After Sunday’s pathetic loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell sits upon the hottest seat he has had since joining the team. The Lions are stuck in mediocrity, and the team looked ill-prepared against a 5-9 team in a game they had to have.
But if the Lions decide it’s time to part ways with Caldwell, this is going to be a tough year to do it. According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, over one-third of the league may be looking for a new coach by the season’s end:
@JayGlazer thinks an “unprecedented” amount of teams will be looking for a HC this offseason. He cited up to 13-14. Also says New Years Day will have no impact on “Black Monday”. Like I said last night, #Bears will have a ton of competition.— Aaron Leming (@AaronLemingNFL) December 24, 2017
While that number seems absolutely ridiculous, it’s not completely unprecedented. As pointed out by the Dallas News, in 2009—when the Lions picked up Jim Schwartz— a total of 11 teams hired a new head coach.
Here’s a look at the teams that may be looking for a new head coach this offseason:
Giants: Ben McAdoo was already fired.
Bears: John Fox is almost certainly gone.
Colts: Indy is already reportedly looking to replace Chuck Pagano.
Cardinals: Bruce Arians is reportedly leaving at the end of the year (Edit: there are now reports to the contrary, as well)
Bengals: Though he denies it, rumors are swirling that Marvin Lewis is out.
Buccaneers: Dirk Koetter is firmly on the hot seat.
Browns: If 0-16 can get Matt Millen fired, surely Hue Jackson has to go—although ownership has defended him.
Cowboys: Jerry Jones has defended Jason Garrett as recently as this week, but Dallas has only made the postseason twice in seven years under Garrett and are 1-2 in the playoffs.
Broncos: Rumors are swirling that Vance Joseph is out.
Jets: Todd Bowles started with the Jets at 10-6, but has double-digit losses in the past two years.
Washington: Jay Gruden may have saved his job with two consecutive wins in the past two weeks, but his seat is still warm.
Titans: Sitting at 8-4 Tennessee was in a good position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008, but the Titans are losers of three straight. They’re still in a “win and you’re in” scenario, but a loss to the Jaguars (who are stuck as a three-seed) could be Mike Mularkey’s undoing.
So if Detroit thinks it’s time to move on from Caldwell, they are likely going to have a ton of competition searching for their new face of the franchise. That means there will be more coaching candidates available for everyone, but hotter competition among teams.
The Lions may have one of the more attractive jobs, seeing as they already have their franchise quarterback locked up, currently have a very manageable salary cap situation, and have been playing at a competitive level for several years now. They could be a candidate for one of those quick turnarounds with the right coaches in place, but they still may have to outmaneuver around a third of the league if they’re going to make the right hire.