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Jeff Fisher in Driver’s Seat as NFL Coaching Carousel Continues

By Chris Malumphy

Despite the fact that the 2011 NFL playoffs have just begun, we are already deep into the coaching carousel season. The Jaguars started the annual turnover process by jettisoning Jack Del Rio with five games to go in the season. Then Dolphins gave the boot to Tony Sparano and the Chiefs showed the door to Todd Haley. Shortly after the season ended, the Rams and Buccaneers sent Steve Spagnuolo and Raheem Morris packing. Surprisingly, despite their disappointing lifetime records, the Chargers will stick with Norv Turner for yet another season and Marvin Lewis saved his job yet again by taking the Bengals to the playoffs. Of the current head coaches, Pat Shurmur and Leslie Frazier have the worst records, although both only have one full season under their belts. [Update: Hue Jackson has been fired by Oakland's newly hired General Manager, Reggie McKenzie.]

It now appears that the Chiefs will give Romeo Crennel a second shot at a full-time coaching gig after he went 2-1 in an interim assignment. [Update: Crennel was subsequently given the Chiefs head coaching job.] Mel Tucker in Jacksonville and Todd Bowles in Miami are both being kept dangling in limbo as the owners of those teams check out other possibilities. [Update: the Jaguars have hired Mke Mularkey.]

Former Titans' coach Jeff Fisher seems to be in an ideal position, seemingly having the choice between leading the Rams or the Dolphins. Several experienced quality coaches who would seem to have years of potential coaching ahead of them are playing it coy and may have priced themselves to far above the current market: Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden, and perhaps Tony Dungy fit that description. Cowher and Gruden are being extremely picky, looking for just the right spot, and the right quarterback situation. Dungy may never return to coaching again. All three appear happy in the broadcast booth. Brian Billick, Mike Martz and Eric Mangini would love to get another head coaching job, but no one seems particularly interested. Wade Phillips has done well, but not good enough, whereever he has gone before, but now is seen as a great defensive coordinator and only a mediocre head coach. Phillips (82-61, .573), Mike Sherman (57-39, .594) and Brad Childress (39-35, .527) might have a shot in Tampa Bay, however. Mike Mularkey was only 14-18 his first time around, but has always been thought of as an offensive innovator and could get some consideration. Josh McDaniels is returning to the Patriots to try to resurrect a young career that swiftly headed downhill after starting off 6-0 a few years ago.

To keep it in perspective, here are the lifetime records of those who served as head coaches in 2011 as well as those who recently held head coaching positions.

Lifetime Records of 2011 NFL Head Coaches
Coach W L T Pct Tenure Team W L T Pct
Jim Harbaugh 13 3 0 0.813 2011 49ers 13 3 0 0.813
Mike Tomlin 55 25 0 0.688 2007 Steelers 55 25 0 0.688
John Harbaugh 44 20 0 0.688 2008 Ravens 44 20 0 0.688
Mike Smith 43 21 0 0.672 2008 Falcons 43 21 0 0.672
Todd Bowles 2 1 0 0.667 2011 Dolphins 2 1 0 0.667
Mike McCarthy 63 33 0 0.656 2006 Packers 63 33 0 0.656
Sean Payton 62 34 0 0.646 2006 Saints 62 34 0 0.646
Bill Belichick 175 97 0 0.643 2000 Patriots 139 53 0 0.724
Andy Reid 126 81 1 0.608 1999 Eagles 126 81 1 0.608
Rex Ryan 28 20 0 0.583 2009 Jets 28 20 0 0.583
Mike Shanahan 157 119 0 0.569 2010 Redskins 11 21 0 0.344
Mike Munchak 9 7 0 0.563 2011 Titans 9 7 0 0.563
Lovie Smith 71 57 0 0.555 2004 Bears 71 57 0 0.555
Tom Coughlin 142 114 0 0.555 2004 Giants 74 54 0 0.578
Jeff Fisher 142 120 0 0.542 2012 Rams 0 0 0 0.000
Jim Caldwell 26 22 0 0.542 2009 Colts 26 22 0 0.542
Jason Garrett 13 11 0 0.542 2010 Cowboys 13 11 0 0.542
John Fox 81 79 0 0.506 2011 Broncos 8 8 0 0.500
Ken Whisenhunt 40 40 0 0.500 2007 Cardinals 40 40 0 0.500
Hue Jackson 8 8 0 0.500 2011 Raiders 8 8 0 0.500
Joe Philbin 0 0 0 0.000 2012 Dolphins 0 0 0 0.500
Dennis Allen 0 0 0 0.000 2012 Raiders 0 0 0 0.500
Chuck Pagano 0 0 0 0.000 2012 Colts 0 0 0 0.500
Pete Carroll 47 49 0 0.490 2010 Seahawks 14 18 0 0.438
Gary Kubiak 47 49 0 0.490 2006 Texans 47 49 0 0.490
Jack Del Rio 68 71 0 0.489 2003 Jaguars 68 71 0 0.489
Norv Turner 107 113 1 0.486 2007 Chargers 49 31 0 0.613
Marvin Lewis 69 74 1 0.483 2003 Bengals 69 74 1 0.483
Tony Sparano 29 32 0 0.475 2008 Dolphins 29 32 0 0.475
Chan Gailey 28 36 0 0.438 2010 Bills 10 22 0 0.313
Mike Mularkey 14 18 0 0.438 2012 Jaguars        
Todd Haley 19 26 0 0.422 2009 Chiefs 19 26 0 0.422
Mel Tucker 2 3 0 0.400 2011 Jaguars 2 3 0 0.400
Romeo Crennel 26 41 0 0.388 2011 Chiefs 2 1 0 0.667
Jim Schwartz 18 30 0 0.375 2009 Lions 18 30 0 0.375
Ron Rivera 6 10 0 0.375 2011 Panthers 6 10 0 0.375
Raheem Morris 17 31 0 0.354 2009 Buccaneers 17 31 0 0.354
Leslie Frazier 6 16 0 0.273 2010 Vikings 6 16 0 0.273
Pat Shurmur 4 12 0 0.250 2011 Browns 4 12 0 0.250
Steve Spagnuolo 10 38 0 0.208 2009 Rams 10 38 0 0.208
Total 1661 1423 3 0.539 1205 983 2 0.551

Lifetime Records of Recent Former NFL Head Coaches
Coach W L T Pct
Jim Tomsula 1 0 0 1.000
Tony Dungy 139 69 0 0.668
Todd Bowles 2 1 0 0.667
Mike Martz 53 32 0 0.624
Bill Cowher 149 90 1 0.623
Marty Schottenheimer 200 126 1 0.613
Mike Sherman 57 39 0 0.594
Mike Holmgren 161 111 0 0.592
Wade Phillips 82 61 0 0.573
Bill Parcells 172 130 1 0.569
Brian Billick 80 64 0 0.556
Dennis Green 113 94 0 0.546
Jeff Fisher 142 120 0 0.542
Jim Caldwell 26 22 0 0.542
Jon Gruden 95 81 0 0.540
Dan Reeves 190 165 2 0.535
Brad Childress 39 35 0 0.527
Dick Vermeil 120 109 0 0.524
Jim Fassel 58 53 1 0.522
Steve Mariucci 72 67 0 0.518
Hue Jackson 8 8 0 0.500
Jack Del Rio 68 71 0 0.489
Jim Mora Jr. 31 33 0 0.484
Tony Sparano 29 32 0 0.475
Bill Callahan 15 17 0 0.469
Nick Saban 15 17 0 0.469
Mike Singletary 18 22 0 0.450
Mike Mularkey 14 18 0 0.438
Jim Haslett 47 61 0 0.435
Perry Fewell 3 4 0 0.429
Dick Jauron 60 82 0 0.423
Todd Haley 19 26 0 0.422
Herman Edwards 54 74 0 0.422
Butch Davis 24 34 0 0.414
Eric Mangini 33 47 0 0.413
Mel Tucker 2 3 0 0.400
Josh McDaniels 11 17 0 0.393
Tom Cable 17 27 0 0.386
Jim Zorn 12 20 0 0.375
Raheem Morris 17 31 0 0.354
Mike Nolan 18 37 0 0.327
Dick LeBeau 12 33 0 0.267
Eric Studesville 1 3 0 0.250
Bobby Petrino 3 10 0 0.231
Rod Marinelli 10 38 0 0.208
Steve Spagnuolo 10 38 0 0.208
Marty Mornhinweg 5 27 0 0.156
Cam Cameron 1 15 0 0.063

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