2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Lions' Jim Schwartz among NFL coaches on hot seat

    2013-07-26 03:33

(Eds: Adds photos. With AP Photos.)
By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - Jim Schwartz stepped into perhaps the NFL's worst job of all time, inheriting its first 0-16 team.

When the Detroit Lions gave him his first shot to be a head coach at any level in 2009, he talked about taking on and tackling challenges his entire life.

Then Schwartz helped the hapless franchise improve in each of his first three years. He led the Lions to the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade in 2011.

The Lions, though, took a big step back last year by losing their last eight games to flop to a 4-12 finish. With the slide, Schwartz lost his status as a coach with stability and acknowledged getting a dose of humility.

``It was humbling for me personally,'' Schwartz said Thursday, the day before leading his first training camp practice of the year. ``I think it was humbling for the team.''

The coach, though, often pays the price for a team's failures. So Schwartz needs better results and fewer life lessons if he wants to stay in Detroit.

And he's hardly the only one in the league with his job on the line.

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, Dallas' Jason Garrett, Tennessee's Mike Munchak , Oakland's Dennis Allen and Carolina's Ron Rivera also face a sense of urgency to win - or else.

When pressed to address Schwartz's job security - or lack of it - Lions vice chairman Bill Ford hasn't given him much of a vote of confidence.

``I think Jim would be the first to admit that there have been times where he's learned on the job,'' Ford said.

Schwartz, with a 22-42 record in Detroit, has declined to provide details about the lessons, but accepted Ford's assessment.

``If you're building cars on the line down the street, you're selling insurance, you're coaching or you're a player, you're going to learn,'' Schwartz said earlier this summer. ``And, you're going to be better the second time you experience something or go through something.''

Ryan, hired the same year as Schwartz, may not get a second chance to bounce back from a losing season. Unlike Schwartz, Ryan is working for a general manager who didn't hire him. Ryan's contract runs out after 2014.

The Jets were 6-10 last year under Ryan, following a .500 season that didn't build upon an 11-win 2010 or a winning season in his debut with the franchise.

Jets owner Woody Johnson fired GM Mike Tannenbaum a day after last season and hired John Idzik. While Johnson does seem to be fond of Ryan, he's not sold enough on him to extend his contract a second time.

``I wasn't surprised that I came back,'' Ryan said in an interview with The Associated Press in May. ``The way I look at it, Mr. Johnson knows what he has in me. He's got a guy who's all in and would do anything for this franchise.''

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones insisted several times during the offseason that Garrett isn't on the hot seat, and addressed his situation before being asked about it on the eve of training camp.

Jones said it was a ``mistake'' to consider this an ``Armageddon year'' for Garrett.

Garrett, though, has failed to make the franchise anything more than average with a pair of 8-8 records since taking over during the 2010 season. In fact, no one has lately. Dallas is 128-128 since the start of the 1997 season and 1-6 in the playoffs.

``Ever since I've been in this league as a player, as a coach, I think everybody each and every day is playing and coaching for their jobs,'' Garrett said. ``That's the nature of this thing and that's what makes the NFL great.''

The Titans haven't had a great team since winning an NFL-high 13 games in 2008 when Schwartz was Jeff Fisher's defensive coordinator.

Munchak has been their head coach for just two seasons, but he almost surely has to have a record more like his first than his second to improve his shot to stay. The Hall of Fame offensive lineman led the Titans to a 9-7 mark in 2011 and slipped to a 10-loss season last year.

Titans owner Bud Adams, who turned 90 in January, fired chief operating officer Mike Reinfeldt at the end of last season. Adams allowed GM Ruston Webster to spend nearly $110 million signing veteran free agents such as left guard Andy Levitre and safety Bernard Pollard.

``I think in our mind we're on the right track and that's why I hope there's a lot of excitement,'' Munchak said. ``The preseason games, I hope you'll see a spark and people will see what we're talking about. And, hopefully in September we'll see that change.''

Oakland didn't make a change with its coach, giving Allen another opportunity with the perennially rebuilding franchise after winning just four games in his debut. Allen has little talent at his disposal because about 40 percent of this year's salary cap will be spent on bonuses to players who are no longer on the team.

``I know there's a lot of experts out there that might think differently, but I like this football team,'' Allen said last month.

Raiders owner Mark Davis, whose father, Al, ran the Raiders since the 1960s and died almost two years ago, has publicly backed GM Reggie McKenzie. He hasn't offered the same support for Allen.

A week after Carolina closed with a 7-9 record, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson decided Rivera would return for a third season. There's promise on the Panthers with Cam Newton at quarterback and Luke Kuechley at linebacker - both won rookie of the year awards in the last two seasons - but it needs to turn into production.

And quickly. The Rivera-led Panthers have started 1-6 and 1-5, but he's trying not to focus too much on how his possibly pivotal season begins.

``It's all about where you finish,'' Rivera said.

And if Rivera and his fellow hot-seat coaches don't win enough, they likely will be finished leading their franchises.

---

AP Sports Writers Dennis Waszak Jr., in New York, Schuyler Dixon in Oxnard, Calif., Teresa M. Walker in Nashville, Tenn., Josh Dubow in Oakland, Calif., and Steve Reed in Charlotte, N.C., contributed to this story.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

---

Follow Larry Lage on Twitter: http://twitter.com/larrylage

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Miles AustinMar 30 11:42a

Free-agent WR Miles Austin (Browns) will likely sign with the Philadelphia Eagles this week if all goes well with his physical, according to a source.

R. Griffin IIIMar 29 07:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will be the first-team quarterback during offseason workouts, according to head Jay Gruden, but Gruden also said he expects QB Kirk Cousins and [ More ]

Stevan RidleyMar 29 10:12a

Free-agent RB Stevan Ridley (knee) is scheduled to meet with a few teams this week. Ridley is expected to receive full medical clearance in around six weeks.

Andre EllingtonMar 27 07:52p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington, who averaged 20.6 touches per game in 2014 before being injured, won't have his role reduced in 2015, according to head coach Bruce Arians. [ More ]

C.J. AndersonMar 27 07:32p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson, who finished 2014 with 648 rushing yards in the last six games, will enter the 2015 season at the top of the running back [ More ]

Jonathan MartinMar 27 04:32p

San Francisco 49ers OT Jonathan Martin was claimed off waivers by the Carolina Panthers Friday, March 27.

Alan BallMar 27 03:02p

Free-agent CB Alan Ball (Jaguars) signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears Friday, March 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jarrett BoykinMar 27 02:12p

Free-agent WR Jarrett Boykin (Packers) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Friday, March 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nick FolesMar 27 01:22p

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said it's the team's intention to draft a quarterback in this year's draft, despite trading for QB Nick Foles in the offseason. [ More ]

Dont'a HightowerMar 26 08:02p

New England Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder) will miss six to seven months after undergoing surgery on a torn right labrum. Hightower's availability for the beginning of the regular [ More ]

Brian QuickMar 26 06:52p

St. Louis Rams WR Brian Quick (shoulder) is making progress in recovering from a torn rotator cuff and separated shoulder he suffered last October. Head coach Jeff Fisher has [ More ]

Jay CutlerMar 26 06:32p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will head into the offseason as the team's No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart, but head coach John Fox said there will be [ More ]

Danny LansanahMar 26 05:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Danny Lansanah signed his one-year tender Thursday, March 26.

Jonathan MartinMar 26 04:52p

San Francisco 49ers OT Jonathan Martin was waived Thursday, March 26.

Pat SimsMar 26 04:22p

Free-agent DT Pat Sims (Raiders) signed an undisclosed deal with the Cincinnati Bengals Thursday, March 26.

Victor CruzMar 26 01:32p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) 'looks really good and light,' according to head coach Tom Coughlin. Cruz started running last week six months after he tore the [ More ]

D. Heyward-BeyMar 26 11:52a

Free-agent WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (Steelers) re-signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers Wednesday, March 26. Heyward-Bey signed a one-year deal with the team, but financial terms were not disclosed.

Paul RichardsonMar 26 12:43a

Seattle Seahawks WR Paul Richardson (knee) might not be ready for the start of the season, head coach Pete Carroll indicated Wednesday, March 25. Carroll did say Richardson's rehab [ More ]

Blake BortlesMar 25 08:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles received an endorsement from head coach Gus Bradley Tuesday, March 24. Speaking at the AFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL Annual Meetings Tuesday, Bradley [ More ]

Travis KelceMar 25 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce played at roughly 250 pounds in 2014, but head coach Andy Reid wants Kelce to report bigger in 2015, and Reid thinks Kelce [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 25 05:03p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota isn't an option for the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, according to head coach Sean Payton. Payton said [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 04:33p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is wanted back in Minnesota, but the question is if Peterson wants to come back. Head coach Mike Zimmer said he doesn't believe Peterson [ More ]

Ifeanyi MomahMar 25 03:13p

Free-agent TE Ifeanyi Momah (Lions) signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals Wednesday, March 25. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Terence NewmanMar 25 01:53p

Free-agent CB Terence Newman (Bengals) agreed to a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings Wednesday, March 25, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jordy NelsonMar 25 12:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Victor CruzMar 25 11:53a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) could miss the start of the 2015 season with a torn patellar tendon in his knee, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. [ More ]

Josh HillMar 25 11:03a

New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is expected to have a bigger role in the offense in 2015. Head coach Sean Payton has mentioned him quite a bit since [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 10:53a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is disgruntled and reportedly wants out of Minnesota, but head coach Mike Zimmer said the team has no plans to trade him.

Cody LatimerMar 24 09:33p

The Denver Broncos plan to use WR Cody Latimer as the third receiver behind WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in 2015. 'I think it's time for him to [ More ]

Casey MatthewsMar 24 06:32p

Free-agent LB Casey Matthews (Eagles) agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings Tuesday, March 24. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

R. Griffin IIIMar 24 04:42p

Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan said that the team will go with the best player available in the 2015 NFL Draft with the No. 5 overall pick, which [ More ]

Michael CrabtreeMar 24 03:02p

Free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) is having a hard time being signed this offseason, reportedly due to concerns regarding lower-leg injuries and a negative perception about his attitude.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group