Eight head coaches found themselves ousted from their 2012 roles this offseason. Some of them found jobs elsewhere as coordinators, and one even landed a head coaching job elsewhere in the NFL. Regardless, eight head coaches losing their jobs is a pretty big number. That's one-fourth of the head coaches in the NFL right now.
Of Pat Shurmur, Andy Reid, Lovie Smith, Romeo Crennel, Chan Gailey, Norv Turner, Ken Whisenhunt and Mike Mularkey, only Reid earned another job at the forefront of a team, helping the Kansas City Chiefs to rebuild.
Let's take a look at the coaching changes as they happened this offseason.
A look back at the hot seat's victims in 2012
Shurmur was replaced with Rob Chudzinski after a disappointing season and new ownership. Reid was replaced by Chip Kelly, an offensive mastermind in college who might better use Michael Vick. Smith was replaced after a 10-6 season in which the Bears missed the playoffs, with Marc Trestman, who comes from the CFL.
Crennel was fired after the Chiefs matched the lowest win total in their franchise's history. Gailey has a 34-46 career record and was replaced by college coach Doug Marrone. Norv Turner had a winning record in San Diego, but the Chargers couldn't seal the deal, so he was replaced by Mike McCoy, the former Broncos offensive coordinator.
Whisenhunt was always regarded as a smart man, but the Cardinals were far too inconsistent, and Bruce Arians was given his first crack at a head coaching gig in Arizona. Mularkey only had one season to work with, but he only managed two wins and the Jaguars moved on with a new general manager and head coach Gus Bradley.
What is the hot seat?
At one point or another during the 2012 season, each and every coach who was ousted and listed above was talked about as potentially being on the "hot seat." In the "hot seat," the confidence in your abilities by your higher-ups is waning, and there's no "we'll do better next year." You have to win now or you're going to get fired.
The owner, or the general manager, wants to win now. They're either tired of the excuses the coach has been making for years, or they have little patience for a man they've recently taken a chance on. The fanbase demands wins and the owners demand profits, and the two are definitely tied.
Occasionally, a winning season is not required to avoid being a victim of the hot seat. Perhaps a team has a high pick and drafts a franchise quarterback, or the coach has a way of parlaying some hopeful signs on the field into more time. Other times, a coach has won so much in the past that he's given an awful lot of time to make things happen.
Who is on the hot seat this season?
There's quite a few names that could be on the hot seat this season. Fortunately for some of those names, they got things off to a good start with wins in Week 1. Winning the first game of the season won't take them out of the hot seat, however. It's just the first step in getting back to where a coach wants to be. Let's take a look at who is on the hot seat this season and why:
Rex Ryan, New York Jets
Ryan sure has had a weird career thus far. His teams have been so inconsistent on either side of the ball, and expectations were skewed as a result. He tied himself to rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez and that has not been a strong play by any means.
Despite struggles and Ryan initially declaring that his team was out of the playoffs in his rookie year as head coach, the Jets actually made it all the way to the AFC Championship. They lost there, but made it back to the same AFC Championship the following year ... where they promptly lost again. The next two seasons were awful, marred by Sanchez regressing badly and Tim Tebow coming to town.
This past offseason, the Jets fired general manager Mike Tannenbaum, but Ryan was given another chance. His success will depend on his quarterbacks' success, as it has all along. If the Jets have another season like 2011-12, Ryan could certainly be on his way out.
Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys
While the Cowboys have been adamant that Garrett is not coaching for his job at this point ... it's pretty clear that he is. The Cowboys want to win, and they want to win now -- which will always be the case when your owner is Jerry Jones. How he clung onto Wade Phillips so long is anybody's guess.
Garrett was stripped of his playcalling duties, and offensive coordinator Bill Callahan is now calling the shots, after some questionable decisions from Garrett in the past. He doesn't have a lot of say in personnel decisions, and Jones has made it clear that he believes Tony Romo can get the Cowboys to the playoffs and the Super Bowl.
If they don't, then it's on Garrett. Nothing more, nothing less.
Jim Schwartz, Detroit Lions
There are some pretty impressive weapons on the Lions' roster. On offense. Matthew Stafford attempts more passes than any quarterback in the NFL and looks good doing it, mostly because he's throwing to the best receiver in the league, Calvin Johnson. On defense, there's an almost endless supply of top flight defensive linemen.
All of this led to the Lions having high expectations in 2012. Schwartz was already on thin ice after some disappointing losses in big games, but he truly entered the hot seat after the Lions only managed to win four games last season.
There's a decided lack of discipline on the field and the team simply under-performs week-in and week-out. That falls on Schwartz, and nobody else. Taking an 0-16 team to the initial heights that he did was impressive, but it won't save him if he has another 4-12 year at the helm.
Dennis Allen, Oakland Raiders
When Allen took over in 2011, it was clear that the Raiders weren't going to be a playoff time for awhile. They had many bad contracts they needed to purge from the books and the team was set so far back that winning wasn't really an option.
At this point, the Raiders are expected to start adding talent and having productive drafts ... or at least, they're in a position to do as much. Allen may get a pass and another year, but he still has to show some things this season. Last year, there were so many issues with the offense that could be traced back to the coaching staff. If the same problems arise, Allen could find himself out of a job.
Mike Munchak, Tennessee Titans
Munchak took over for Jeff Fisher, who was in charge for a whopping 16 years. Munchak will get decidedly less time than Fisher got if he can't build on 2012's 6-10 mark. Munchak's success will be tied to quarterback Jake Locker's ... which might be a bad thing in the end. Titans owner Bud Adams doesn't want to settle in for another 16 years without winning somewhere early on. Munchak may not have long to prove himself.
Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers
Rivera is a well-respected defensive coach, but the Panthers organization believes they have a winning team on their hands. They believe in quarterback Cam Newton, and if the Panthers can't perform and have another down year, Rivera could be out. General manager Marty Hurney was fired in October last season, the team was doing so poorly. The team brought in a new offensive coordinator this season in Mike Shula to help with the offensive side of the ball. But if it continues to falter, the blame will fall on Rivera, not his coordinator.
After Week 1
Given that this is the first edition, we did a lot of explaining about the hot seat and who was in it, but now we're going to get into the actual review process -- that is, how these coaches are doing week-in and week-out. As far as Week 1 is concerned, the coaches on the hot seat actually came out looking pretty good.
In fact, the coaches most in danger -- Ryan, Garrett, Schwartz -- were all victorious. Still, they shouldn't get comfortable. They are on the hot seat for a reason, and a single victory isn't going to change that fact. But, again, it's a good start. Let's take a look below.
Victorious: Ryan* (Jets), Garrett (Cowboys), Schwartz (Lions), Munchak (Titans)
The Jets have hitched their wagon to Geno Smith, and he did just enough for the Jets to upset the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the final seconds. But then Smith laid an egg on Thursday against the Patriots. There were positives, but three interceptions will be too much for most people to look past.
The Cowboys forced about a thousand turnovers on their NFC East rival, the New York Giants, so Jerry Jones has to be happy with Garrett for now.
Detroit beat NFC North rival Minnesota, which was huge. More important, Schwartz's team put up a complete performance, something that has been absent from the team for some time. The Titans basically embarrassed the Steelers, which is always good for a coach.
Losers: Allen (Raiders), Rivera (Panthers)
The Raiders and Panthers both lost in Week 1, but there was actually some good stuff shown by both teams. You might even say that neither coach is closer to being fired than they were before the week. Oakland is going with Terrelle Pryor as its quarterback, and despite his two interceptions, he actually played well. One of his interceptions wasn't his fault, and the Raiders kept things close against the Indianapolis Colts, a playoff team last season. Were it not for a 19-yard Andrew Luck touchdown run late in the game, the Raiders would be 1-0.
Carolina had a much tougher out, hosting the Seattle Seahawks, who many believe are one of the best teams in the NFL. The Panthers defense looked great from the onset, stopping Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch easily, but the Seahawks had enough opportunities to win the close game in the end. Rivera's bread and butter is defense, and it showed.