In the NFL, perhaps more than any other professional sport, coaches are hired to be fired.
It’s a catchy, possibly overused cliché we hear on Black Monday right after each season ends.
But with patience for ineptitude at an all-time low, head coaches really do need to hit the ground running by winning games in year one.
At the very least, they’ll need to establish a culture to build on which can give a fanbase hope.
It’s never a fun exercise to project which coaches will inevitably get the boot, but the fact of the matter is, there are a few head men who don’t figure to get their team in contention, or reach expectations anytime soon.
Let’s highlight three head coaches who might think they’ve got iron clad job security, but might be packing their bags sooner than they think.
3. David Culley, Houston Texans
It’s unfortunate that David Culley, who hasn’t even coached a game for the Houston Texans or in the NFL yet, is a part of this list.
He has been an NFL coach in some capacity since 1994, and deserves respect for working his way up and securing his first head coaching job.
However, it’s hard to see the immediate future going all that smoothly for Houston, and Culley might not last very long.
It’s not his fault entirely, but he walked into a buzzsaw type of situation.
Star quarterback Deshaun Watson has expressed his desire to play elsewhere, and the roster has been stripped of talent for each of the past few years.
There isn’t much light at the end of the tunnel with regards to draft picks, and Culley strangely opened up training camp by playing Watson at safety to prove a point.
If Houston ends up 2-15 or worse in 2021, it’s possible Culley could be let go after just one season.
Goodbye JJ. This franchise will love you forever. Too bad I never got to coaching you.
— David Culley (@DCulley69) February 12, 2021
2. Vic Fangio, Denver Broncos
Similar to Culley, Vic Fangio certainly put in his dues at the NFL level before getting his big break.
He was a defensive coordinator for 17 years before getting the Denver Broncos head coaching job before the 2019 season.
He has overseen some ferocious units as an assistant, like the early 2010s San Francisco 49ers group, and a 2018 Chicago Bears defense that finished in the top five in several key categories.
While Fangio can get somewhat of a pass for the inconsistent offensive attack the Broncos have featured in his two years as head coach, Denver’s defense has not played well, and that is supposed to be Fangio’s forte.
The team finished dead last in takeaway/giveaway ratio last year, and will need to perform exponentially better to keep Fangio around in the future.
It’s tough playing Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City Chiefs twice a year, but Denver brass likely won’t stand for many more mediocre seasons.
1. Matt Nagy, Chicago Bears
It feels like Matt Nagy has been on the hot seat since he was named head coach of the Bears before the 2018 season, and a lot of that scrutiny might be unfair.
While it’s true that the team drafted Mitchell Trubisky ahead of Watson and Mahomes, Nagy has done a decent job navigating his way through seasons with what most fans believe was a subpar option under center.
Nagy has yet to have a losing record in his three campaigns in Chicago, and might deserve a little more credit than he receives.
However, at the end of the day, many times perception is reality, and he needs to knock it out of the park this year.
Matt Nagy is back calling plays for the Chicago Bears
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) April 2, 2021
Even though rookie quarterback Justin Fields will likely need some time to get his feet under him, the Bears’ fortunes, and Nagy’s job, will rest on whether the former Ohio State star can take the team to the playoffs.