The NFL shelf life on head coaches is becoming shorter and shorter every year, as every organization is looking for the next Sean McVay. That means that almost every coach will be put under a microscope, and if they don’t perform they will be shown the door. Very few coaches have the ability to have a complete dud this upcoming year and still have a safe job (McVay, Belicheck, Reid, etc). Now, lets get into the coaches that will be under the most pressure in the 2019 season.
Since the Panthers reached the Super Bowl in 2015 they have been a roller coaster. They finished last in the division in 2016, made the wild card game in 2017, and missed the playoffs this past season. This is a big hit on Ron Rivera, as the Panthers were playing in one of the NFL’s weaker divisions. Atlanta was down, and Tampa Bay isn’t any good. They should be capable of winning a home game against New Orleans, too. However, they only managed to get to 7 wins with one of the NFLs most proven quarterbacks in Cam Newton. They also have one of the most versatile playmakers in Christian McCaffery. This team should easily make the playoffs, and if they aren’t in the playoffs in 2019, I think Ron Riveras time in Carolina will come to an end.
Jerry Jones has been very vocal on the Cowboys head coaching position. It was announced a few weeks ago that they would not extended Jason Garrett this offseason, leaving him with one year left on his deal. This is not normal protocol for coaches, as they want to avoid a lame duck season. However, Jones views it as Jason having to go out and prove himself in the 2019 season. Yes, the Cowboys won the divisions and won the first round of the playoffs before losing in the divisional round; for America’s team, that isn’t good enough. Jones wants to see Jason Garrett reproduce this type of season, and then some. If the Cowboys fail to make the playoffs Garrett will certainly be gone. I even wonder if making the playoffs will be enough, fair or not.
The Cardinals are going into a season with a new head coach for the second year in a row, which is never a good thing. Steve Wilks was very disappointing which caused them to go for a Sean McVay lite in Kliff Kingsbury. This hire raised a lot of eyebrows across the league, as Kingsbury couldn’t even win games at Texas Tech. However, he did recruit and develop Patrick Mahomes, which is a major plus. He will also be tasked with developing a young quarterback; the question is whether it will be Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray or current starter Josh Rosen. Either way Kingsbury will be under a lot of pressure to make the Cardinals look competitive. Nobody is expecting them to win a lot of games, but if they look respectable that will go a long ways with fan support.
The Jaguars went from making the AFC championship game to finishing last in the AFC South. Sure, they had to deal with Blake Bortles as quarterback, and multiple injuries in the backfield. However, they should have been much better with the defensive talent they had on their roster. They have one of the best secondaries in the league, and a front four that can get to the quarterback. They will certainly go into 2019 with a new quarterback, and expectations will once again be high despite the poor performance in 2018. Marrone will have to improve on his 31st ranked offense or he will be under a lot of heat from fans and the front office.