Most NFL teams will be heading into this upcoming season with who they have, what they have and may add more onto their roster before Week 1. Based off of last season and as well as prior seasons, some coaches have secured their spot for a couple years and some could be looking at their last go with their current teams if don’t drastically improve.
These head coaches are the closest to getting handed the pink slip and might see themselves possibly looking for a new coaching job in 2019.
1.) Hue Jackson – Cleveland Browns
This is the slam-dunk obvious choice out of every coach. Taking the reigns of the Browns two years ago, Jackson has produced a 1-31 record. The Browns roster looks more promising than last season, but how the roster looks on paper does not mean anything when the games start.
Jackson has two new quarterbacks in town with Tyrod Taylor and Baker Mayfield. The fact that the Browns took Mayfield over Sam Darnold, who was projected to go number one overall for months leading up to the draft, is a high risk/high reward deal for the Browns. Jackson has said that Taylor will be the starter heading into training camp, but anything should be up for grabs for the entire team.
As far as Jackson, it’s going to take much more than a one win season to keep his job in Cleveland. He has the talent on both sides of the ball, now it’s just about showing it on the field come game time.
2.) Marvin Lewis – Cincinnati Bengals
Lewis is more of an average NFL head coach. He has a career record of 125-112-3 in the regular season but has failed to pick up one playoff game win. It can be argued that it was a surprising move that the Bengals did not let go of Lewis after going 15-18-1 the last two seasons. Yes, he led the Bengals to the playoffs three years ago, but it resulted in losing their first round game.
Lewis could very well be walking on thin air with the Bengals. The Bengals beefed up the offensive line with acquiring Cordy Glenn from the Buffalo Bills and drafting Billy Price from Ohio State in the first round. If the Bengals do not make the playoffs for a third consecutive year, or if they make the playoffs but lose in the first round again, Lewis could be seeing the door out.
3.) Jay Gruden – Washington Redskins
Gruden has to be well placed on this list. In his four seasons coaching the Redskins, he’s led the team to the playoffs once where they lost in the Wild Card round to the Green Bay Packers, and has posted a 28-35-1 record. Gruden no longer has Kirk Cousins, who has been throwing for over 4,000 yards the last couple of seasons. He’ll have an older Alex Smith who was signed to an expensive four year, $94 million dollar contract where $71 million of it is guaranteed.
With the addition of Saquon Barkley to the New York Giants, Gruden’s defense will face three tough running games at least twice a year within the division. Gruden has a lot on his plate for this season and it could be too much that could result in termination.
4.) Todd Bowles – New York Jets
Going into his fourth season as the Jets head coach, Bowles has hit a slump for the past two seasons. Going 5-11 the last two years after going 10-6 in 2015 is unacceptable. The team seems to have figured out their quarterback situation with Sam Darnold, but this year will show us what direction the team will go into.
The Jets dominated free agency, which is a great step forward from last season but if the Jets still do not compete in an arguably weak AFC conference, the Jets may start finding a new head coach after this season.
5.) Jason Garrett – Dallas Cowboys
Since taking over for the Cowboys in 2010 as the interim head coach, Garrett was known for being an 8-8 coach until 2014 when the Cowboys dominated their way to a 12-4 record by winning the NFC East division and going 1-1 in the playoffs that season. The Cowboys have since then made the playoffs only one other time under Garrett, in 2016 and they lost in the divisional game again to the Packers.
The Cowboys seem to have promise this year. They should be able to have Ezekiel Elliott for the entire season and there is a new receiving core for Dak Prescott. Garrett may not necessarily be on the shortest leash, but he could make his way there if the team does not compete in what should be a tough and competitive NFC East division.
Brandon Ray is a Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage and covers the NFL and the Buffalo Bills. Follow him on Twitter at @brandon_ray79.