Halfway through the NFL season, there have already been two coaching changes, with Indianapolis firing Frank Reich this week, four weeks after Carolina fired Matt Rhule.
Based on recent history, there will almost certainly be more.
Last offseason, the NFL had a record-tying 10 coaching changes, and three-quarters of the teams have changed head coaches at least once in the last five years.
With 14 teams making the playoffs each season and several recent squads undergoing rapid turnarounds, patience is running thin.
Denver’s Nathaniel Hackett. Hackett appeared to be in jeopardy after botching the end-of-game scenario in his debut loss to Seattle. With Hackett’s offense struggling with new high-priced quarterback Russell Wilson and new ownership in town, Hackett’s first head coaching job could be over unless things change.
Dan Campbell is from Detroit. Campbell brings a lot of energy to the Lions and is well liked, but his 5-19-1 record (.220) is worse than his predecessor Matt Patricia’s.314 winning percentage, which landed him fired before the end of his third season. Few coaches have had any success in Detroit, with Jim Caldwell being the only non-interim coach to have a winning record with the Lions in the last half-century. Following the 2017 season, Detroit fired him after three winning seasons in four years, and the team has gone 19-52-2 since then.
Arizona’s Kliff Kingsbury. The Cardinals extended Kingsbury, general manager Steve Keim, and quarterback Kyler Murray last offseason, but someone will have to pay the price if they don’t improve on their 3-6 record. Kingsbury’s offense has appeared stale, and Murray has expressed his frustration with Kingsbury at times.
Houston’s Lovie Smith. Smith has a 1-6-1 record since replacing David Culley, who lasted only one season. If there is no progress in the second half, the Texans will become the first team since San Francisco in 2015-16 to have back-to-back one-and-done coaches in Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly.
DeMeco Ryans is the defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers. Ryans has risen quickly through the coaching ranks since joining coach Kyle Shanahan’s staff as a quality control coach in 2017, his first job after retiring as a standout linebacker. Since taking over as DC in 2021, he has helped oversee one of the league’s top units, demonstrating an ability to design schemes that make life difficult for offenses while also motivating his players.
Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris Morris, who failed as head coach in Tampa Bay more than a decade ago, could be in line for another shot. He spent years as an assistant coach, working on offense, defense, and as the interim head coach in Atlanta in 2020. He has done his best work with the Rams over the last two years, assisting them in winning the Super Bowl last year.
Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen Few coaches have had as much success as Steichen in recent years. He helped Justin Herbert have a stellar rookie season for the Chargers in 2020 before moving on to Philadelphia, where he has helped develop Jalen Hurts into one of the team’s top young quarterbacks. The Eagles offense took off after coach Nick Sirianni handed over play-calling duties to Steichen midway through last season.
Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn Quinn’s first stint as head coach included a Super Bowl victory in Atlanta in 2016 and a 43-42 record in five seasons with the Falcons. Quinn was given his first opportunity because of his success as the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator when they won the Super Bowl in 2013. He has demonstrated greater adaptability in his two seasons with the Cowboys, which could make him an even stronger candidate this time around.
Eric Bieniemy is the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs. Bieniemy has been considered one of the top candidates for years but has yet to be named despite his role in assisting Andy Reid in running one of Kansas City’s top offenses. Maybe the success the Chiefs are having this season after trading Tyreek Hill will help Bieniemy finally get a head coaching job.