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Dead Men Walking: Oddsmakers Say 6 NFL Coaches In Real Trouble

Now THAT'S a hot seat.

Now THAT’S a hot seat.

With less than 48 hours until the Denver Broncos and defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens kick off the start of the season, Bovada Sports released future odds on the six NFL head coaches most likely to be fired during 2013 regular season.

So if profiting financially from the professional and personal failures of others is something that appeals to you, this is something you might want to take a stab at. If anything, it gives you a vested interest in something outside personal sports allegiances—kind of like fantasy football…it if was less fun and more mean.

As far as the list goes, there really aren’t any surprises. That being said, let’s take a look at a few coaches who really need to consider polishing up the ol’ resume. Although it seems that only two of them are seriously in jeopardy—at the moment.

Hopefully he's been working on his anger management issues.

Hopefully he’s been working on his anger management issues.

Jim Schwartz, Detroit Lions

12/1 or 7.69 percent

It’s not a surprise to see Lions coach Jim Schwartz on this list. The real surprise is that his job has been safe this long, given that he’s gone well under .500 in three of his four years in Detroit.

Considering what a tragic mess the Lions had been for a decade before Schwartz arrived, they did improve vastly in each of his first three seasons. Obviously that’s what kept him safe, despite a serious backslide in 2012.

After finishing 10-6 and making the playoffs in 2011, last year the Lions went a dismal 4-12, just two games better than his first season in 2009. But Schwartz will be fine as long as he bounces back with no worse than an 8-8 record.

If Schwartz manages to make the playoffs, he will likely be safe though the end of his contract in 2015.

This guy better get off to a fast start.

This guy better get off to a fast start.

Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys

15/2 or 11.76 percent

Ah yes, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, the most decidedly average head coach in the NFL—based on his record. He finished 5-3 after taking over for Wade Phillips in 2010, but went 8-8 the last two seasons and has yet to make the playoffs.

Garrett having two years left on his contract means absolutely nothing to his famously impatient, and infamously micromanaging owner, Jerry Jones.

Although Jones claimed Garrett’s job was safe during training camp, if it was really safe a contract extension would have been negotiated. That never happened. Probably because Jones doesn’t want to promise anything more to a guy he doesn’t even trust to call plays.

Garrett was publicly stripped of his play calling duties in January, with Jones effectively promoting Bill Callahan to offensive coordinator. Of course the fact that it took six months for Garrett to acknowledge the move publicly is also very telling.

Which is exactly why the line on Garrett doesn’t seem quite right. If his Cowboys are worse than 5-5—which is certainly possible—at their Week 11 bye in November, they will have a very tough road to the playoffs, given their schedule. In that scenario it’s hard to imagine he’ll return in Week 12.

Are his fortunes tied to those of QB Cam Newton's?

Are his fortunes tied to those of QB Cam Newton?

Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers

11/2 or 15.38 percent

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera has been taking a lot of heat for a guy who has been in Carolina for just two seasons. He was brought in after the team’s disastrous 2-14 season in 2010 and went 6-10 and 7-9 his first two years.

At this point the real issue isn’t with Rivera, but rather Panthers owner Jerry Richardson’s lack of enthusiasm for third year starting quarterback Cam Newton, who was selected by the team No. 1 overall in the 2010 NFL Draft. Newton had a record breaking rookie season with Carolina and concern over his supposed drop off last season was greatly exaggerated.

This past offseason GM Dave Gettleman was asked if Newton was the QB to build around and, after a long pause, he replied, “Yes, he is. But now it’s time to win.” Which seemed to echo the same kind of vague reservation Richardson expressed when dictating the terms of Newton’s physical appearance in August 2011.

Until these guys are sold on Newton, they’re not going to be sold on Rivera. Even so, neither coach or quarterback will get the boot before the end of the season, sorry oddsmakers.

If his name doesn't ring a bell, you're not alone.

If his name doesn’t ring a bell, you’re not alone.

Mike Munchak, Tennessee Titans

5/1 or 16.67 percent

What can you say about Titans head coach Mike Munchak? He was hired to replace the departing Jeff Fisher in 2011 and went 9-7 and 6-10 his first two years in Nashville.

Munchak’s first big move was drafting quarterback Jake Locker out of Washington with the No. 8 overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft. He has started 16 games in his first two seasons with the Titans, but has garnered little confidence that he’s their longterm solution at the position.

It’s hard to imagine owner Bud Adams will pull the plug on either of them before the end of the season, if only because there will be few, if any, great options if he does. Which should give both Munchak and Locker 16 more games to prove themselves worthy of an extension.

With just one and two years left on their respective contracts at the end of this season, and with Locker’s not being fully guaranteed, Adams won’t be on the hook for anything excessive should he decide to kick one or both of them to the curb.

And considering Adams is worth $1.1 billion, but 90-years-old, he’s going to be more likely to pull the trigger and part with a few dollars than sit by patiently and wait to see if conditions improve.

A Raiders coach on the hot seat? Shocker!

A Raiders coach on the hot seat? Shocker!

Dennis Allen, Oakland Raiders

3/1 or 25 percent

Dennis Allen was brought in as the Raiders head coach for the 2012 season, which means he’s already on borrowed time. In the last 11 years only one coach has survived more than 32 games in Oakland—Tom Cable stuck around for 44 games, mostly because the late Al Davis wasn’t about to pay another guy for not working.

They Raiders parted ways with Hugh Jackson, who went 8-8 in 2011, to make way for Allen, who went 4-12 in his first season. It doesn’t take a genius to see those numbers are going to spell trouble for him if this team doesn’t vaguely resemble an NFL football team when their bye rolls around in Week 7—their schedule only gets tougher from there.

Considering their ongoing nightmare at the quarterback position and over a decade of abject failure, Allen maintains he likes what he sees in this team and insists he doesn’t give a damn about what all those idiot “experts” have to say.

That positive attitude should serve him well while seeking new employment. Allen may very well be fired before midseason, but he’ll definitely be out on his ass come January.

Sorry, Rex. Your days with the Jets are numbered.

Sorry, Rex. Your days with the Jets are numbered.

Rex Ryan, New York Jets

3/2 or 40 percent

To say things have been bad for Jets coach Rex Ryan recently would be an understatement. After leading this team to an AFC Championship (loss) in his first two seasons, everything he worked to build in his first two years has come crashing down around him in his second.

Once the coach every player in the NFL wanted to play for, Ryan’s friend-first mentality has become a liability in the locker room. With no accountability coming from the top down, disgruntled Jets have taken to venting their frustration in the media—anonymously. Not an ideal situation.

After trying last season to tone down the over-the-top persona he cultivated early in his tenure, Ryan has followed the lead of his players and stopped holding back in recent weeks. With his first round selection of quarterback Mark Sanchez in 2009 still hanging like an albatross around his neck, Ryan has become increasingly combative and defiant with the New York sports media.

Particularly when pressed about the starting QB position by reporters, who have been anxiously awaiting a decision on whether it will be Sanchez or rookie Geno Smith starting this weekend. Right now it looks like Smith will get the nod, but considering Ryan ditched the Jets’ final cut day to fly to South Carolina for a college football game last weekend, who’s to say what’s going on in that head of his.

Ryan went to tailgate at Clemson and left his dirty work to someone else. A man who is legitimately invested in keeping his  job would never do that. Meaning this is a man who is not overly concerned with keeping his job.

When GM Mike Tannenbaum got that ax earlier this year, Ryan was lucky to have survived. Of course it probably had more to do with owner Woody Johnson being a cheapskate than any confidence in his head coach, which has clearly been deteriorating since 2012.

Right now it seems like Rayn can read the writing on the wall as well as the rest of us. Barring some kind of miracle, this is his final act in New York…

And Ryan’s recent behavior seems to suggest he’d actually prefer to have it end sooner, rather than later.

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