In 2009, only one NFL head coach was fired during the regular season. After a 3-6 start, the Buffalo Bills axed Dick Jauron. Heading into week 7 of the 2010 campaign, there are several coaches on the hot seat.
Here’s a look at some of the favorites from Sportsbook.com to get a pink slip before this season ends:
John Fox (+250 odds to be fired first)
In his ninth season with the Carolina Panthers, Fox has guided the club to three playoff appearances. He has been able to win at least seven games in each of his previous eight years with the team. However, Carolina hasn’t been able to record consecutive winning seasons during his tenure. Without a contract beyond this season, it was widely held that Fox would need an exceptional 2010 campaign to stay with the Panthers. Obviously, Carolina isn’t headed for a strong year after an 0-5 start. Now, Fox definitely won’t be back in 2011. The Panthers will probably ride things out with Fox the rest of the way because of his modest success but there is a chance that things could get out of hand to force a mid-season change.
While Carolina wasn’t expected to do much this season, the Dallas Cowboys were viewed as a strong Super Bowl contender heading into 2010. With a 1-4 start, Phillips could be facing a critical stretch in the next few weeks. While he has won two division titles in his previous three years in Dallas, Phillips has yet to make a deep playoff run with the Cowboys. There could be enough fan/media pressure on owner Jerry Jones to ultimately force a change before the end of the season.
It would seem highly unlikely that the Bills would fire a head coach during the middle of a season for a second straight year. However, Buffalo appears to be headed for another dismal campaign after an 0-5 start. With the exception of home games against Detroit and Cleveland, the Bills will likely be heavy underdogs in its other nine remaining contests in 2010. If Buffalo can’t get a win by the end of November, the front office may decide to pull the plug on Gailey a little early.
The San Francisco 49ers have been a major disappointment in the early going after being the preseason choice to win the NFC West. In a weak division, the 49ers still have a decent shot at reaching the playoffs. While ownership has indicated that Singletary will coach out the season, the outcomes of the next four games could alter that concept. In those upcoming games against Carolina, Denver, St. Louis and Tampa Bay, San Francisco will be favored to win each contest. The matchup against the Panthers is the only one away from home during this stretch. If the 49ers can’t get on a roll with these kind of opponents, Singletary’s future in San Francisco could be doomed.
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