Mike McCarthy and other coaches on the hot seat already

Honestly, all but a few NFL coaches are in the hot seat.

There’s an SEC-level obsession among the NFL’s fan base of firing coaches at the first sign of trouble. This has trickled down to policymakers. If you have three years, you are lucky. Of the 32 NFL coaches, 17 have three or fewer seasons at their current jobs.

Some seats are hotter than others, though. Here are the five coaches with the hottest seats at the start of the season:

Cliff Kingsbury, Arizona Cardinals

Questions have been raised about Kingsbury’s future after the Cardinals folded for the second straight season. Perhaps to quell the noise, the Cardinals gave Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim contract extensions in March. Maybe that means Kingsbury is safe. However, poker boss Michael Bidwell did not completely deny reports of a tense meeting between him, Kingsbury and Keim at the end of last season. If the Cardinals get off to a bad start, it’s more likely that Arizona will be willing to eat an extension for its head coach after star receiver DeAndre Hopkins is suspended for six games on the PED? What if the team got off to a slow start and got stuck in the second half? The extension is certainly a message for the team to support Kingsbury, but we’ll see.

Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys

It wouldn’t be fair to have McCarthy here after Dallas went 12-5 and won the NFC East last season. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones may have been too patient with his coach and has dismissed every question about McCarthy’s job security. But everyone knows that former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is Jones’ favorite and a free agent after resigning from the Saints. The Cowboys are already dealing with injuries and losses in the offseason, and anyone seems to remember how the 2021 Cowboys lost in the wild-card playoffs. Perhaps all speculation about McCarthy is irresponsible dot-connection. Still, McCarthy may want to have a good season just in case.

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy has answered many questions about his future with the team.  (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy has answered many questions about his future with the team. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Matt Ruhler, Carolina Panthers

Whether Rhule will return in 2022 after a shocking 10-22 start to a contract with the Panthers is the question. The seven-year, $62 million deal may be the only reason he’s coming back. Ruhr has had some odd moments in the offseason, including a quarterback game between Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold when everyone knew Mayfield was going to be the starter. It just cost Mayfield a valuable representation in the new offense. Panthers owner David Tepper doesn’t seem like the kind of patient guy, and Ruhl probably won’t get off to a bad start.

Washington Commander Ron Rivera

Rivera is a good coach, and Washington could do better. But Rivera’s coach is 14-19 after two losing seasons (though one did have a lucky NFC East title). Daniel Snyder isn’t known for making smart or logical decisions, and even if it wasn’t Rivera’s fault, he probably wouldn’t be satisfied with losing for a third straight season.

Arthur Smith, Atlanta Falcons

It’s not easy to list a hot seat for this season because there aren’t that many obvious candidates. Pete Carroll has built up too much goodwill to not get in trouble with the Seattle Seahawks. Frank Reich could be in trouble if the Indianapolis Colts falter, but that seems unlikely. Smith is on the list because the Falcons may have been underwhelming this season. In the words of general manager Terry Fontenot, Smith may get a pass because the Falcons decide they’re going to tear it down and “put it on the chin this year.” But not many franchises have the patience. If things get really bad for the Falcons this year, who knows what will happen?

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