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6 NFL coaches on the hot seat in 2015

Seven teams have new head coaches going into the 2015-16 NFL season. Which teams could be looking for a new coach after the coming year?

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Every NFL head coach get fired, eventually. The Browns (not the current Browns, Art Modell's Browns that eventually became the Ravens) fired Bill Belichick in 1995 before he went on to win four Super Bowls with the Patriots. Pete Carroll was fired by both the Jets and the Patriots in the '90s, but is doing just fine in Seattle these days. Getting a pink slip from an impetuous team owner has become a rite of passage in today's NFL.

Seven teams, more than 20 percent of the entire league, replaced their head coaches following the 2014 season. Most of them were fired. Doug Marrone opted out of his contract with the Bills, and the San Francisco 49ers "parted ways" with Jim Harbaugh.

Another batch of coaches and teams will parting ways at the end of the upcoming season. But which ones? The six coaches listed below need to force their way into the playoffs or, at the very least, find their way to the right side of a .500 record. And there's most likely at least one curveball firing bound to happen, a parting of the ways that nobody can see coming at the moment.

Black Monday falls on Jan. 4, 2015. Here's our best guess at the coaches most likely to find themselves out of job that day.

Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars

Gus Bradley is entering his third season as head coach of a team that few expected to be a quick turnaround. Bradley has some goodwill built up after jumping ship from the Seattle Seahawks, where he was in charge of a thoroughly dominant defense, but at some point he's going to have to produce results on the field after a 7-24 record in his first two seasons in Jacksonville. He does have one thing going for him in 2015: The Jaguars have had a very productive offseason.

The team brought in tight end Julius Thomas and defensive tackle Jared Odrick through free agency. They also had a very good haul in the 2015 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, first-round pick Dante Fowler sustained a torn ACL, which could give Bradley a buffer if the Jaguars struggle. Other draft additions like running back T.J. Yeldon, defensive tackle Michael Bennett and guard A.J. Cann will be expected to produce as rookies.

Is Bradley in danger of getting fired at the end of this season? If the Jaguars fall flat, it wouldn't be particularly surprising to see Bradley go given the investments the team has made in its roster over the last two seasons.

Ken Whisenhunt, Tennessee Titans

Ken Whisenhunt is another one of those coaches with a stellar reputation around the league, but things could not have been much worse for the Titans last season. Tennessee finished last in the AFC South with a 2-14 record and missed out on the first overall pick thanks to Tampa Bay having the edge in the strength of schedule tiebreaker. The Titans picked No. 2 overall and had to take quarterback Marcus Mariota given Jake Locker's injuries and a lack of confidence in Zach Mettenberger.

Taking a quarterback in the first round is typically a good excuse for head coaches to get another season if circumstances don't go their way. But if Mariota struggles and fails to show any progress under a head coach with a reputation for bringing out the best in his quarterbacks, the Titans may be forced to find someone else.

Joe Philbin, Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins have been positively mediocre during Philbin's three seasons on the sidelines. He owns an underwhelming 23-25 record. General manager Jeff Ireland was the fall guy for the sins of the team's recent past, and many expected Philbin to get the boot in the wake of a the 2013 locker room bullying scandal and late season collapse in 2014.

The Dolphins reloaded and went all-in on the free-agent market. They brought in defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh who should make the defense better, but is also costing a whole lot of money against the cap. They also brought in Greg Jennings and Kenny Stills. In the draft, they rounded out the offensive depth chart with wide receiver Devante Parker and running back Jay Ajayi. They got better, that much is certain, but if Philbin can't put together a winning season, he'll be in trouble.

Tom Coughlin, New York Giants

There were rumors that Coughlin would quietly retire so the Giants wouldn't have to fire the guy who has won two Super Bowls with the team, but Coughlin is still going strong. But last year marked the third consecutive season in which the Giants missed the playoffs.

The Giants finished 2014 with a 6-10 record, looking up at the emergent Cowboys and Eagles in the division. A new offense started showing some consistency as the season went on and the team won three of its last four games. Quarterback Eli Manning finished the year with his best numbers since 2011. Expectations will be high for Big Blue this year, even with question marks on defense.

Jeff Fisher, St. Louis Rams

Jeff Fisher has survived three seasons without a winning record in St. Louis thanks in part to injuries to Sam Bradford, an owner preoccupied with moving the team to Los Angeles and nearly a decade of low expectations for the Rams. He should have gotten more flack for his decision to stick with Bradford heading into last season, given that Bradford was injured once again and the Rams were bad ... once again. The team made a trade this offseason (after claiming Bradford was, once again, the guy) for a new quarterback, sending the oft-injured signal-caller to the Philadelphia Eagles for Nick Foles.

The Rams have put together one of the best defensive lines in the NFL and should be able to do some serious damage on the defensive side of the ball, but if the offense can't turn things around, it's easy to see the Rams missing the playoffs an 11th consecutive season.

Fisher is a well-respected coach who hasn't done anything of note in a long time. He's most definitely on the hot seat, but the distraction of a potential move could give provide him with some cover.

Jim Tomsula, San Francisco 49ers

That's right, the first-year head coach of the 49ers is on this list. It would be a big surprise if Tomsula was canned after one season, but the 49ers parted ways with one of the most immediately successful coaches in NFL history. Jim Harbaugh took the 49ers to three consecutive NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl before the team missed the playoffs last year.

Tomsula's hiring came after a questionable head coaching search and a whole lot of high-minded talk from the team about "winning with class." At one point, owner Jed York said during a press conference that the new 49ers' head coach is expected to win the Super Bowl in his first season.

San Francisco had a tumultuous offseason in which the team's brass rebuilt a winning coaching staff and watched Patrick WillisChris Borland and Justin Smith retire. Topping it all off, general manager Trent Baalke mainly drafted guys that aren't going to contribute as rookies.

Tomsula should get a mulligan in his first year at the helm, but you never know.