NFL Props and Prediction: Odds for First Coach To be Fired
by Alan Matthews - 9/8/2011
Some NFL props will come off the board at books because the season officially kicked off on Thursday night with Saints at Packers, but one that certainly won’t is this one: Who will be the first coach fired in the 2011 regular season? I think it’s safe to say that Saints Coach Sean Payton and Packers coach Mike McCarthy have some job security, so they of course aren’t on this Bodog prop.
Let’s look at each coach along with the odds and a comment.
Jack Del Rio, Jaguars (3/1)
It makes sense that Del Rio is the favorite – Jaguars Owner Wayne Weaver already has told Del Rio that if he doesn’t make the playoffs that he is a goner (he really should have taken the USC job before it went to Lane Kiffin a few offseasons ago).
Plus, it seems Del Rio is now assured of failing this year after the Jaguars mysteriously cut starting QB David Garrard earlier this week.
How much faith do you have in Luke McCown to win even a few games? He’s likely to hang onto the job until about midseason when the Jags will turn over the keys to rookie Blaine Gabbert. I feel sorry for Maurice Jones-Drew.
However, I don’t think Weaver will fire Del Rio during the season because he’s a penny-pincher. Why pay a coach not to work?
Tony Sparano, Dolphins (7/2)
What is it with the Florida coaches? I also happen to think Sparano is a goner after this season for sure. Team owner Stephen Morris isn’t happy with the way things are in South Florida – especially at home. The Fins were 1-7 at home last year and there were scores of empty seats. And reportedly season ticket sales for this season are the worst in nearly 30 years.
Morris WILL go after a big-name coach at some point. It’s not inconceivable that Miami is 0-4 heading into its bye (vs. New England, vs. Houston, at Cleveland, at San Diego). If that’s the case, Sparano could be a goner then.
Gary Kubiak, Texans (11/2)
The pressure is clearly on Kubiak to finally get the Texans into the playoffs as he will be fired if Houston doesn’t. But I think Kubiak is safe because of the QB uncertainty in his division.
The Texans have by far the only sure thing at the position in Matt Schaub; Indy doesn’t know when Peyton Manning will play, you have the Jags with McCown/Gabbert and a new but aged starter in Matt Hasselbeck in Tennessee. I think Houston wins the AFC South by default and Kubiak stays.
Marvin Lewis, Bengals and Tom Coughlin, Giants (15/2)
I seriously believe that Lewis must have some incriminating pictures of Bengals ownership because I have no idea why he still has a job.
The Giants, meanwhile, seem a bit too stable of an organization to make a rash decision during the season.
Both of these guys seem likely to be gone after the year, but they will both benefit from playing under conservative front offices and keep their jobs until at least the end of the season.
Norv Turner, Chargers and Mike Shanahan, Redskins (10/1)
I think Turner is an interesting longer-shot option. His teams always start slow in San Diego and I don’t think ownership puts up with it again this year – especially with the looming rumors the team might be headed to Los Angeles. San Diego should be 4-1 entering its bye (losing only at New England). So that would take Turner off the hook.
Shanahan is safe for at least one more year in Washington.
Lovie Smith, Bears (12/1)
The Bears don’t fire coaches midseason. Forget it.
Andy Reid, Eagles (15/1)
He has as much security as any coach in the NFL not named Belichick. Forget it.
In trying to find a few other teams with coaches that could be gone, I could really only come up with Buffalo and Chan Gailey. And that’s certainly a possibility if the Bills start 0-7 or something.
I suppose you can never rule out what Al Davis might do in Oakland, but he hand-picked Hue Jackson, so he should get at least a year.
And the Colts could really struggle without Manning but it wouldn’t seem like the front office would make Jim Caldwell a scapegoat.
Other than that, every coach not on this list seems safe.
The pick is Sparano, but if the Texans or Chargers lose their first game then all bets are off when it comes to Kubiak and Turner.
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