The 2022 NFL offseason saw an influx of nine new head coaching hires. Their jobs might be safe, but the same cannot be said for these coaches.
The NFL coaching cycle was a bit more exciting than ones we have seen in recent years. After the mid-season firings, post-season firings, resignations, and retirements, nine new coaches found homes for 2022.The Texans, Dolphins, Jaguars, Raiders, Broncos, Vikings, Bears, Saints, and Buccaneers will all be showcasing a new leader. Of the holdovers, there are obvious coaches that are safe, but what kind of movement could we see in 2022?
Ron Rivera – Washington Commanders
As much as it pains me to put Rivera on this list, it seems like he may be on his last chance in Washington. This will be Ron Rivera’s third season in Washington where he has gone 14-19 over the first two seasons, including a Division Title 2020. While Washington won the title, they did so at just 7-9, a down year for the division. Progress was expected in 2021, but unfortunately some injuries made things a bit difficult for the head coach.
The Washington offense has now re-tooled with a major QB trade acquiring Carson Wentz from the Colts. Adding Wentz to Rivera’s roster that has been devoid of a consistent starter since the Kirk Cousins days will provide some essential continuity for the team’s offense. On the other side of the ball, the Commanders have too much talent on defense to finish with the eighth most points allowed in the league again. If Ron Rivera is able to get the defense firing on all cylinders while improving th offense he may be back in 2023. Until then, he is going to be on the hot seat.
Matt Rhule – Carolina Panthers
Matt Rhule of the Carolina Panthers has essentially been on the hot seat since he was hired in 2020. The former Baylor coach came in with no experience and received some skepticism on his NFL readiness as a head coach. In his two seasons, Rhule has yet to lead the Panthers to more than five games and cannot seem to develop any of the talent around their All-Pro running back, Christian McCaffrey.
Now that Carolina has acquired Baker Mayfield, they have a QB leading the charge with at least some playoff experience. The defense of the Panthers is young but very talented. However, Rhule is an offensive mind, so his job is going to depend on how consistent they can be. Anything less than .500 could result in Rhule being relieved of duties in Carolina. This head coach may have the hottest seat.
Pete Carroll – Seattle Seahawks
Finally, we have a man who is likely the most talented coach in the article, Pete Carroll. The Seahawks shipped Russell Wilson off to Denver and appear to be in a full-blown rebuild mode. The Seahawks missed the playoffs last year largely due to the prolonged absence of Russell Wilson. The Seahawks may not need to make the playoffs, but some confidence in the rebuild will need to be give for Carroll to stay around.
Carroll has taken the franchise to two Super Bowls, winning one, numerous winning records and division titles, and is responsible for the best stretch in Seahawks history. However, all good things come to an end and Carroll’s tenure could be as well. His seat is definitely hot for 2022.
Head Coaches To Watch For In 2023
Mike McCarthy – Dallas Cowboys
After two straight seasons of disappointment in Dallas, Mike McCarthy may be finding himself of the hot seat soon. A disappointing first round exit in 2021 to the 49ers did not help McCarthy’s case. The Cowboys have one of the most talented rosters in the league. Any underwhelming performances will heat McCarthy’s seat up quick. A playoff win may be the absolute floor as expectations are very high for this team.
Dan Campbell – Detroit Lions
While I am a big fan of Dan Campbell, there is no denying the difficulty that head coaches experience in the midst of a rebuild. Given the talent level, the Lions were actually pretty competitive. The issue they ran into most was the inability to finish games. The Lions were able to make some adjustments to some key positions, including the addition of Aidan Hutchinson. While the Lions should definitely be improved, however if they can’t, Dan Campbell will be on much thinner ice.
Kliff Kingsbury – Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals have something a lot of other teams do not have: a superstar at quarterback. Kliff Kingsbury has had Kyler Murray his entire career in the NFL and has one playoff appearance and zero wins to show for it. Kingsburry has a proven track record as a head coach for late-season collapses. The Cardinals are a combined 8-11 in games week eight or later.
Kingsbury will need to learn to adjust better on the NFL level to prove he is the right man to lead one of the best teams in the NFC. The Cardinals have a legitimate chance to compete for a spot int he Super Bowl, but if Kliff comes up short again, he will be in trouble for 2023.
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