So as part of our offseason preparation and homework, we take a look at those that might be sitting in a ‘hot seat’ heading into regular season. So this a SafePicks.com look at who in the NFL could potentially have the so called “hot seat” heading into the 2014 NFL Season:
1. Jason Garret, Head Coach, Dallas: For us at SafePicks, it has to be the playoffs or bust for the Cowboys head coach. Into his 4th season, in the final year of his contact, we just cannot forecast anything great happening in Dallas this season. In fact, we believe the Cowboys will be lucky to make .500 this year. Although Garret is far to blame from what goes on in Dallas (thank Jerry Jones), a 29-27 record in 4 seasons usually gets a coach axed. In this case here, mind you, Garret could very well be relegated to a lesser role next season, (as opposed to getting the axe) given his long career in Dallas. Let’s see.
2. Brian Hoyer, Quarterback, Cleveland: Battling with rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel was a challenge and a distraction too. But Hoyer has been announced the starter for the 2014 NFL season. Hoyer, who was 2-0 when last season ended, needs to have a winning record by the end of the first quarter pole (Week 4) or expect Manziel to get the nod. There is a reason why the Browns went out and got Manziel, it’s up to Hoyer now to prove the job should be his. Either way, Hoyer’s seat is hot.
3. Jake Locker, Quarterback, Tennessee: This will be a do or die, or a make or break scenario for quarterback Jake Locker. Although coach Ken Whisenhunt has a way of bringing out the best from his quarterbacks, Locker needs to be far better this season than he’s ever been. The Titans declined his fifth year option for a reason, now it’s up to Locker to play well and stay healthy.
4. Joe Philbin, Head Coach, Miami: Essentially, his team needs to make the playoffs in order for him to have a chance at saving his job. His team cannot flounder at the end of the season neither, a strong finish is required for Philbin’s team. First year assistant coaches on board this season won’t help the cause. Philbin has had more of a say this season, but if the Fins can’t make an entry into the playoffs, it potentially could be the end of the line for Philbin.
5. Ryan Tannehill, Quarterback, Miami: There are no two ways about it, Tannehill is also on a hot seat of some kind. He needs to improve his play considerably and enable the Dolphins to be offensively competitive. Last season, he frequently missed his targets running standard routes, either over-throwing or under-throwing to them. If Tannehil does not substantially improve this season, the Dolphins will draft a quarterback next offseason. So let’s hope Tannehil has a more impressive season to get him off the hot seat.
6. Rex Ryan, Head Coach, NY Jets: The organization my quell any rogue ‘lame duck’ rumors, but we believe Rex Ryan is on the hot seat to deliver at least a playoff berth. The Jets missed the playoffs for a third straight year. The ground-and-pound game may not be enough to make it to the Super Bowl these days. However, the organization has backed Ryan heading into this season – which could be a PR move or fact. At least we’ll state this, contract extension or not, Ryan will do himself favors by getting his team into the playoffs. A fourth year without much to show may not go over well in NY.
7. Dennis Allen, Head Coach, Oakland: After back to back 4-12 seasons, and finishing last season with a 6-game losing streak, anything south of a season ending . 500 record could potentially spell the end for Allen. Owner Mark Davis will almost certainly pull the trigger if better results are not on Oakland’s horizon this season.
8. Chad Henne, Quarterback, Jacksonville: Right now, Henne is supposed to start in Week 1. However, we here at SP doubt he will finish the season. The Jaguars drafted quarterback Blake Bortles for a reason, as we hinted before (previously in early August), this guy is the real deal in the talent department. If Henne falters, expect Bortles to get the call and give Jags fans something to rave about for years to come. Bortles will bring much needed wins to Jacksonville, making the Jaguars relevant again.
9. Trent Richardson, Running Back, Indianapolis: In looking back, the Colts went and traded a 2014 first round draft pick for Richardson last September. Last season, Richardson had a seemingly non-productive year. Richardson had 458 yards total rushing in 14 games with Indy, that simply does not cut it. Although he will be part of a three-pronged ground game (rotation), he needs to produce to be around next season. Until we see his results this year, Richardson sits in a hot seat.
10. Rob Gronkowski, Tight End, New England: He used to be the most productive tight end in the business. But over the last two seasons he has seen his production decline, mostly due to injury. To put it into perspective, his last full injury-free season was in 2011 where he had 90 catches for 1327 yards. Last year? He caught 39 passes for 592 yards after playing in only seven games after back and forearm surgery. How long will it be before another injury sidelines him? We believe it won’t be long. Gronkowski’s production has to improve or he might potentially find himself on the way out.
Visit us at SafePicks.com, enjoy our 12th year of providing winning NFL/NCAAF Picks And Predictions!