Sean Pendergast

Former Texans DC Among NFL Head Coaches Most Likely To Be Fired First

NFL Coach of the Year candidate Mike Vrabel at NRG Stadium.
NFL Coach of the Year candidate Mike Vrabel at NRG Stadium. Photo by Jack Gorman
We are just one week into the NFL season, but this we know — it is never too early to bet on the employment of others. More accurately, it is never too early to bet on the termination of the employment of other. To that end, the good folks at BetOnline have put out early odds, after one week of football, on who the first NFL head coach to get his walking papers will be.

We recall in the COVID season of 2020 that Bill O'Brien was the "winner" of this distinction, after a wretched 0-4 start, that turned into a 4-12 season with Romeo Crennel as the interim head coach the rest of the way. So who will it be this season? Here are the odds, with a few thoughts below:
Ron Rivera 3/1
Brandon Staley 5/1
Josh McDaniels 7/1
Mike Vrabel 9/1
Matt Eberflus 12/1
Todd Bowles 12/1
Dennis Allen 22/1
Kevin O'Connell 25/1
Kevin Stefanski 25/1
Pete Carroll 25/1
Jonathan Gannon 33/1
Mike Tomlin 33/1
Robert Saleh 40/1
Zac Taylor 40/1
Arthur Smith 50/1
Bill Belichick 50/1
Mike McCarthy 50/1
Sean McDermott 50/1
Sean McVay 50/1
Brian Daboll 66/1
Frank Reich 66/1
John Harbaugh 66/1
Sean Payton 66/1
Shane Steichen 66/1
DeMeco Ryans 75/1
Dan Campbell 100/1
Doug Pederson 100/1
Matt Lafleur 100/1
Mike McDaniel 100/1
Nick Sirianni 100/1
Andy Reid 100/1
Kyle Shanahan 200/1
Hey, let's do this — let's look at the top six candidates on this odds board, and identify the "one thing" that could get each of them fired first. Here we go:

Ron Rivera, Commanders 3/1
The Commenders squeaked out a 20-16 home win over the woeful Arizona Cardinals in Week 1. If there is one thing that would get Rivera fired it's the change in ownership from Daniel Snyder to Josh Harris this past summer. New owners will likely have a very short leash for a head coach they didn't hire.

Brandon Staley,  Chargers 5/1
The Chargers lost in a shootout, at home, to the Miami Dolphins in Week 1, by a final score of 36-34. If there is one thing that would get Staley fired it's that he is a defensive coach whose defense continues to disappoint in the biggest of moments. Also, he is kind of a nerd. There is that.

Josh McDaniels Raiders 7/1
The Raiders beat the Broncos in Denver in Week 1, by a final score of 17-16. If there is one thing that would get McDaniels fired it's an injury to starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Brian Hoyer is the backup, and he is one of the worst quarterbacks of the modern era.

Mike Vrabel, Titans 9/1
The Titans lost a hideous 16-15 snoozer to the Saints in New Orleans in Week 1. If there is one thing that would get Vrabel fired it's the lack of solutions in the quarterback room, Starter Ryan Tannehill threw three picks in Week 1, backup Malik Willis is just months removed from being replaced by journeyman Josh Dobbs for a "must win" game in Week 18, and rookie Will Levis was inactive in Week 1.

Matt Eberflus, Bears 12/1
The Bears lost in a blowout to the Packers at home in Week 1. If there is one thing that would get Eberflus fired it's the fact that Justin Fields isn't any closer to becoming a franchise quarterback than he was after last season. If the Bears punt on Fields, then they may want to bring in an offensive head coach to work with the next QB they draft.

Todd Bowles, Buccaneers 12/1
The Buccaneers upset the Vikings, 20-17 in Minnesota in Week 1. If there is one thing that would get Bowles fired it's the fact that the Bucs are old and just not very good. Also, Baker Mayfield can't really be trusted.

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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts the morning drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the pre-game and post game shows for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast