We all know the NFL is a cutthroat business. Coaches and players get paid a lot of money, and owners and fans expect their teams to win, and do so quickly. Obviously, there’s pressure on every single head coach in the league, but there’s a few coaches with their seats hot coming into the season.
Ron Rivera, Washington Commanders
Ron Rivera is entering his 4th season as the head coach of the Commanders. Coming into the season, he has a 22-27-1 record as their coach. During his tenure, QB play has often been the culprit as to why the Commanders haven’t performed better. The team has talent on both sides of the ball, but without consistent QB play, it just hasn’t been enough. Sam Howell has recently been announced as the team’s starting quarterback. Four years is a long time to turn around a franchise, but also working against Rivera is that the Commanders just got bought by a new ownership group, and the team hired Eric Bieniemy away from the Kansas City Chiefs as their assistant head coach. Rivera is clearly under a lot of pressure to win this year, and win early in the season.
Robert Saleh, New York Jets
At first glimpse, Robert Saleh may not seem like someone who should be on the hot seat. In his second year as head coach of the Jets, the Jets went from 4 wins in 2021 to 7 wins in 2022 and quickly featured one of the best defenses in the league, with loads of young talent everywhere. However, with the team bringing in future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers, the team is absolutely under pressure to win now. We’ve seen in the past that a defensive head coach can sometimes struggle to make the most of their offensive personnel. And with Rodgers only having a couple years left before he retires, there’s a tremendous amount of pressure on the Jets to win now. If the offense struggles this year, it’s entirely possible the Jets opt to bring in an offensive mind at head coach to make the most of their prized QB.
Brandon Staley, Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers are coming off a year in which they played in the division with the future Super Bowl champs and still made the playoffs. However, they had one of the worst playoff losses in recent history. They were up 27-0 against the Jaguars and lost 31-30. That is hard to do, yet it seems completely plausible for this snakebitten franchise. The team brought in Kellen Mond as their offensive coordinator in the offseason. Frankly, the Chargers have way too much talent to continue wasting years of Justin Herbert’s career. If the Chargers don’t take a big step forward this year, the Chargers could look to bring in someone who can get them further into January.
Matt LaFleur, Green Bay Packers
It may not be his fault or his choice, but LaFleur will not have Aaron Rodgers under center this year to cover up any perceived deficiencies. It’s obviously an easier job when you have someone like Rodgers covering for the entire team. Now, the franchise is betting that Jordan Love will be able to take the reigns over from a future Hall of Famer, just like Rodgers did taking over for Brett Favre in 2008. However, the NFC North is as good as its been in a long time. The Lions have momentum, the Bears look to be getting it together, and the Vikings are no pushovers. It will be very awkward for those in Green Bay if Love struggles while Rodgers delivers for another team this year. If the Packers take a big step back this year, fans and pundits will surely begin to pontificate as to how much of Green Bay’s recent success is due to LaFleur, and how much was due to the quarterback he just so happened to have.