The NFL season is upon us. Yes, it’s still six weeks until training camps get started. And sure, the regular-season opener isn’t for 84 days. But with voluntary OTAs and mandatory minicamps underway, every team in the league has already started their preparation for 2014.
That means coaching staffs have already begun evaluating talent, molding their roster, installing systems and getting their team ready for the rigors of an NFL season. In other words, the clock has already started ticking on them; in a results-oriented business, head coaches are always being evaluated, as today’s preparation leads to September’s results.
That proverbial clock ticks louder for some people; having barely blown a whistle in 2014, there are some head coaches in the NFL who are already under the microscope. They have to win this season – and in some cases, win big – or they’ll be doing something else a year from now.
Who falls into that category? Here are 10 NFL head coaches who are already on the hot seat:
10. Jim Harbaugh
It seems ridiculous that 49ers general manager Trent Baalke has any sort of rift with his head coach, given that Harbaugh has taken a team that was a laughingstock during the 15 years prior to his arrival and turned them into a team that has played in three-straight NFC title games. But that seems to be the case, as a classic ego battle has emerged in San Francisco, which could blow up if the Niners don’t get over the hump and win a championship this year.
9. Rex Ryan
The head coach of the Jets is always on the hot seat; that’s just the way things work in New York. But this will be Ryan’s six season at the helm, a run that has netted a combined 42-38 record and zero AFC East titles; that’s the definition of average. At some point, all of the bluster and bravado starts to wear thin if it doesn’t result in victories and division championships. Woody Johnson may hit that point if 2014 is another .500 season or worse.