Which Teams Might Fire Their Head Coach This Year? A Look at Possible Head Coach Openings Around NFL

As the season grows old, NFL teams may soon be looking to move on from their head coaches. Let's look at who may be on the move here soon.

The NFL is a “what have you done lately” league, and whether you are a player or a coach, you will be judged according to your most recent performances.

Players get cut or traded all the time, as it is a fairly common practice. However, the act of changing a head coach typically yields a far greater impact on an organization, and such a move is made more carefully.

As we creep into the holiday season, the NFL year continues to roll on by with contenders and pretenders around the league becoming clearer every week. As things sort themselves out on the field, such is the case for head coaches and their comfortability within their current roles.

Let’s take a closer look at some head coaching names across the NFL and see just how in peril or safe they may be in their situation.

Head Coach Hot Seat

Listed below are coaches who are on the hottest of hot seats. The ones we have heard whispers, or in some cases, louder proclamations, about when it comes to their impending fate.

Let’s take a look at each coach and their specific situation as they navigate the hot seat they are currently on.

Bill Belichick, New England Patriots

There may not be a hotter seat in the NFL than the one that Bill Belichick currently occupies. His Patriots look like one of the league’s worst teams and are fresh off a 10-7 loss to Tommy DeVito and the New York Giants.

Talk about his future has been rampant this year, and if Belichick were to be elsewhere next year, there aren’t too many people who’d be surprised at this point.

Ron Rivera, Washington Commanders

Throughout Ron Rivera’s time in Washington, the Commanders just simply haven’t been consistent enough. A team that at one point boasted one of the most talented defensive groups in the NFL has since sent off multiple pieces of that group.

On the offensive side of the ball, the talent is evident, but the results have not yielded nearly enough under his watch. There is new ownership in town, and with that may come a changing of the guard that may leave Rivera on the outside looking in.

Matt Eberflus, Chicago Bears

Things have not been good in Chicago for a long time. Matt Eberflus’s version of the Bears has not been much different. Everyone in the Windy City, including quarterback Justin Fields, feels like they are in an audition for their future in Chicago.

MORE: NFL Head Coach Rankings 2023

If the season doesn’t finish on a much more positive note, there could be widespread changes made for this historic franchise.

Brandon Staley, Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers, simply put, have underachieved under Brandon Staley. A team that has one of the brightest young stars at quarterback in Justin Herbert has just not been able to win at a consistent level.

From questionable coaching decisions late in games to not maximizing a talented roster’s potential, Staley has worked himself into one of the hotter coaching seats in the league.

Todd Bowles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Things have gotten much tougher in Tampa since the departure of quarterback Tom Brady. The NFC South is the worst division in the NFL, yet the Bucs haven’t been able to grab ahold of it in 2023 after winning it last year with a losing record.

Things feel stagnant in Tampa Bay, and if there aren’t real, productive changes made down the stretch, no one should feel safe, including Todd Bowles.

Dennis Allen, New Orleans Saints

Much like Bowles before him, Dennis Allen is fighting and scrapping his way through a woeful NFC South division. With newly signed Derek Carr under center, things were supposed to take a step in the right direction.

Instead, the Saints are bunched up with other teams fighting for a divisional crown that feels more like a participation trophy for mediocrity than anything of substance at the moment.

Antonio Pierce (Interim), Las Vegas Raiders

There’s no such thing as a comfortable seat when you’re an interim head coach. Every day is a prove-it day for Antonio Pierce, who is looking to show he is worthy of keeping the job for the long term.

MORE: How Much Will Josh McDaniels Make in 2023?

With a lot on the line for Pierce, the players have seemed to respond thus far. That will need to continue for the final month and a half of the season if Pierce is going to build a strong enough case to keep the job he currently occupies.

Chris Tabor (Interim), Carolina Panthers

Chris Tabor was just named the interim in Carolina this morning after the team opted to let go of Frank Reich. With just six weeks left in the season and Tabor never having been a head coach at any level before, the seat is scorching as he tries to prove he’s the man for the job.

Head Coaches With Uncomfortable Seat

Listed below are coaches whose seats aren’t quite hot but far from comfortable right now. These coaches have either seen things turn on them after prior success or have yet to really take the next step, which has made their presence feel increasingly stale.

Let’s take a closer look at some coaches who are teetering on the edge of a hot seat.

Arthur Smith, Atlanta Falcons

Arthur Smith and the Falcons find themselves in a weird spot this year. They’re in an entirely winnable division along with the Saints and Buccaneers, but they’ve struggled to step up and seize it.

Smith has put his eggs in the basket of second-year QB Desmond Ridder, and if he doesn’t produce a playoff opportunity, it may be Smith’s undoing in Atlanta. Things are set up so favorably for Atlanta to win their division that anything less than that may cause a teardown of the operation.

Sean McDermott, Buffalo Bills

There may not be a more perplexing situation in the NFL this season than that of the Buffalo Bills. A team that clearly has talent and has been widely viewed as one of the best teams in the NFL coming into the season, finds itself at 6-6 and struggling to find consistency.

A lot is going to be learned for the rest of this season with respect to Sean McDermott and the Bills as a whole. If Buffalo can overcome and get to the playoffs, it may be seen as a bump in the road. But if things don’t pan out and they miss the postseason while struggling down the stretch, McDermott may find himself out of favor at the end of the season.

Robert Saleh, New York Jets

Robert Saleh was dealt a tough hand this year. The Jets finally decided to dive headfirst into legitimacy and see their prize offseason acquisition get hurt on the first drive of the season, putting the campaign in a tailspin ever since.

MORE: The 9 Shortest Head Coaching Tenures in NFL History

Even so, the Jets’ defense is talented, and the offense has weapons to make plays. It may simply be Saleh’s handling of the backup quarterback position that ends up doing him in this year. If Saleh and Co. spent more time and resources on QB2, maybe things could have gone vastly different for the Jets in 2023.

Kevin Stefanksi, Cleveland Browns

Kevin Stefanski has had a rough go of it thus far in 2023. A defense that is elite by every metric has been offset by inconsistent QB play that’s partly the byproduct of three different players drawing starts under center thus far this season.

Stefanski is not on the hot seat, and he shouldn’t necessarily be. However, considering the money the Browns spent on Deshaun Watson only for him to have frequent injury concerns and not be overly productive while actually on the field may prove a factor that ultimately sets the franchise — and Stefanski — back for years to come.

Head Coaches That Are Reasonably Safe

This short list is comprised of coaches who aren’t completely chilling or worry-free in their role but have either done enough to earn some security or are too early into their tenures for them to be considered in danger of losing their jobs.

Let’s take a look at the two coaches who are reasonably safe in their positions for the time being.

Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans

Mike Vrabel is one of the more respected coaches in the NFL. A player’s coach with skins on the wall that players can relate to because he’s been there and done it. As a coach, he comes from the Belichick tree of discipline and accountability.

This year has not been a banner year for Vrabel and his Titans. But with a veteran QB on his way out and the team trying to figure out which young signal-caller they want to build around, a foundation of structure is in place that Vrabel should be around to see come to fruition.

Brian Daboll, New York Giants

The New York Giants are the walking definition of “what can go wrong, will go wrong” this season. A year removed from a playoff win and quality first season under Brian Daboll, the Giants have taken a massive step back in 2023.

Whether this season or last is more indicative of who they really are is an open question for the time being. In any case, Daboll is a respected NFL coach who should be given the opportunity to right the ship. Although he’s safe right now, if next year looks at all similar to 2023, Daboll may be moved up two tiers in this list.

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