Heading into the 2021 NFL season, there are several coaches who need to perform well if they want to keep their jobs moving forward.
On Friday, CBS NFL insider Jason La Canfora compiled a list of nine coaches currently on the “hot seat.”
The list goes as follows:
- Matt Nagy — Chicago Bears
- Mike McCarthy — Dallas Cowboys
- Zac Taylor — Cincinnati Bengals
- Kliff Kingsbury — Arizona Cardinals
- David Culley — Houston Texans
- Vic Fangio — Denver Broncos
- Mike Zimmer — Minnesota Vikings
- Matt LaFleur — Green Bay Packers
- Brian Flores — Miami Dolphins
A common denominator among many of these head coaches is their possession of young talent at the quarterback position.
Nagy has incoming first-round prospect Justin Fields. Taylor has Joe Burrow coming fresh off an ACL tear in his rookie season. Kliff Kingsbury has a rising superstar in Kyle Murray. And Flores has an inconsistent Tua Tagovailoa coming off his rookie year.
How they take advantage of this talent will likely indicate their future success as an NFL head coach.
While these coaches have to worry about their team’s growth, the others have to worry about avoiding stagnation.
Coming off a disappointing season in 2020, McCarthy will look to get his squad back on track in 2021. With Dak Prescott back under center, anything but significant improvement for the Cowboys would spell trouble for the former Green Bay coach.
Speaking of the Packers, head coach Matt LaFleur may be in trouble because of the recent drama with reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers. If the superstar QB doesn’t return in 2021, annual trips to the playoffs may be a thing of the past.
Fangio also has an interesting quarterback situation in Denver. How he handles this year’s QB battle between returning starter Drew Lock and veteran Teddy Bridgewater could impact his future with the Broncos.
Culley would probably prefer this QB situation, because right now he doesn’t have much of one at all. With Deshaun Watson dealing with a litany of off-field issues, the rookie head coach has a tough road ahead of him in 2021.
After making it to the divisional round in 2019, the Vikings regressed in 2020 with a 7-9 record. If Zimmer is unable to turn things back around this year, the franchise may start to look elsewhere.