The start of a new NFL season is met with a lot of hope by players, coaches and fans alike—in every NFL city. Regardless of the excitement in the summer, the truth is: Some teams will lose. That also means that some NFL coaches could end up looking for new jobs in just a few months.
Anything could happen, which is the beauty of the NFL.
Based on past performance, the current make up of the team and pressure from the fanbase, it’s fair to look ahead to see which coaches need to improve their team’s league standing to solidify their job for the 2023 season and beyond.
Matt Rhule, Carolina Panthers
Rhule has done nothing but rebuild teams at every stop of his coaching career. He turned the Temple Owls from a 2-10 team into AAC conference champions, and he followed that up by turning the Baylor Bears from 1-11 to 11-3 with a Sugar Bowl appearance.
However, rebuilding the Panthers seems to be a much harder task.
He has a 10-23 record in his first two years with the team. Some of the blame can fall on major injuries and certain personnel decisions, but Rhule is still responsible for winning games at the end of the day.
Rhule has also dealt with an endless carousel of quarterbacks during his tenure paired, and Christian McCaffrey only playing in 10 games the past two years doesn’t help either. A healthy McCaffrey and consistent quarterback play could have Rhule back on stable ground in no time or another year filled with injuries and losses could put Rhule on the hot seat this season.
Ron Rivera, Washington Commanders
While Rivera is currently 14-19, with one division title in his two seasons, he could still find himself on a warming seat. No NFL coach deals with adversity better than Rivera. This year is no different than any other.
The team acquired Carson Wentz as their starting quarterback after last year’s acquisition of Ryan Fitzpatrick fizzled out. The defense underachieved in 2021, the offense has the pieces to be successful and all it needs is Rivera’s leadership.
To his benefit, no division is more chaotic than the NFC East. Washington could easily win the division this year and all of this talk around Rivera could be squashed. If the team struggles and continues to be in the news cycle for the wrong reasons. Perhaps, they start fresh.
Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys
One of the first questions McCarthy and Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones had to answer in their opening press conference was about McCarthy’s job security. Jones wasted no time in both confirming his confidence in McCarthy, while also casting doubt on his position at the same time.
"He wouldn’t be sitting here today if I didn’t believe he was the man to lead this team to a Super Bowl. And I have choices."
Jerry Jones on Mike McCarthy pic.twitter.com/mj7fXVaeOE
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) July 26, 2022
Jones has a history of having unique relationships with his head coaches. McCarthy won the division last year with a healthy Dak Prescott and may have won a playoff game if not for Prescott taking too long on a scramble.
There is a lot of pressure while coaching “America’s Team,” but McCarthy has had a lot of success in the past. He has only missed the playoffs four times in 14 full NFL seasons. The history of excellence is there with him, just needs to win sooner rather than later with Jerry Jones wanting his next Super Bowl immediately.