With the 2013 regular season approaching rapidly, it’s time to put some quarterbacks on the hot seat. Some names may be familiar and some may surprise you. Regardless, here is three quarterbacks that are potentially watching their career slip through the palm of their hands as we speak.
1. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
With Lovie Smith out as head coach in Chicago and Marc Trestman in, Cutler’s seat is hotter than ever. Entering into the final year of his contract, he needs to do enough to impress Trestman and general manager Phil Emery to the point that they believe he can be the long-term answer in the Windy City. If that’s not the case, the former-Vanderbilt gunslinger could be putting on a different uniform in 2014.
During his stint with the Bears, Cutler is 34-22 in the regular season. However, they have yet to find success in the postseason with him as signal-caller. The 30-year old veteran is prone to turnovers and a low completion percentage, under 60% during his time in Chicago thus far. After being sacked almost 150 times in four years, the Bears offensive line is now improved, and Cutler has plenty of weapons around him, including All-Pro receiver Brandon Marshall. If Jay fails to live up to expectations once more, he could certainly be looking for a new job next season.
2. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
San Diego decided to trade Drew Brees to the New Orleans Saints to give Rivers his chance on the biggest stage. Early on, it appeared as though the Chargers constructed the rare trade that works for both teams. In 2008, Rivers led the NFL in passer rating with an outstanding 105.5 and touchdown passes with 34.
In the following four years, his passer rating dropped consistently, and managed just an 88.6 a season ago. Turnovers have also been a problem for Rivers. Over the last two seasons, the Chargers’ quarterback has turned the ball over 49 times, and despite high expectations, the team has failed to reach the playoffs since 2009.
Mike McCoy has now replaced former head coach Norv Turner, and Ken Whisenhunt is in as offensive coordinator. Whisenhunt played a key role in bringing a Super Bowl title to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Ben Roethlisberger’s rookie season. The duo succeeded immensely and eventually brought the Lombardi Trophy to Pittsburgh in 2004. While McCoy and the Charger’s hope Whisenhunt can find some of the same magic with Rivers, they will settle with being confident that he is the long-term future. At just 31, Rivers still has plenty of time left, but if he can not return to his old form, he may be on his way out of San Diego.
3. Matt Schaub, Houston Texans
While Schaub isn’t really on the same type of hot seat as the previous two, he is on it in his own right. Houston is built to win, and win now. Everyone knows that the Texans can run the ball, and Schaub has been extremely efficient in the regular season, but the passing game needs to get Houston over the hump. With two Pro Bowls and three 4,000 yard seasons now under his belt, there is no threat to Schaub’s starting spot, but if the team wants to take the next step, it has to begin with the signal-caller.
The Texans are viewed as one of the favorites to come out of the AFC and make a run to the Super Bowl. However, Houston has failed to make it out of the AFC Divisional round of the playoffs under Schaub. Despite being the unquestioned starter, the pressure is now on the veteran quarterback to take his team to the promise land before their window to seriously contend closes for good.