Over a month ago, we ranked the coaches with the “hottest” seat entering the 2021 NFL season. A lot can change in one month. Some coaches have their teams over-performing while others have their teams falling short of expectations. In today’s NFL, few general managers can afford to sit back and be patient, which makes coaching changes more frequent than rare. With multiple teams feeling negative pressure from fans and ownership, it’s only a matter of time until somebody gets fired. As week four comes to a close, it’s time we take another look at what coaches could be in danger of losing their job. To rank the level of job endangerment, we will place three coaches on the “hottest seats” and leave a list of coaches who could possibly end up on the hot seat in the “heating up” section.
The Hottest seats:
3.) Urban Meyer
It feels wrong to mention Urban Meyer’s name on a list like this, but it seems inevitable. Meyer has found success all over the country in college, winning at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida, and Ohio State. However, he hasn’t come close to any level of success through four games in Jacksonville. Expectations will always be high when you have the number one pick, especially when that pick is a publicly-proclaimed generational talent.
The arrival of Trevor Lawrence, along with Urban Meyer, brought high expectations that simply have not been met. Outside of Jacksonville, nobody thought the Jaguars would contend for the Super Bowl, but starting the year off 0-4 is an easy way to find yourself on the hot seat. A winless record brings doubts of whether or not Meyer can coach in the NFL and whether or not Meyer will continue to desire to coach in the NFL. Although rumors of Meyer being interested in college football positions, such as the USC job, may not be accurate, the fact that they exist shows how difficult Meyer’s first month in the NFL has been. There have also been reports that Meyer chose to stay in Ohio and visit family instead of flying home with his team after their loss to Cincinnati. If that is true, it is a terrible image and message he is sending to the world. Even the biggest of Urban Meyer fans would have to admit that this may be Meyer’s worst month as a coach in his career. Despite all of the negativity, Meyer still has time to get the Jaguars back on track in the relatively weak AFC South. With a young team and a prospect like Lawrence, it’s likely that Meyer and the Jags will improve as the year goes on. If they don’t improve like they are expected, Meyer could find himself higher on this list in a few weeks.
2.) Joe Judge
It could be said that a coach is always on the hot seat in New York. There’s no city that puts more pressure on their coaches than New York. However, Judge would be feeling the heat no matter where he coaches with how his Giants have played this season. Things looked bad in New York before the season even began, with fights breaking out during practice. Along with Judge, nobody’s job in New York is safe as the franchise could justifiably move on from general manager Dave Gettleman and quarterback Daniel Jones as well. Despite an overtime victory over the Saints in week four, the Giants are still sitting with a discouraging record of 1-3. The victory over New Orleans shows an ability for New York to win close games but it doesn’t overshadow how they’ve blown close games to Atlanta and Washington. Nevertheless, it is a step in the right direction. Next week, the Giants will travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys, an upset win over their nemesis may be what Judge needs to save his job. However, if Judge and the Giants implode once again, it may leave the perfect opportunity for New York management to move on from Judge. It’s early in the season but it’s already do or die for Judge and the Giants, leaving Judge with one of the hottest seats in the NFL.
1.) Matt Nagy
Following the Bears loss to the Browns in week three, head coach Matt Nagy was criticized at an alarming rate by broadcasters and former players. They ridiculed his play design and game management in what was rookie Justin Field’s first career start. The critics were harsh, and maybe rightfully so, but Nagy responded with a victory over the Detroit Lions. However, a win against Detroit is far from enough to cool what is the hottest seat in the NFL. The Bears’ coach has looked dysfunctional all year, whether it’s been a press conference or play calling. Nagy and the Bears staff have tried to convince the world that Andy Dalton is the franchise quarterback only to have that blow up with a couple of ugly losses and injury. Hypothetically speaking, nobody should be more excited to give Field’s opportunities than Nagy, yet he seems hesitant to make anything easy for the former Ohio State star. If the Bears future truly is Fields, they must do everything they can to help him reach his potential. It seems that Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace have done everything but made Fields’ transition to the NFL easy. It shouldn’t surprise the NFL landscape if the Bears decide to move on from Nagy, Pace or both with how the Bears are performing thus far. However, if Nagy is able to prove that he is still the creative play designer he was once labeled to be, he might be able to keep his job. At this point in time, that seems like a long shot.
– Mike Zimmer
– David Culley
– Vic Fangio
– Mike Vrabel
– Dan Campbell