NFL Picks: Projected Odds on Next Head Coach to be Fired in 2015 Season

Matthew Jordan

Friday, February 13, 2015 8:30 PM GMT

NFL head-coaching openings from the 2014 season have been filled, so we are set on the 32 coaches heading into 2015. But we all know one will likely be gone. Here are the odds on the 3 favorites.

Joe Philbin, Miami Dolphins: 2/1
I have no idea why Philbin is still the Dolphins' coach from an on-field performance perspective. But yet I do really know why. You see, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is a mega-booster at Michigan, his alma mater. He would have jumped through hoops to lure former Michigan quarterback Jim Harbaugh to Miami as the team's next head coach, making some sort of trade with the 49ers if need be. But Ross clearly got word that Harbaugh was going to Michigan. Thus after Miami's Week 16 win over the Vikings, Ross announced Philbin would be back in 2015. The owner should have waited a week because the Fins embarrassed themselves in a Week 17 37-24 home loss to the Jets. Geno Smith -- Geno Smith! -- threw for 358 yards and three touchdowns, finishing with a perfect passer rating. Geno Smith! Philbin has posted back-to-back 8-8 seasons and is 23-25 in Miami, yet to make the playoffs. He had that "bullygate" scandal on his watch in 2013 and can't seem to control high-priced receiver Mike Wallace, who quit on the team last season more than once. Philbin's contract is set to expire at the end of the 2015 season and there was talk last month that the team was ready to give him an extension, but that hasn't been officially announced. I guess that Ross doesn't want Philbin to be a lame-duck coach, but even if Philbin gets an extra year or two, he has to make the playoffs to stay. A slow start and Philbin's a goner. Miami is +4000 on NFL odds to win Super Bowl 50.

 

Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars: 3/1
Perhaps Bradley should have stayed as Seattle's defensive coordinator instead of taking the Jacksonville job before the 2013 season. Bradley would at least have a Super Bowl ring now. Instead, he went 3-13 in  his first season with the Jags and 4-12 last year. It's really not his fault, there's just not much talent on this team. The reason Bradley is in some trouble is that the Jaguars have been terrible on defense under his watch. The Jags pick No. 3 overall in this year's draft and could have a shot at any defensive player they want if the Bucs and Titans each take quarterbacks (Tampa will for sure). So perhaps someone like USC end Leonard Williams or Missouri end Shane Ray would solve some of those defensive problems. Ownership is also going to expect a big step forward for QB Blake Bortles in his second season. Bradley has a new offensive coordinator in Greg Olson to tutor Bradley. I'd say Jacksonville needs to win at least six games and be close in most others -- the Jags lost nine games by at least 10 points last year -- for Bradley to be around in 2016.

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Jay Gruden, Washington Redskins: 5/1
There are no such thing as guarantees in life or NFL betting, but I can say this with near-certainty: Either Gruden or Robert Griffin III will not be with the Redskins after next season if Washington has another 4-12 record as it did in 2014. Gruden benched RGIII a couple of times and there are multiple reports they are not on the same page. Gruden also publicly called out his QB, questioning his ability to read defenses, and you aren't supposed to do that. In private, sure. The coach did apologize, but the damage was done. It should be noted that Gruden, not offensive coordinator Sean McVay, calls the plays. Gruden did hire Matt Cavanaugh as the team's quarterbacks coach in January after not having one last season. Maybe that's a needed buffer between head coach and franchise player. Interestingly, the Redskins recently sent out a letter to season-ticket holders that omitted Griffin’s name from a list of the team's top players. However, the coach had nothing to do with that marketing mistake. At least the Redskins aren't the Browns, I suppose.

Other candidates: Tom Coughlin, Giants, Lovie Smith, Bucs; Ken Whisenhunt, Titans; Jeff Fisher, Rams; Marvin Lewis, Bengals.