The 2021 NFL season is hitting the home stretch. Week 15 is bearing down on us faster than a speeding locomotive. As fans we sit in one of three places, our team is in and a playoff run is coming, our team is on the bubble and a playoff push is coming, and our team is done where are my pants.
But there is one reality that we all share and that is we have less football coming than we have already played in 2021. The NFL offseason sucks; it’s too long, too drawn out, and too boring. For some fans as we near the end of 2021 that all too long NFL offseason is looking like an eternity.
There is a well-known tradition in the NFL that occurs the day after the regular season ends known as Black Monday. Black Monday is the day that a handful of NFL coaches receive the dreaded news of their impending unemployment and where fans get one last gift from their team or get one more “what are you doing” from their team depending on what side you come out on.
This season as with every other season will have its Black Monday casualties. Some deserving, some not so deserving, and some who escaped by the skin of their teeth. I would like to take an early look at who I think will be sweating the next few weeks out. I will be putting these coaches into three categories.
The first one is “I escaped but I am starting out the 2022 season already on the hot seat”. The second one “sleepless Sunday night” goes for the coaches whose fate hangs in the balance the night before black Monday. The third “it’s a lock, bet the farm baby”. This of course is a way too early look at this as we have some football left to play but let’s have some fun, shall we?
I escaped but I am staring out the 2002 NFL season already on the hot seat Joe Judge- New York Giants
Judge received the dreaded vote of confidence earlier this month from his GM stating that he will be back in 2022. To think that he returns not on the hot seat would be a huge sign of disrespect to the Big Blue faithful (go ahead and disrespect away). The Giants are a dumpster fire. Awful o line, underperforming undersized defense, and a quarterback whose streakiness would confuse Eli Manning all make the Giants a long shot from being a playoff contender for years and years, and yes they play in the NFC East. Simply put the Giants need to take their blueprint and burn it. Starting over in Football always well usually always means the QB. Dan Jones is not an NFL quarterback and until big blue realizes that it won’t matter who is at the helm because it will always be warm.
Mike McCarthy- Dallas Cowboys
As long as Jerry Jones is running the ship this will always be the case. The Cowboys are a good team (I just threw up in my mouth). They are built to win, they have the pieces. The problem is Jerry Jones. Time and time again the Cowboys disappear when things start to get interesting to that end Tom Landry himself would find it a bit uncomfortable at the helm of the Cowboys.
Kevin Stefanski- Cleveland Browns
Ok, Ok I know, I know. How can a team who since they returned to the NFL in 1999 and have had consistent losing over that 22 year period and finally found an HC who has them moving in the right direction be on the hot seat? Simply put because it’s Cleveland you know the Football Hall Of Fame, Paul Brown, and all of that nonsense. For some reason, the people of Cleveland
feel that it is football Meca. The Browns have built themselves a pretty decent team but I believe they are at a point where the fans want more. So to that, I think my assessment is correct.
Nick Siriani- Philadelphia Eagles
I hate this hire. Have since day one. The optics of Howie hiring a coach that he can control to the silly rock, paper, scissor nonsense. Simply put I don’t see how this guy will ever bring a Super Bowl to this town. I think he is overmatched and will be outcoached more than he will out coach. But he will be heard out every week so that the world can see how much confidence this ownership has in him blah, blah, blah. I have on record multiple times crying for the Birds to blow it up, I mean from Howie down. The problem is the father-son weird relationship that the owner and GM have is going to take this fan base, the best fanbase in football, to the gates of hell before anything is done. Nick is in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
Mike Zimmer- Minnesota Vikings
Does he still have a job? End of article.
Brian Flores- Miami Dolphins
It’s the Dolphins. In the third year, HC has shown growth with the team but he has also shown regression with the team. Simply put the fish are spinning their tires in the South Florida mud. Years and years of high draft picks should have yielded more than this, the exit of Tom Brady from the AFC East should have yielded more than this. But no it’s the Dolphins. I’m not saying Flores has done a bad job but he really hasn’t done a good job. If I’m the owner I want more. But I guess it’s the Dolphins.
Matt Nagy- Chicago Bears
This will be the only coach on this list that I will put into two different categories. Aside from 2018 Nagy, an Andy Ried disciple has been a train wreck of a head coach. But the thing that gets me about the Bears is they simply can not evaluate QB talent and I’m not talking about recently I mean in my lifetime. Aside from Jim Mc Mahon, the Bears have been in QB hell for over 30 years. The selection of Mitchell Trubisky sealed Nagy’s fate way back then. Then the selection of Justin Fields is not going to be enough to save him. Fields is a project and is going to take time, time that Nagy doesn’t have. Nagy could go either way on this list or the “it’s a lock” list.
Urban Myer- Jacksonville Jaguars
How one person can take a bad situation and make it worse is beyond me but that is exactly what Urban Myer has done to the Jags. We have seen this before when a highly regarded College HC gets an NFL job and fails, but we haven’t seen a highly regarded college HC get an NFL job and piss all over it. Welcome to your 2021 Jacksonville Jaguars. Now the Jags were a mess going in a depleted roster of bad drafts and contracts, a disinterested fan base so let’s not pretend to think things were sunny in Florida they were not. But what Myer has done is set the franchise back at least 5 more years.
Matt Nagy- Chicago Bears
Pete Caroll- Seattle Seahawks
I guess this is the one College HC does a good news story. For years Caroll has built and maintained a dominant football team in the Pacific Northwest from the 12th man, to the legion of boom, and to Russel Wilson, the Hawks have been a great story but those times are over and it seemed to be over with that ill-advised pass on the goal line in the Super Bowl. The legion of Boom is no more, the 12th man is more like the 11 and a half-man, and Rusell Wilson wants out. All in all, Caroll can hold his head high; he did great.
Of course, there is still a lot of football left to be played and this list can and will change. We all just have to sit back and enjoy the ride. For more coverage click here.
Matt Bednarczyk is your host of Talking Philly Sports With Matty B. He is a proud retired US Army Sergeant First Class, he is also a combat veteran with over 80 months served in Afganistan, and Iraq . Huge Hockey Fan. Matt is a lifelong 4 for 4 Philly sports fan. Born and raised on the Mayfair and Tacony neighborhood lines of Northeast Philly. He brings over 40 years of Philadelphia Sports passion and provides a realistic look at our Major Sports Teams and the most passionate sports fans on the planet. Look for his show live on Edge of Philly Sports.