s defensive acquisitions haven’t been able to maintain a high level of play for extended periods of time. And as great as Matt Ryan has been, somehow the Falcons have been outscored by 37 points this year.
Owner Arthur Blank might be inclined to give Quinn one more year to right the ship. But nobody would blame him if he opted to see if the grass was greener on the other side, either.
Dirk Koetter, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Back when the Bucs promoted Koetter from offensive coordinator to head coach, they did it with the thought that he’d be the best person to turn Jameis Winston into a legitimate superstar franchise quarterback. That’s why he got the gig.
Since then, of course, things haven’t gone according to plan. Sure, Winston has looked good the past couple of weeks. But overall, this is a quarterback who looks the same now than he did as a rookie. He’s inconsistent, and in no way is he guaranteed to remain the team’s long-term answer after the off-field stuff that’s gone on.
Additionally, Tampa Bay has just been bad under Koetter, who has a record of 19-25 since 2016. If mediocrity (or worse) is the benchmark for the Bucs, then sure, keep Koetter. But if the team wants to really make some changes for the better, it starts up top.