“You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Harvey Dent was right. While playoff dreams waddle away like a penguin for the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins, the NFC East is riddled with jokes. Bane stories begin to surface and spread like poison ivy about two-faced coaching staffs. There is no doubt that every coach needs to freeze and contemplate as they get placed on the hot seat. All except Chip Kelly who, thanks to Nick Foles play, gets to walk away from this season looking as fine as Anne Hathaway in a Catwoman suit.
It’s never good to be the head coach when the fan base turns on you. Tom Coughlin, Jason Garrett and Mike Shanahan are all feeling the heat. Stories have begun to surface about a push from fans that all be let go. Once feeling the love of their respected cities, that love is slowly beginning to turn into an utter hatred for them. Fans want to hold on to players who’s play is sub-par then a coach who has led them to a championship or the playoffs, Garrett being the only exception.
Mike Shanahan seems to be the only one, outside of Chip Kelly to make a return in 2014 with his current team. Although fans are in an uproar and his son, Washington Redskins OC Kyle Shanahan, are not happy with the benching of Robert Griffin III, it is the report of a $13 million buyout on his contract that might keep the elder Shanahan that will help him comeback next season. Smart man. But it’s more than just his intelligence in the business. He has two Super Bowl rings, a 169-136 regular season record and an 8-6 post season record. The guy can win.
Tom Coughlin might see a return next year with the New York Giants as well. This season has not been pretty, but it’s not anything that he has done. Eli Manning’s lack luster play and league leading 25 interceptions with the lack of a strong running game has been the deathly blow to this team. Overall, Coughlin is someone they need next year. As a head coach in the NFL, he has produced 10 winning seasons out of 17. Going 12-7 with two rings shows that he is a dominant force in the playoffs. Rather then getting rid of him, the team needs to spend the offseason looking to build a better team that can make the playoffs. Manning might be able to fetch something useful if they put him up.
Unlike tradition, we’ve saved the least for last. It’s hard to plead a case for Jason Garrett to return in 2014 with the Dallas Cowboys or any team for that matter. Sure, this season has had them fighting for the division championship, but it is the NFC East. With the team looking to finish second in the division, it will be the best finish in the Garrett era. The only thing that could save him is Jerry Jones’ lack of kahunas. Despite consecutive third place finish in the division and even records, Jones continues to preach of his love for Tony Romo and Garrett. If Jones would make the necessary changes, the Cowboys might actually make the post-season and possibly bring the Lombardi trophy home.
Only time will tell what changes we will see in 2014. But these three coaches are definitely in the hot seat.