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NFL 5 2020 Schrager's 2012 NFL coaches on hot seat 31475079 It's coming! It%27s+coming%21 NFL

We’re 14 weeks through the 2012 NFL season, meaning we’re just four weeks away from the start of the NFL playoffs. Of course, that means we’re also just four weeks away from “Black Monday,” the first Monday after the regular season — and the day most fired NFL head coaches receive their pink slips. Unlike in 2011, when the Chiefs handed Todd Haley his walking papers midway through the season, we haven’t seen any midyear coaching changes during this NFL campaign.


That doesn’t mean changes aren’t a comin’.


With three weeks left in the 2012 regular season, let’s take a ride along the NFL coaching carousel and see whose jobs could be in jeopardy come “Black Monday.” Here are 11 names you’ll be hearing an awful lot about over the regular season’s final few weeks.


Peter Schrager

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NFL 5 2020 Schrager's 2012 NFL coaches on hot seat 31471750 Mike Mularkey, Jacksonville Jaguars Mike+Mularkey%2C+Jacksonville+Jaguars NFL

2012 Record: 2-11

Season High Point: A rare 24-19 win over the Titans in Week 12.
Season Low Point: The 41-3 loss at home to the Bears in Week 5.

Outlook: This one’s all about the owner and the GM. If Shad Khan opts to fire GM Gene Smith (something that’s been widely speculated all season), there’s a good chance the new GM—whoever that may be—will want to install his own coaching staff. Mularkey didn’t turn Blaine Gabbert into the quarterback many hoped he’d be in Year 2 and the wins just haven’t been there. Granted, this team’s been beyond stung by injuries. They’ve been blitzed. I think Mularkey’s given at least one more year, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s shown the door after just 16 games.

Schrager Forecast: 25 percent chance of pink slip
 

Troy Taormina - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/10/121012-NFL-coaching-carousel-TV-G12_20121210154355581_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/10/121012-NFL-coaching-carousel-TV-G12_20121210154355581_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 Schrager's 2012 NFL coaches on hot seat 31471749 Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears Lovie+Smith%2C+Chicago+Bears NFL

2012 Record: 8-5

Season High Point: Commanding 34-18 win over the Cowboys in Dallas in Week 4.
Season Low Point: The 21-14 loss they suffered in Minnesota on Sunday.

Outlook: Shocked to see Lovie Smith listed here? If Chicago somehow misses the playoffs this season, after their 8-3 start, Smith’s name could be on the chopping block. The Bears finished the year 1-5 and missed the playoffs by a game in 2011, albeit without Jay Cutler in the lineup in those six games. This year? There’d be no excuse for such a collapse. Remember, Chicago has a new GM in Phil Emery. He doesn’t have the same longtime history with Smith as former GM Jerry Angelo. The Bears didn’t come prepared to play in Minnesota on Sunday. There’s no excuse for that.

Schrager Forecast: 20 percent chance of pink slip
 

Brace Hemmelgarn - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/10/121012-NFL-coaching-carousel-TV-G11_20121210154355580_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/10/121012-NFL-coaching-carousel-TV-G11_20121210154355580_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 Schrager's 2012 NFL coaches on hot seat 31471747 Chan Gailey, Buffalo Bills Chan+Gailey%2C+Buffalo+Bills NFL

2012 Record: 5-8

Season High Point: A nationally televised 19-14 win over the Dolphins.
Season Low Point: Opening day 48-28 loss to the Jets. After a summer full of preseason hype, this loss set the tone for the entire regular season.

Outlook: Gailey’s Bills have lost five of their last seven games, including an inexplicable fourth quarter collapse on Sunday to the Rams at home. He’s been the coach for three seasons, Buffalo hasn’t reached the playoffs in that time, and the fans have spoken (check out www.firechangailey.com). They say change can be good. In this case, I believe it.

Schrager Forecast: 65 percent chance of pink slip
 

Brett Davis - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/10/121012-NFL-coaching-carousel-TV-G10_20121210154247572_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/10/121012-NFL-coaching-carousel-TV-G10_20121210154247572_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 Schrager's 2012 NFL coaches on hot seat 31471748 Mike Munchak, Tennessee Titans Mike+Munchak%2C+Tennessee+Titans NFL

2012 Record: 4-9

Season High Point: A dramatic 35-34 comeback win over the Bills in Buffalo in Week 7.
Season Low Point: A devastating 51-20 loss in Chicago in Week 9.

Outlook: Munchak’s entering the final year of his three-year contract in 2013, but I’m not so certain he’ll get there. The Titans, a team that showed flashes in 2011, has regressed in 2012. Losers of three straight games against division opponents in three consecutive weeks, Bud Adams can’t be happy. Offensive coordinator Chris Palmer has been removed and replaced, but the results haven’t been all that dazzling. Tennessee’s got three games left, including a Monday night matchup with the Jets in Week 15. Lose all three, finish the season 4-12, and I’d be downright shocked to see Munchak roaming the sidelines next season.

Schrager Forecast: 45 percent chance of pink slip
 

Brian Spurlock - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/10/121012-NFL-coaching-carousel-TV-G9_20121210154247574_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/10/121012-NFL-coaching-carousel-TV-G9_20121210154247574_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 Schrager's 2012 NFL coaches on hot seat 31471746 Romeo Crennel, Kansas City Chiefs Romeo+Crennel%2C+Kansas+City+Chiefs NFL

2012 Record: 2-11

Season High Point: Emotional 27-21 win over the Panthers in Week 13 just 24 hours after the Jovan Belcher murder/suicide.
Season Low Point: A 26-16 loss to the Raiders in Arrowhead.

Outlook: No one will ever forget the incredible strength and courage Crennel showed through the most unthinkable of tragedies two weeks ago. His players love him and the defense, for the most part, comes to play each week. That said, I just can’t see Crennel being brought back for another season in Kansas City as the head coach. The offense turns the ball over too much and the talent’s too great on this team for a 2-11 record. It’d be uncharacteristic of the Hunt family to fire a coach after just one full season as the head coach, but I think a change — from top to bottom — is needed in KC.

Schrager Forecast: 75 percent chance of pink slip
 

Kirby Lee/Image of Sport - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/10/121012-NFL-coaching-carousel-TV-G8_20121210154247573_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/10/121012-NFL-coaching-carousel-TV-G8_20121210154247573_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 Schrager's 2012 NFL coaches on hot seat 31471745 Rex Ryan, New York Jets Rex+Ryan%2C+New+York+Jets NFL

2012 Record: 6-7

Season High Point: A dominant 35-9 win over the Colts in Week 6.
Season Low Point: An embarrassing 49-19 loss to the Patriots on national television Thanksgiving night.

Outlook: Who knows anymore? A week after Greg McElroy relieved Mark Sanchez and led the Jets to a 7-6 victory over Arizona, the second-year quarterback out of Alabama was relegated to the bench and listed as inactive on Sunday in Jacksonville. Sure enough, Sanchez went out there and led the Jets to victory. Gang Green has been the punch line of countless jokes in New York this season (many by me), but through it all — the Jets are currently a game out of the AFC playoff picture. Woody Johnson has many decisions to make this offseason. What does he do with the team’s quarterback situation? What’s he do with GM Mike Tannenbaum? Does he trade highly-priced injured cornerback Darrelle Revis? Most paramount of all, what’s he do with Rex Ryan? One thing working in Ryan’s favor? The Jets have owned the New York City tabloid back pages all season long. Whether Woody Johnson would ever admit it or not, that’s considered a major plus within those walls in Florham Park, New Jersey.

Schrager Forecast: 25 percent chance of pink slip
 

Steven Bisig - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/10/121012-NFL-coaching-carousel-TV-G7_20121210154247571_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/10/121012-NFL-coaching-carousel-TV-G7_20121210154247571_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 Schrager's 2012 NFL coaches on hot seat 31471744 Ken Whisenhunt, Arizona Cardinals Ken+Whisenhunt%2C+Arizona+Cardinals NFL

2012 Record: 4-9

Season High Point: Dramatic comeback OT victory over the Miami Dolphins in Week 4.

Season Low Point: A 58-0 loss to the Seahawks in Week 14.

Outlook: Whisenhunt’s back-to-back postseason appearances in 2008 and 2009 (including Arizona’s only Super Bowl in franchise history) likely give him a little more breathing room than other coaches in the midst of a nine-game losing streak. But his job isn’t necessarily safe. Whisenhunt arrived in Arizona with the label of an offensive wunderkind and a quarterbacks “guru”. Alas, none of his young quarterbacks — Matt Leinart, Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Ryan Lindley, or Max Hall — have come close to matching the success of Kurt Warner, the man who led Arizona to their two playoff appearances. Despite a lucrative $100 million contract last August, Larry Fitzgerald’s prime has been wasted on foul quarterback play and anemic offensive output the past two seasons. The Arizona defense — one of the top units in the league — deserves better from the offense, too. I’d be surprised if Whisenhunt’s let go, but that Super Bowl goodwill from a few years ago will be wearing awfully thin if Arizona isn’t much improved in 2013. The current nine-game losing streak is the franchise’s longest since 1944. And trust me, this franchise has seen some bleak years.

Schrager Forecast: 30 percent chance of pink slip
 

Bruce Kluckhohn - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/10/121012-NFL-coaching-carousel-TV-G6_20121210154247570_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/10/121012-NFL-coaching-carousel-TV-G6_20121210154247570_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 Schrager's 2012 NFL coaches on hot seat 31471741 Pat Shurmur, Cleveland Browns Pat+Shurmur%2C+Cleveland+Browns NFL

2012 Record: 5-8

Season High Point: A 20-14 Week 12 win over the Steelers in which the defense caused 8 turnovers.
Season Low Point: A 17-13 loss to the Colts in Indianapolis in Week 7.

Outlook: Shurmur’s odds of being the head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 2013 weren’t looking too good a few weeks ago. Conservative playcalling, anemic offensive efforts, and an overall staleness each week — the Browns hadn’t given ownership any reason to stand behind Shurmur and his coaching staff for another season. Sure enough, Cleveland’s rattled off three straight wins, including one against the rival Steelers in Week 12. This decision’s going to be interesting. Brandon Weeden’s shown great improvement over the last few weeks, Shurmur’s young players seem to respond to him, and the defense has been rock solid. The Browns face the Redskins, Broncos, and Steelers in their final three games. If Cleveland wins those games, I can’t imagine owner Jimmy Haslam and recently hired executive Joe Banner handing Shurmur his walking papers. I can’t imagine the fans wanting anything of the sort.

Schrager Forecast: 65 percent chance of pink slip
 

Tim Heitman - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/10/121012-NFL-coaching-carousel-TV-G5_20121210153926562_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/10/121012-NFL-coaching-carousel-TV-G5_20121210153926562_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 Schrager's 2012 NFL coaches on hot seat 31471743 Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles Andy+Reid%2C+Philadelphia+Eagles NFL

2012 Record: 4-9

Season High Point: A 19-17 win over the Giants in Week 4.
Season Low Point: An embarrassing 31-6 loss to the Redskins in Week 11.

Outlook: Prior to the 2012 season, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said he expected an improvement from Philadelphia’s 8-8 record in 2011. “We need substantial improvement,” Lurie told reporters in August. “We have a very good team on paper, and paper doesn’t get you that far if you don’t maximize it.” The improvement, obviously, has not been seen and the product on paper didn’t come through on the field this year. Though one could point to injuries as the real culprit and not the coaching, I’d be surprised to see Andy Reid roaming the sidelines for a 15th season in Philadelphia. If anything, Sunday’s comeback victory in Tampa — with unlikely names like Nick Foles, Riley Cooper, and Jason Avant leading the way for Philadelphia — provided the rare nice moment for Reid and beleaguered Eagles fans this season.

Schrager Forecast: 80% chance of pink slip
 

Kim Klement - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/10/121012-NFL-coaching-carousel-TV-G4_20121210153926563_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/10/121012-NFL-coaching-carousel-TV-G4_20121210153926563_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 Schrager's 2012 NFL coaches on hot seat 31471740 Norv Turner, San Diego Chargers Norv+Turner%2C+San+Diego+Chargers NFL

2012 Record: 5-8

Season High Point: Commanding 24-0 halftime lead over the Denver Broncos on national television.
Season Low Point: Giving up 35 straight second half points and losing that very same game to Denver on national television.

Outlook: The San Diego Chargers may be the best 5-8 team in NFL history. What do I mean? With Sunday’s blowout of the Steelers in Pittsburgh, the Chargers have outscored their opponents 292-281 on the year. But scoring differential isn’t what matters. Wins and losses are. And in Norv Turner’s case, a gutsy win in Pittsburgh in a game no one gave them a chance may have been too little too late. It’s been a long year for Chargers fans. If the Week 6 second half collapse against the Broncos wasn’t bad enough, the 7-6 loss to Cleveland two weeks later certainly was. Then came the fourth-and-29, “Hey, Diddle, Diddle, Ray Rice over the Middle” play vs. the Ravens in Week 12. Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego reported that both Turner and GM A.J. Smith would be fired at the end of the regular season. Team chairman Dean Spanos said, "I will make my evaluations at the end of the season. Anything coming out now — from sources or otherwise — is pure speculation." Speculation or not, the Twitter hashtag “#FireNorv” has been a Sunday staple on Twitter for the greater part of the 2012 season. The fans have had enough of Norv Turner. He’s a nice guy and a proven play-caller, but a change is needed in San Diego.

Schrager Forecast: 80 percent chance of pink slip
 

Christopher Hanewinckel - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/10/121012-NFL-coaching-carousel-TV-G3_20121210153926561_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/10/121012-NFL-coaching-carousel-TV-G3_20121210153926561_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 Schrager's 2012 NFL coaches on hot seat 31471742 Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers Ron+Rivera%2C+Carolina+Panthers NFL

2012 Record: 4-9

Season High Point: Dominant 30-20 win over the then 11-1 Atlanta Falcons in Week 13.

Season Low Point: 27-21 overtime loss to Tampa Bay at home in Week 11.

Outlook: Not great. Panthers owner Jerry Richardson fired longtime GM Marty Hurney in October, but opted to let Rivera, the second-year Panthers coach, finish out his second season in Charlotte. The Panthers have won just three games since Hurney was let go, but have been competitive in just about every loss. Cam Newton’s shown flashes of brilliance and the defense has, indeed, improved, but the Panthers will likely look to rebuild — from top to bottom — this offseason. Sunday’s blowout of the Falcons showed what the Panthers can be when they put it all together. Unfortunately, that was the first time they’ve put it all together this season.

Schrager Forecast: 80 percent chance of pink slip
 

Dale Zanine - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/10/121012-NFL-coaching-carousel-TV-G2_20121210153927564_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/10/121012-NFL-coaching-carousel-TV-G2_20121210153927564_107_80.JPG
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