We’ve already had some turnover in the coaching ranks this NFL season, with Jon Gruden resigning from the Las Vegas Raiders last month.
However, as we make our way into mid-November, there are a few teams that are falling short of expectations.
In-season coaching changes are usually viewed as counterproductive unless leadership is really failing, but there are a few veteran head coaches who should be wary of their job security in the second half of the season.
3. Matt Nagy
The negative narrative surrounding the Chicago Bears head coach is actually probably a little bit unfair.
It wasn’t Nagy’s fault that the front office decided to select Mitchell Trubisky second overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, who in hindsight, was clearly an inferior prospect to Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes.
While he does deserve some blame for not being able to develop Trubisky into a viable NFL starter, Nagy actually danced his way around having a subpar quarterback for three years.
In his first three years as head coach, the Bears finished 12-4, 8-8, and 8-8, which is better than a lot of people would’ve guessed.
Even still, where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire, and there seems to be a lot of smoke in the Windy City.
The Bears are under .500, and Chicago almost needed to be forced to start rookie Justin Fields this season, despite trading a lot to get him in the 2021 NFL Draft.
In the one game Nagy missed due to COVID protocols against the San Francisco 49ers, Fields’ rushing prowess was unleashed.
It wasn’t the best look for a coach who made his name on the offensive side of the ball.
2. Mike Zimmer
Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer is very well respected around the league as an honorable, hardworking, smart NFL leader.
He has been the head man in Minnesota since the 2014 season, and has a career record that’s 15 games over .500 during that time.
That’s nothing to sneeze at given the level of parity the NFL sees year in and year out.
However, NFL coaches normally don’t get a super long shelf life to prove that they’re the long-term answer (see Nagy, Matt above).
Zimmer has received an extremely generous tenure with the team, considering he has made the playoffs in three of those campaigns.
At some point, Minnesota will likely look to shake things up to see if they can coax a deep playoff run out of their talented roster.
That time might be sooner rather than later, so Zimmer and his staff had better hope that they win a few more of the close games that they always seem to be involved in.
Head Coach Mike Zimmer on last week's change at punter pic.twitter.com/xbQRGpYuFD
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) September 6, 2021
1. Kyle Shanahan
Only two short years ago, the San Francisco 49ers were on the precipice of winning a Super Bowl with head coach Kyle Shanahan and locked-in starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Had Garoppolo been able to complete a deep throw to Emmanuel Sanders to essentially ice the game, the duo would’ve been locked in to their roles in the Bay Area for the next decade or so.
However, since that game, the 49ers are 9-15.
They’ve had some rough injury luck, which doomed them in 2020.
2021 has been a little kinder to them on that front, but something seems off with their team.
They play in a tough division, but it doesn’t seem like San Francisco has that same level of execution they captured in 2019.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) November 8, 2021
Shanahan will need to strategically decide when to insert Trey Lance into the lineup; it would be a move that might buy him some time with the franchise.