NFL

5 NFL Head Coaches On The Hot Seat Heading Into Week 8

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NFL Coaches On The Hot Seat In Week 8

Hot Seat
Steve Mitchell - USA TODAY Sports

We’re getting close to the halfway point in the 2013 NFL season, and it’s getting to be the time of year when we start hearing those two dreaded words once again. We’re talking about head coaches who have found themselves on the “hot seat”.

It almost seems inevitable that the discussion of who will or won’t be fired (and when) will come to every coach in the league at some point. One week, your team can have the hottest new prospect in coaching , but if just a few too many marks go in the “L” column, fans and media will be calling for the bum’s proverbial head on the platter.

If your favorite team sits at the top of its division right now, congratulations. That seems to be one of the few things that keeps a coach out of the firing discussion. These days, even a winning record and a Super Bowl appearance don’t guarantee that a coach will be coming back. Just ask Lovie Smith, whose 81-63 record, coupled with a 10-6 season in 2012 wasn’t enough to keep him employed by the Chicago Bears.

As we take a look at five coaches whose jobs may be on the line by the end of the season, there are going to be some obvious omissions on the list. First year coaches get a pass in my book, because for the most part they haven’t had time to put their mark on the team. Even though coaches like Rob Chudzinski and Gus Bradley are struggling early on, it’s too early to pull the trigger. On the other hand, coaches who have a long tenure aren’t necessarily untouchable. The NFL is a “win now” league, so if you aren’t winning anymore, you can’t be comfortable.

As always, feel free to comment below with your thoughts on who should or shouldn’t be on the hot seat. Let’s get started.

Brandon Raper is a golf writer and NFL contributor for RantSports.com. “Like” him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @Brandon__Raper, and add him to your Google+ network.

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5. Ron Rivera - Carolina Panthers

Rivera
Bob Donnan - USA TODAY Sports

It’s only Rivera’s third year on the job with the Carolina Panthers, and even before the season began, there was talk of Rivera “coaching for his job” in 2013. Earlier this month, reports surfaced that the team may have begun preparing for a coaching search. The team has won their last two games to move to 3-3. Even if those victories came against the lowly Minnesota Vikings and St. Louis Rams, wins are wins.

A career 16-22 heading into Week 8, it’s hard to see Rivera getting canned in the middle of the season if the team can keep strining together a couple wins, but another year missing the playoffs won’t look good in the exit interview.

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4. Mike Munchak - Tennessee Titans

Munchak
Jim Brown - USA TODAY Sports

Mike Munchak barely survived last season’s 6-10 debacle, and on the heels of three straight losses, he simply can’t be comfortable in his position in Nashville. The man has spent his entire professional career with the Oilers/Titans franchise, but eventually the team will have to become a part of the playoff picture if he’s going to make it. In addition, talented players like Chris Johnson and Kenny Britt are regressing, and the quarterback position is uncertain. The NFL is famous for its “what have you done for me lately” atmosphere, and right now for Munchak, the answer is “not much”.

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3. Tom Coughlin - New York Giants

Coughlin
Brad Penner - USA TODAY Sports

Tom Coughlin’s resume in New York is nearly flawless – five trips to the playoffs and two Super Bowl rings go a long way. He's changed his reputation from being a heartless taskmaster to being loved by his players. Unfortunately, the Giants are 1-6 heading into this weekend’s matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles, and the outlook is bleak, at best, for the rest of the year. Coughlin’s contract is almost up, so even if he makes it through the year, his days in Giants blue may be numbered. It's too soon to fire him, but the chances of him getting another deal are slim.

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2. Leslie Frazier - Minnesota Vikings

Frazier
Bruce Kluckhohn - USA TODAY Sports

Leslie Frazier was actually No. 1 on this list when I first started, but recent events have changed that. Unfortunately for him, that doesn't mean he's safe at all.

Frazier’s starting quarterbacks so far this season with the Minnesota Vikings: Christian Ponder in Weeks 1-3, Matt Cassel in Weeks 4 and 6, newly-acquired Josh Freeman in an atrocious Week 7 loss, and now Ponder again?

Yes, the Vikings went to the playoffs last year on the back of Adrian Peterson’s amazing year. Combined with a fairly good defense, that masked a lot of the problems in the passing game, and they haven’t gotten any better this season. The pressure is on in Minnesota, and the entire coaching staff could be on the chopping block if losses continue to pile up.

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1. Greg Schiano - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Schiano
Steve Mitchell - USA TODAY Sports

Public battles with your quarterback and former players comparing playing for you to “being in Cuba” are never a good sign, and that’s just this year. It’s amazing when you remember that Greg Schiano was one of the hottest commodities on the coaching market when he took the Tampa Bay Buccaneers job, but now the losing has gone way beyond the field (where the team has an 0-6 record in 2013), all the way to the locker room.

Schiano is probably the one coach in the league who is actively bringing his team down, and the team would be in a better place immediately if they cut ties with him. He's the classic college coach who just might not have what it takes to make it in the pros.