7 NFL Head Coaches on the Hot Seat in 2016
The forecast of a career in the NFL is sometimes a fickle beast. Especially if a certain team that calls Lake Erie home employs you, a head coach firing can come as quickly as a Nor’easter sweeps snow across the Great Lakes. Still, this shouldn’t keep us from trying to figure them out. To do so, I logged every firing of an NFL head coach since the end of the 2006 season, tracking how long each coach held his position prior to being let go.
It should be no surprise that the Cleveland Browns are tied for first in most head coaches fired over the last decade or that they are just second in average tenure (2.2 years) of head coaches released since 2006. Only the Oakland Raiders (1.8 years) have a quicker hook than the Browns, but the Browns have infamously canned four coaches in the last six years.
They are the exceptions, however. There is, on average, a turnover of 6.80 positions per season over the last decade, and an even 7.00 per year since 2011; that’s how many we’ll profile in this piece.
The table below shows the ranges of years coaches served in any one job with a team before being replaced, plotted in a somewhat natural arc. This will help us zero in on the range of “replaceable” head coaches, and weed out those who have earned their tenure with the team.
Over 50 percent of head coaches don’t make it past Year 3 of the tenures with their teams; these are the coaches we’ll look at the hardest. Once a coach reaches Year 6, however, only 25 percent of them have been fired. The average tenure comes out as 4.43 years in one job, but that is skewed by double-digit tenures like Bill Cowher in 2006 and Tom Coughlin in 2015; when we remove just the top range, the average job length is 3.47 years.
All of this said, when a storm is a-brewing, no one is necessarily safe. So, let’s get to the real news: which head coaches’ jobs are most at risk this year?