We’re at the stage of the season now where coaches can be assessed effectively and their tenures no longer benefit their teams.
Coaching in the NFL is a sensitive business. You’re adopting the best athletes on the planet and most of them already have inflated egos from their college days.
Not only that, but because of their associated brand potential, agents and sponsors are constantly in your ear. It’s a never-ending cycle of capitalism that you have to cope with alongside the actual game preparation.
On the flipside, it shouldn’t, in theory, be difficult to craft game plans for some of the strongest, quickest and most intelligent sporting icons in the world. But, some eras have run their course and not all for the same reasons.
Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills)
Buffalo aren’t considered the worst team in football simply because the Oakland Raiders exist. That being said, nobody can remove Jon Gruden from his contract or the Vegas-bound Raiders will be stuck in an Alan Pardew situation.
It’s also a very tough call to make given that McDermott got a Buffalo team to the playoffs despite the curse clearly placed on their heads.
But given morale is at an all-time low and the turnover in Buffalo is as big as anywhere else personnel-wise – veterans like McCoy on last legs and younger guys like Allen and Edmunds coming in – it would be an ideal time to just hit the reset button.
Buffalo need to experiment with their quarterback and the latter half of this season is the perfect time to do it because the risks don’t come at any costs now. McDermott’s departure will revitalise a toxic dressing room.
Jason Garrett (Dallas Cowboys)
If Garrett wins both of those NFC Divisional Round games to Green Bay in 2014 and 2016, not only is his job not being discussed, but he’s probably cemented into the Cowboys’ Hall of Fame somewhere.
Here’s the thing, though – they’re vanilla at best. They’re struggling despite having an elite pass rush, a very good run-stuffing unit, a top-tier offensive line and one of the best backs in football.
They should be controlling the clock, and yet here they sit at 3-5.
Dallas don’t do tanking. Jerry Jones’ ego doesn’t allow it to happen and giving up a first-round pick for Amari Cooper shows they think they can win now.
Not with Garrett, they can’t.
Mike McCarthy (Green Bay Packers)
First, they didn’t build him an offensive line. Then, they didn’t surround him with talent at receiver.
Thirdly, they didn’t have a serviceable running back. Then, they didn’t have a defence for him.
They now have all of these things and Aaron Rodgers has taken control of the play calls for the most part.
Mike McCarthy has held back the most talented player to ever play the game and their window to win more Super Bowls with Rodgers is closing more with every passing day.
Fresh blood will elongate his passion for the game and give Green Bay an edge to rattle off comfortable wins instead of relying on him to come back late time and time again.
Hell, let Rodgers coach the team if needs be.
Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Has there been a more talented team on offence, consistently, for as long as Mike Tomlin has been in control of this franchise?
The only reason Ben Roethlisberger isn’t considered in the same breath as Tom Brady is because of that awful situations he’s constantly put in by Tomlin. He will retire as a gunslinger with a legacy of inconsistency because of a game plan that lacked any real sense.
He’s so lucky the AFC North features Cleveland, Joe Flacco and Marvin Lewis.
The NFL is finally waking up the mediocrity of Mike Tomlin and the struggles you bring upon yourself by keeping him around.
This team can win now – and a replacement at head coach may be the boost they need. Consistency isn’t always a good thing.