Pick six of NFL coaches on the hot seat

Three weeks left in the season, three coaches already long gone:

Wade Phillips, Brad Childress and Josh McDaniels.

Who’s next?

The line likely forms in Carolina, where coach John Fox started

the season as a lame duck and his Panthers have been flat-out lame,

with one victory in 13 games. His status appears to be well beyond

the hot seat, as in some sort of NFL purgatory.

He won’t be the only coach out the door when the season ends.

It’s shaping up as an offseason with the potential for major


There is hope for another chance for some on this Pick Six list

of coaches on the hot seat, but not much:

– Jeff Fisher, Titans: Finishing up his 16th season in

Tennessee, there is a difference of opinion between owner Bud Adams

and Fisher regarding Vince Young. The QB has not panned out the way

Adams envisioned, is out for the season with a thumb injury, and

the Titans have dropped six in a row. Seems like Fisher has just

about had it, especially if Adams insists on sticking with Young. A

resignation, firing, dismissal – whatever it’s called – appears

imminent, and look for Fisher to show up somewhere else as a head

coach next season – if he wants to.

About his future, Fisher is saying this: ”I’m under contract.

As I’ve said numerous times, I hope to finish my career here.”

– Mike Singletary, 49ers: Not many believed when he said his

team still had a chance at the playoffs despite an 0-5 start, but

the 49ers (5-8) are a game out of first place in the horrid NFC

West. Whether they make the playoffs or not (a win over the

Chargers on Thursday night is a tall order), Singletary’s days

appear to be numbered unless QB Alex Smith finishes with a flourish

and the 49ers win the division.

– Gary Kubiak, Texans: With QB Matt Schaub and RB Arian Foster

leading the way, all seemed rosy early on for Kubiak’s crew.

However, the defense ranks 29th of 32 teams, and is last in pass

defense. A year after guiding the team to its first winning season

(9-7), Kubiak had high hopes for 2010, but the Texans have lost six

of their last seven and are on the verge of being eliminated from

playoff contention. Kubiak’s contract extension through 2012 may

not make it to 2011.

– Eric Mangini, Browns: Yes, there have been five wins for the

Manginis, but has there been much progress? And is there really

anything exciting about this team? With injuries to all of his

quarterbacks throughout the season, it’s a wonder Mangini has

someone to call signals each week. Yes, RB Peyton Hillis has been

terrific. But if this indeed was a one-year audition for team

president Mike Holmgren, it may not be enough for Mangini to get

another shot.

– Marvin Lewis, Bengals: Champs of the AFC North last year,

perhaps the worst Bengals squad ever this year. The losing streak

has reached 10 and a loss to the Browns on Sunday would set a club

record. Lewis already has turned down a contract extension, and can

walk away from this mess in a few more weeks. Look for him to do

so, and then get hired to fill one of the soon-to-be many

vacancies, either as coach of defensive coordinator.

– Leslie Frazier, Vikings, and Eric Studesville, Broncos: The

thinking is Jason Garrett will be the permanent replacement for

Phillips, with the Cowboys reverting to competitive form with a 3-2

record since he’s taken over. The verdict is not in on Frazier, who

is 2-1 since being chosen as interim coach. Of course, he’ll always

be known as Brett Favre’s coach when the quarterback’s record

starts streak ended Monday. At Denver, if owner Pat Bowlen decides

he doesn’t want to pay three coaches tons of money (he still owes

Mike Shanahan and McDaniels), the little-known Studesville has a

chance. Otherwise, it’s 23 skidoo. In addition, Bowlen may want an

experienced coach for this massive rebuilding project.