Hot seats: Assessing every NFL coach's job security midway through the season

Which NFL coaches have their jobs to prove the rest of the 2023 season?

Sep 10, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus meets with his players
Sep 10, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus meets with his players / Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Coming up on the halfway point of the NFL season, all 32 teams have seen enough to have a good idea of the landscape. One key area for various teams to assess is the head coaching role, and whether or not their leader is the person for the job moving forward.

Other teams have no interest in even considering a change at the helm. Varying degrees of seat warmth exist across the league and factor into the amount of pressure each coach will feel down the stretch.

We took to the network of NFL experts from our FanSided team sites and gathered their assessment of their respective head coach's job security at this point in the year. Here's where things stand.

Arizona Cardinals, Jonathan Gannon

The Arizona Cardinals may be 1-5, but it is clear head coach Jonathan Gannon is safe. When Monti Ossenfort succeeded Steve Keim as general manager, it was clear that he wanted to put the organization through a full rebuild. One that would start with an entirely new foundation. This meant hiring and retaining the right coach and constructing the team with that coach’s mentality. Unless something like a falling out between Gannon and the organization occurred, his seat should remain cool for 2024 and perhaps even 2025, even if the wins don’t come immediately. -- Sion Fawkes

Read more Cardinals content on Raising Zona.

Atlanta Falcons, Arthur Smith

From an outsider's perspective It would seem like Arthur Smith's time with the Falcons might come to an end if the team doesnt make the playoffs this season. However, owner Arthur Blank hired the current regime with binoculars considering the mess they were inheriting. The clock has really started for Smith in 2023. It would take a Week 6 performance every week for the Falcons' head coach to get fired at season's end. Prepare to see Arthur Smith leading the Falcons next season whether or not they make the postseason. -- Grayson Freestone

Read more Falcons content on Blogging Dirty.

Baltimore Ravens, John Harbaugh

John Harbaugh’s seat’s temperature might be one of the most difficult to measure across the NFL. On one hand, you have a coach that finds it incredibly easy to always have the team operating smoothly and navigating regular seasons reasonably well on their way to making the playoffs -- they’ve been there in four of the last six seasons. On the other hand, you have a coach who has led his team to win just twice in the postseason in the past 10 years, coinciding with the second Super Bowl title in franchise history. At some point, there is a reasonable argument to be made for Baltimore to move on and try to find someone who can help the team take the ultimate leap once more. Harbaugh isn’t a bad coach, but the Ravens organization might be growing tired of never quite getting there. Whether or not the front office is happy living in the status quo is what will ultimately bring an end (or not) to Harbaugh’s tenure in Baltimore. For now, however, he should feel and be safe for a while barring catastrophe. -- Antonio Losada

Read more Ravens content on Ebony Bird.

Buffalo Bills, Sean McDermott

Buffalo Bills’ head coach Sean McDermott might as well have a seat on a block of ice.  The coaching seat at One Bills Drive is not even remotely warm, however, if you ask some fans, they might tell you differently.  There is a contingent of fans that have been calling for McDermott to be fired ever since the “13-second” game in that divisional playoff with the Kansas City Chiefs.  But firing McDermott would be ridiculous at this point and the worst thing ownership could do, it would ruin the Buffalo Bills.  Unless the Bills suddenly become a nobody in the AFC and revert back to the drought days, the team should and likely will hold fast with McDermott at the helm.  What he's done for the Bills organization is nothing short of amazing and it’s shocking that he hasn’t won an NFL Coach of the Year award yet. -- Ronnie Eastham

Read more Bills content on BuffaLowDown.

Carolina Panthers, Frank Reich

Nobody within the Carolina Panthers thought they’d be 0-6 to begin the season. Frank Reich and his all-star staff have struggled to match the bold offseason predictions of NFC South contention by the front office, which has once again called into question the team’s recruitment and ability to get the most out of young talent. 

Injuries haven’t helped their cause, but Reich needs to string together a few wins after the bye week to alleviate concerns. Handing over play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Thomas Brown represents a step in the right direction, but team owner David Tepper is already examining how things are unfolding extremely closely. He is also known for being impulsive when it comes to football decisions. -- Dean Jones

Read more Panthers content on Cat Crave.

Chicago Bears, Matt Eberflus

If you were to have asked most Bears fans back in August just how hot Matt Eberflus’ seat would be a few weeks in, the vast majority would have answered with a laugh. After all, the Bears had a healthy offseason and were justifiably optimistic about improving in 2023. However, a multitude of wrongs have resulted in Chicago netting just one win through six weeks and many believe the entire coaching staff could be gone by season’s end -- not just Eberflus. Things have gotten so ugly in Chicago that it’s not just Eberflus who could be run out of town, but the Bears might even move on from Justin Fields and start with a totally clean slate. Sound familiar, Bears fans? Yes, another rebuild is (and has been) in the works, so buckle up. -- Ryan Heckman

Read more Bears content on Bear Goggles On.

Cincinnati Bengals, Zac Taylor

Zac Taylor is not on the hot seat at all. Yes, his first two years in Cincinnati didn’t go well but once Joe Burrow was healthy and had more weapons and a better defense, we saw how good this team can be. Even if Taylor does make frustrating decisions at times, the Bengals have proven that they stick with their head coaches. With the team making two straight AFC Championship games, there’s no chance that Taylor loses his job. -- Leigh Oleszczak

Read more Bengals content on Stripe Hype.

Cleveland Browns, Kevin Stefanski

Should Kevin Stefanski be on the hot seat? No. But as it stands right now, it sure feels as though he is. Since returning to the NFL in 1999, the Cleveland Browns have never had a non-interim head coach with a winning record, yet Stefanski currently has that -- and led them to the playoffs in 2020. The problem is, he’s fallen short when expectations rise, has struggled to make adjustments in-game, and often complicates the play-calling; The loss to Baltimore with Dorian Thompson-Robinson under center is an excellent example of these struggles. Having said all that, winning cures all, so if he continues to stay above .500, he should be back in 2024 even without a playoff berth. On the flip side, a losing record could awaken the meddler that’s been hibernating in Jimmy Haslam. -- Randy Gurzi

Read more Browns content on Dawg Pound Daily.

Dallas Cowboys, Mike McCarthy

Mike McCarthy put a target on his back when he took over play-calling from former offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who was unceremoniously fired in the offseason after a successful four years. Though Dallas is 4-2 entering the bye, McCarthy’s offense has been a brutal watch. His clock management has been a point of contention among fans, too. His seat might only be lukewarm at this juncture, but it will grow hotter if the Cowboys offensive struggles persist and the team falls behind the 49ers and Eagles in the NFC arms race. -- Jerry Trotta

Read more Cowboys content on The Landry Hat.

Denver Broncos, Sean Payton

It seems that just about everyone in Denver is on the hot seat and there may not be warmer seats in the entire NFL from general manager George Paton down to a good number of players on the roster. But there is one person in Denver who has 100 percent job security right now, and that is head coach Sean Payton. This Broncos team is bad and the roster was severely overvalued. Payton likely didn’t realize just how bad things were until after he accepted the job, but the team gave up draft picks to get Payton away from the New Orleans Saints and out of a FOX studio to return to the sideline. This team is trending toward one of the top picks in the 2024 NFL Draft and Payton is going to be the man tasked with rebuilding this thing from the ground up. He isn’t going anywhere. -- Travis Wakeman

Read more Broncos content on Predominantly Orange.

Detroit Lions, Dan Campbell

What a difference a year makes. Around this point last season, the Lions were 1-6 and there were legit questions about Dan Campbell’s long-term viability as a head coach. Now, after winning eight of their last 10 games last season, the Lions are 5-1 and looking like one of the best teams in the NFL. On a hot seat scale of 1-10, 1 being ice cold and 10 blazing hot, if Campbell could be at 0 he would be. -- Brad Berreman

Read more Lions content on SideLion Report.

Green Bay Packers, Matt LaFleur

Lukewarm best describes Matt LaFleur's seat. He has enough credit in the bank after leading the Packers to three straight 13-win seasons, an NFL record. The Packers aren't moving on from the offensive mastermind anytime soon, but impatience is beginning to build among the fanbase. Questionable decisions like retaining defensive coordinator Joe Barry loom large, and LaFleur's offense lacks identity this season. The Packers won't need to dust off their head coach shortlist in the imminent future, but LaFleur's seat is slightly less comfortable than a year ago. -- Freddie Boston

Read more Packers content on Lombardi Ave.

Houston Texans, DeMeco Ryans

Hot seats are designed for head coaches showing little enthusiasm throughout the campaign. DeMeco Ryans does not fit the description. Contributions from C.J. Stroud and other rising stars display glimpses of a bright future. They believe in the Houston Texans’ new culture. It’s evident on the field. His offensive line experienced a few setbacks, but that’s par for the course. Nick Caserio’s front office expects good results from their rookie Head Coach. Demeco Ryan’s is enthusiastic & the Texans are in good hands. -- Loyal Ricks Jr.

Read more Texans content on Toro Times.

Indianapolis Colts, Shane Steichen

Shane Steichen’s seat is as cool as a cucumber, the other side of the pillow, and any other phrase you can think of. The first-year head coach is off to a pretty good start with the Colts. Despite a ton of challenges being thrown his way like contract disputes, injuries, and suspensions, Steichen has kept the Colts more competitive than anyone thought they would be. The Colts made the right decision hiring Shane Steichen, because the future is bright. -- Jaleel Grandberry

Read more Colts content on Horseshoe Heroes.

Jacksonville Jaguars, Doug Pederson

It’s hard to see Doug Pederson being on the hot seat even the Jaguars had a late season collapse. He’s changed the culture since arriving in 2022. Not only that, he’s building for sustained success, unless the 2017 Jaguars, who came crashing down the following year.

Pederson is also the perfect HC for Trevor Lawrence, so his seat should be considerably cool at least a couple of years. -- Carlos Sanchez

Read more Jaguars content on Black and Teal.

Kansas City Chiefs, Andy Reid

The only seat even remotely warm at Arrowhead is the one that Andy Reid just stood up from sitting in. It’s been a decade since the term “hot seat” was relevant to the Chiefs, which feels great considering K.C. was one of the league’s most dysfunctional teams when Reid first arrived. With the Chiefs, Reid has silenced the doubters, grabbed a couple of rings, and cemented himself as one of the 5-10 greatest coaches to ever stand on the sidelines. The only future concern here is about his potential retirement. -- Matt Conner

Read more Chiefs content on Arrowhead Addict.

Las Vegas Raiders, Josh McDaniels

The seat beneath Josh McDaniels is either very hot or very cold, depending on who you ask. Team owner Mark Davis seems to be behind McDaniels, but the fanbase has certainly soured on him after 27 games at the helm. For someone who has covered this team for nearly a decade, the seat for McDaniels should be hotter than any other coach in this league, even Matt Elbeflus, who just beat the Raiders as head coach of the Chicago Bears with a DII QB making his first NFL start. McDaniels has been a mistake hire since taking over, blowing double-digit leads, losing to a HS head coach, Baker Mayfield without any practice, and now Tyson Bagent making his first start. The Raiders have elite players on both sides of the ball, and any member of Raider Nation would be happy to see McDaniels not finish out the season as the team’s head coach. -- Brad Weiss

Read more Raiders content on Just Blog Baby.

Los Angeles Chargers, Brandon Staley

Brandon Staley’s seat isn’t just warm, it is blazing hot. Many fans thought that Staley would get the boot after the team’s 27-0 blown lead in the AFC Wild Card Round last season. Staley ultimately held on but an underwhelming start to 2023 has only made his critics louder. 

While there are plenty of reasons for the Chargers to move on from Staley in-season, the franchise does not historically operate in such a fashion. It would be legitimately shocking to see Staley lose his job in-season. But if the Chargers fail to make the playoffs, the third-year head coach is as good as gone. -- Jason Reed

Read more Chargers content on Bolt Beat.

Los Angeles Rams, Sean McVay

The LA Rams are HC Sean McVay’s team, and likely will be for many years to come. The Rams organization is so committed to retaining McVay, that when he faced a crossroads after a 5-12 record in 2022, one of the options available to McVay was to take a season away from football, with guarantees that the head coaching job would await his return. Even after the Rams shed veteran players in an effort to reset the roster, Coach McVay has the team at 3-3 and playing very well. The Rams not only have no intentions of parting ways with Coach McVay, but he will likely outlast all other current NFL head coaches. He remains the youngest NFL head coach, and he is also one of the most accomplished NFL head coaches. -- Bret Stuter

Read more Rams content on Ramblin' Fan.

Miami Dolphins, Mike McDaniel

The only hot seat that Mike McDaniel is on in 2023 is the one that includes talk of NFL Coach of the Year. The Miami Dolphins are setting records and McDaniel is orchestrating an offense that is putting up not only huge numbers statistically but is doing it with the number one rushing and receiving offense. McDaniel wasn’t supposed to have the team turned around this quickly but like his offense, his career is off to a fast start as well. The Dolphins might actually have a coach that sticks around for a change. -- Brian Miller

Read more Dolphins content on Phin Phanatic.

Minnesota Vikings, Kevin O'Connell

While the Minnesota Vikings are off to a very poor start this season, something drastic would likely have to happen in order for the team to move on from head coach Kevin O’Connell after just two years, especially after he helped lead them to 13 wins in 2022. The Vikings like to describe their current situation as a “competitive rebuild” and the team’s struggles this year are just part of that process. O’Connell’s job seems about as safe as Kirk Cousins taking advantage of a buy-one, get-one free sale at Kohl’s. -- Adam Patrick

Read more Vikings content on The Viking Age.

New Orleans Saints, Dennis Allen

While the New Orleans Saints are currently sitting at a record of 3-4, third in the NFC South, it’s a far cry from their expectations coming into the season given the perceived quality (or lack thereof) of the NFC South and NFC as a whole. As such, head honcho Dennis Allen may be feeling his seat starting to warm up like the front seats of a new car on a winter day. This isn’t to say that Allen has done a bad job as grand poobah of the Saints though. It’s more reflective of a larger issue in that the Saints seemingly refuse to move on from the Sean Payton era, and as an aside, we see how well that's going over in Mile High. If the Saints miss the playoffs, it looks like there’s going to be a new sheriff in the Big Easy. -- Brandon Thornton

Read more Saints content on Who Dat Dish.

New York Giants, Brian Daboll

Had the Giants lost to the Washington Commanders in Week 7, perhaps people would be calling for Brian Daboll to lose his job. Luckily, that wasn’t the case, as New York is now 2-5 on the year following the 14-7 victory. Daboll is the reigning Coach of the Year after powering the G-Men to the postseason in 2022. Despite the rough start to the campaign in ‘23, Daboll is clearly the right man for the job and Joe Schoen is backing him 100 percent. The future is bright with Coach Dabes in charge.  -- Braulio Perez

Read more Giants content on GMEN HQ.

New York Jets, Robert Saleh

It’s hard to argue that Robert Saleh should be on the hot seat given the work he’s done to get his team to 3-3 at the bye week without Aaron Rodgers. Saleh’s defense is one of the best in the NFL and the Jets hold victories over the Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles while starting Zach Wilson at quarterback. If anything, Saleh has exceeded expectations post-Rodgers injury. With Rodgers returning next season and possibly even sooner, it’s difficult to envision a scenario in which the Jets would clean house with their coaching staff. Saleh’s job is firmly safe, barring a complete and utter meltdown. -- Justin Fried

Read more Jets content on The Jet Press.

New England Patriots, Bill Belichick

The 2-5 start for the New England Patriots falls on the shoulders of Bill Belichick, who is the head coach and de facto general manager.  He’s created this mess, and I just don’t see how Robert Kraft continues to let this happen.  The recent news of Belichick’s contract extension was apparently signed before the 2023 NFL sason began, so I don’t necessarily think BB is locked down in New England beyond this year.  I think another losing season, which would make it the third in four years, could end up spelling the end of the Belichick era in New England.  I think at the very least, Belichick could remain as head coach, but a separate GM is brought in. -- Lou Scataglia

Read more Patriots content on Musket Fire.

Philadelphia Eagles, Nick Sirianni

The Philadelphia Eagles are off to a hot start in 2023. There have been hiccups. Only the Good Lord in Heaven knows how they could have fumbled one versus an inferior New York Jets team. Then again, those things happen in the NFL, and each Birds season brings with it a loss versus a team they have no business losing to. Still, after representing the NFC in the Super Bowl last February, Philly is off to another hot start and has a chance to reach football’s biggest game again. -- Geoffrey A Knox

Read more Eagles content on Inside the Iggles.

Pittsburgh Steelers, Mike Tomlin

At this point, much of the Steelers fanbase would love to believe that the Mike Tomlin is in the hot seat. Pittsburgh hasn’t won a playoff game since the 2017 postseason, and ‘the standard’ in The Steel City isn’t what it used to be. However, thanks to his reputation as a Super Bowl-winner and a head coach who has never had a losing season, Tomlin isn’t going anywhere unless it’s on his own terms. It is worth noting that Tomlin’s tenure with the team has already outlasted Bill Cowher’s by three years. If the Steelers fall flat down the stretch and fail to make the playoffs yet again, a mutual parting isn’t entirely out of the question. But Tomlin runs the show in Pittsburgh, and he’ll decide when it’s time to call it quits. -- Tommy Jaggi

Read more Steelers content on Still Curtain.

San Francisco 49ers, Kyle Shanahan

It’s crazy to think there’s an element of the 49ers fanbase that wants Kyle Shanahan gone, but he’s as safe as a head coach could possibly be. While there are whiffs and mistakes on his part, he’s a big reason why the Niners are now perennial Super Bowl contenders, and CEO Jed York probably doesn’t want to revert back to the years when Levi’s Stadium was empty and airplanes were flying overhead towing banners asking for York to be fired. -- Peter Panacy

Read more Niners content on Niner Noise.

Seattle Seahawks, Pete Carroll

The Seattle Seahawks are not going to fire head coach Pete Carroll likely ever for a couple of important reasons. One is that he has been far too successful since 2010 as the coach and has built up a ton of equity in that time. The other reason, and one that is often overlooked, is that Carroll is also the Vice President of Football Operations. Basically, for Carroll to be fired he would have to terminate himself. Carroll being forced to leave Seattle means something very bad would have happened and whatever that would be would have had to take place beyond the football field itself.  -- Lee Vowell

Read more Seahawks content on 12th Man Rising.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Todd Bowles

Tampa Bay is in a weird spot, as there's an equal chance that everyone gets fired and everyone comes back to help lead the team into the future. It all depends on what sort of case the coaching staff can make for itself this year. Any notion that the team was going to tank was bunk from the jump, as Jason Licht wants to give Todd Bowles a fair shake, so much so that he gutted Bruce Arians' staff that he handed over so that a new one could be built in Bowles image. Whether the front office likes the picture is another story. There are three true outcomes to what happens with coaching staff: A winning season means everyone is back, a not-great but not-terrible season might buy everyone one more year, and a losing season likely means the reset button gets hit. -- Josh Hill

Read more Buccaneers content on The Pewter Plank.

Tennessee Titans, Mike Vrabel

Despite the Tennessee Titans' current record at this point of the season at just 2-4, head coach Mike Vrabel’s seat should be a bit warm but not hot enough to deserve being fired anytime soon. Even if the Titans end the season still at the bottom of the AFC South, Vrabel has done more than enough to deserve a few more years running the ship. Remember, Vrabel won the AP 2021 NFL Coach of the Year at NFL Honors not too long ago as the Titans should be able to bounce back over the next few years. They were once a playoff-contending team under Vrabel so a few winning offseasons and a couple solid NFL Draft classes can get them right back into contention. -- Luis Tirado Jr.

Read more Titans content on Titan Sized.

Washington Commanders, Ron Rivera

The moment Josh Harris’ ownership group finally wrestled the Washington Commanders from Dan Snyder’s devious grasp, Ron Rivera’s head coaching seat became among the hottest in football. Speculation grew about his immediate future after their recent three game losing skid, but the jury is still out as to whether or not he’ll survive beyond the current campaign after another embarrassing loss against the depleted New York Giants in Week 7.

Harris is renowned for being patient. Magic Johnson is a born winner who wants everything right now, so it might be playoffs or bust for Rivera and many others in positions of power. -- Dean Jones

Read more Commanders content on Riggo's Rag.

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