2023 NFL Hot Seat: NFL Coaches on the Hot Seat

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Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera during the first half an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Andrew Doughty @DoughtyBetMGM Sep 21, 2023, 2:17 PM

Last year’s coaching carousel discarded Nathaniel Hackett, Matt Rhule, Frank Reich, Kliff Kingsbury, and Lovie Smith.

Whom will it discard in 2023?

NFL Coaches on the Hot Seat

Dennis Allen – Saints

When your general manager must publicly confirm your return after one season, as Mickey Loomis did with Dennis Allen after the New Orleans Saints’ season ended with only seven wins and no playoff appearance, you don’t have long-term job security.

Even with a competent defense and (potential) offensive consistency with Derek Carr after last year’s injury-fueled quarterback carousel, Allen is in a tough spot as the team’s salary cap issues persist for at least one more season.

With a friendly first-half schedule, Allen could lock up at least one more season if the Saints build on the 2-0 start.

Todd Bowles – Buccaneers

In the second year of a five-year contract, Todd Bowles should have job security as the Bucs dive into a massive rebuilding project that’s starting with Baker Mayfield on a one-year contract.

Historically, the Glazer family is impatient with rebuilds and the coaches leading the rebuilds. Raheem Morris was fired one year after winning 10 wins, and Lovie Smith was fired after cleaning up the Greg Schiano mess and tripling the team’s win total in his second season.

There have been early signs of optimism, though not enough to cool Bowles’ seat.

Mike McCarthy – Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys’ comical last gasp in the divisional round shouldn’t be a factor in Mike McCarthy’s job security.

Failing to reach the NFC Championship for a third straight season despite a vastly improved defense and a $160-million quarterback should be a huge factor in McCarthy’s job security.

McCarthy has one playoff win in three seasons with the Cowboys and his last five seasons overall as an NFL head coach. He’s won multiple playoff games in the same season only twice in 16 years.

With a 2-0 start, the Cowboys are now tied atop NFC East odds.

Josh McDaniels – Raiders

Last season was a disaster on every level as the Las Vegas Raiders massively flopped after high preseason expectations. With only six wins in his debut season in Vegas, McDaniels has only 11 wins in his last 30 games as an NFL head coach.

Now entering (another) period of rebuilding, the organization can’t have serious expectations for playoff contention in 2023 and potentially 2024, either.

While that would typically buy some time for a second-year head coach, McDaniels’ second head-coaching shot could end as quickly as his first one did when he was fired after just 28 games with the Denver Broncos.

Their Week 1 win over the Denver Broncos might prove to be more reflective of the Broncos’ organizational issues than any optimism for the Raiders.

Ron Rivera – Commanders

The Washington Commanders arguably met expectations in 2022. Still, after non-stop franchise turmoil and new ownership, Ron Rivera’s job security could be tenuous regardless of on-field success or failures.

He’s mostly on the hot seat because of organizational instability but a third straight sub-.500 season didn’t help. A fourth straight such season could be the tipping point.

Arthur Smith – Falcons

Arthur Smith was set up for immediate failure in his first head-coaching job at any level. He arguably exceeded expectations in leading one of the league’s worst rosters to 14 wins in his first two years.

Nonetheless, as Kliff Kingsbury found it last year, exceeding expectations at the start of your tenure doesn’t guarantee long-term job security. And Smith might need a big step forward in 2023 to earn Arthur Blank’s trust for 2024 and beyond.

The big step forward has begun with a 2-0 start.

Mike Tomlin – Steelers

If the Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t want Mike Tomlin leading a mini rebuild, he presumably would’ve been fired after the 2021 season. Because he wasn’t, and is returning in 2023 after a third playoff whiff in the last five years, it appears the Rooneys are being patient.

But how patient?

What if they miss the playoffs again and fail to win at least 10 games for the fifth time since 2018?

While they avoided a disastrous start with a miracle comeback win over the Cleveland Browns, this team has shown major issues through two weeks.

Read More: College Football Hot Seat

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About the Author

Andrew Doughty

Read More @DoughtyBetMGM

Andrew Doughty is the Web Content Lead for BetMGM. A graduate of the University of Kansas, he previously wrote for Sports Illustrated and HERO Sports.

Andrew Doughty is the Web Content Lead for BetMGM. A graduate of the University of Kansas, he previously wrote for Sports Illustrated and HERO Sports.