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

Josh ScobeeSep 1 11:43a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson (hamstring), DT Sen'Derrick Marks (shoulder), PK Josh Scobee (quadriceps) and OT Zane Beadles (undisclosed) are practicing Monday, Sept. 1.

Larry DonnellSep 1 11:43a

New York Giants TE Larry Donnell is the starting tight end on the team's unofficial depth chart. TE Daniel Fells and Adrien Robinson are second- and third-string, respectively.

Quintin DempsSep 1 11:23a

New York Giants SS Quintin Demps is the lead kick returner, while WR Preston Parker is the lead punt returner.

Ben TateSep 1 10:52a

Cleveland Browns RB Ben Tate is expected to stay on the field on third downs, according to head coach Mike Pettine. This is good news for his PPR [ More ]

Charles BrownSep 1 10:43a

New York Giants OT Charles Brown (shoulder) and OT James Brewer (back) returned to practice Monday, Sept. 1.

Ahmad DixonSep 1 10:22a

The Dallas Cowboys released SS Ahmad Dixon.

Lonnie PryorSep 1 09:52a

The Buffalo Bills signed free-agent FB Lonnie Pryor (Buccaneers) and OG D.J. Morrell (Rams) to the practice squad.

Tony HillsSep 1 09:32a

The Miami Dolphins signed free-agent LB David Hinds (Titans), TE Jacob Maxwell (Lions), CB Lowell Rose (Chargers) and WR Tommy Streeter (Buccaneers) to the practice squad. C Sam Brenner, [ More ]

Emil IgwenaguSep 1 03:53a

In addition to the previously announced signings of TE Michael Egnew and RB George Winn, the Detroit Lions inked OG Rodney Austin, FB Emil Igwenagu, S Nate Ness, WR [ More ]

Chase FordSep 1 03:42a

Nine players were signed to the Minnesota Vikings practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Players joining the squad include RB Joe Banyard, WR Kain Colter, DT Isame Faciane, TE [ More ]

D.J. SmithSep 1 03:33a

The Carolina Panthers brought 10 players onto their practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Players signed were CB Carrington Byndom, LB Adarius Glanton, WR Tavarres King, SS Robert Lester, [ More ]

Trevin WadeSep 1 03:22a

The New Orleans Saints signed six players to their practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Signees include WR Brandon Coleman, CB Terrence Frederick, WR Seantavius Jones, OT Tavon Rooks, [ More ]

Champ BaileySep 1 02:52a

Although the New York Jets are in need of cornerbacks, they are unlikely to pursue free-agent CB Champ Bailey, who was cut by the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, [ More ]

Dee MillinerSep 1 01:02a

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls and FS Antonio Allen could start at cornerback Week 1 because of the injury to CB Dee Milliner (ankle).

Jeromey ClarySep 1 12:23a

San Diego Chargers OG Jeromey Clary (shoulder, hip) underwent hip surgery around a week ago, and his status for the 2014 season is uncertain, according to sources. Clary has [ More ]

Ryan SuccopSep 1 12:12a

Free-agent PK Ryan Succop (Chiefs) is receiving significant interest from the Tennessee Titans and could sign with them as early as Monday, Sept. 1, according to a source.

Kenjon BarnerSep 1 12:02a

Philadelphia Eagles RB Kenjon Barner (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Vincent BrownSep 1 12:02a

San Diego Chargers WR Vincent Brown (calf) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

DeMarcus Van DykeAug 31 11:52p

Kansas City Chiefs CB DeMarcus Van Dyke (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Jake StoneburnerAug 31 11:32p

Green Bay Packers TE Jake Stoneburner (undisclosed) and OT Aaron Adams (knee) were placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after they were waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

M.D. JenningsAug 31 11:22p

Chicago Bears FS M.D. Jennings (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Steve VallosAug 31 10:33p

The Tennessee Titans released C Steve Vallos Sunday, Aug. 31.

Damian WilliamsAug 31 10:22p

The Miami Dolphins released WR Damian Williams Sunday, Aug. 31.

Mike ThomasAug 31 10:12p

The Houston Texans released WR Mike Thomas Sunday, Aug. 31.

Duke IhenachoAug 31 09:53p

The Washington Redskins have claimed SS Duke Ihenacho off waivers from the Denver Broncos.

Brandon HarrisAug 31 09:53p

The Tennessee Titans have claimed WR T.J. Graham off waivers from the Buffalo Bills, WR Kris Durham from the Detroit Lions and CB Brandon Harris from the Houston Texans.

Garrett GilkeyAug 31 09:42p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have claimed OG Garrett Gilkey off waivers from the Cleveland Browns.

MarQueis GrayAug 31 09:32p

The Minnesota Vikings have claimed TE MarQueis Gray off waivers from the Cleveland Browns and OT Michael X. Harris from the San Diego Chargers.

Brandian RossAug 31 09:22p

The Miami Dolphins have claimed CB Brandian Ross off waivers from the Oakland Raiders.

Mickey ShulerAug 31 09:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have claimed TE Mickey Shuler off waivers from the Atlanta Falcons.

Damaris JohnsonAug 31 09:12p

The Houston Texans have claimed OT Jeff Adams off waivers from the Tennessee Titans, WR Damaris Johnson from the Philadelphia Eagles and CB Darryl Morris from the San Francisco 49ers.

LaRon ByrdAug 31 09:02p

The Cleveland Browns have claimed WR LaRon Byrd off waivers from the Dallas Cowboys, OT Caylin Hauptmann from the Seattle Seahawks and RB Glenn Winston from the San Francisco 49ers.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group