NFL coaching hot seat 2023: Brandon Staley could be next, Dennis Allen joins hot seat


The National Football League is about results. General managers, head coaches and players must all deliver or they’ll be replaced quickly. As we at the 2023 season, the NFL coaching hot seat proves there are a lot of head coaches under pressure this year.

We saw five NFL coaches fired last season, including two coaches in their first seasons with the team. In a business that is fast approaching $20 billion in annual revenue, failing to deliver sufficient results means less profit for teams and that results in owners making changes.

Failing to deliver winning seasons is the fastest way to get fired. However, several coaches on the hot seat this year have Super Bowl rings and a track record of success. In a time when owners care about what a coach has done for them lately, though, repeated failures could force dramatic changes that alter the NFL as we know it.

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With Josh McDaniels and Frank Reich now fired, it’s time to look at what NFL coach could be next to go.

NFL coach hot seat rankings

  1. Ron Rivera, Washington Commanders
  2. Brandon Staley, Los Angeles Chargers
  3. Bill Belichick, New England Patriots
  4. Robert Saleh, New York Jets
  5. Dennis Allen, New Orleans Saints
  6. Todd Bowles, New Orleans Saints

Our analysis of the candidates on the NFL coaching hot seat is updated every Monday.

NFL coaching hot seat 2023 after Week 13

1. Ron Rivera, Washington Commanders

NFL: Washington Commanders Rookie Minicamp
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The Washington Commanders won ugly in Week 1, beating an Arizona Cardinals team that many thought had a chance at going winless. Instead, the Commanders’ offense struggled mightily with Sam Howell not providing the level of play anyone hoped for. It’s a reminder of what Rivera-coached teams look like when he doesn’t have an MVP-caliber quarterback.

Rivera’s record is why he’s on the NFL coaching hot seat. over the last five years, including the end of his stint with the Carolina Panthers, Rivera doesn’t have a winning record. Following Cam Newton’s MVP season in 2015, Rivera hasn’t won a playoff game and he’s 10 games below .500 since that point.

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We also can’t forget the coaching decisions that Rivera has made. He’s stuck by Jack Del Rio through controversies that would’ve gotten most defensive coordinators fired. The reward for that loyalty? Washington has a bottom-10 defense this season.

In the last three games, the Commanders have been outscored 121-44. If that’s not alarming enough, Rivera took over defensive duties after firing Jack Del Rio and the defense was just as bad as before. It’s evident the Commanders need a new head coach and the only reason Rivera isn’t being fired mid-season is because of he’s well-respected around the NFL.

2. Brandon Staley, Los Angeles Chargers

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at New York Jets
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Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley has lost the locker room and it’s not hard to see why. No NFLF team has spent more money on its defense than Los Angeles in 2023. Entering NFL games today, the Chargers’ defense is allowing the ninth-most points per game (23.8), the third-highest passer rating to opponents (100.0) and the fourth-most yards per play (5.8).

It seems apparent Staley’s previous success with the Los Angeles Rams defense was largely about Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. Without two future Hall of Famers, his scheme doesn’t work and whatever adjustments he’s adopted since haven’t helped. The Chargers have to find someone who can bring confidence back into this locker room. It’s a matter of when, not if, Staley is fired.

3. Bill Belichick, New England Patriots

NFL: Frankfurt Games-New England Patriots Practice
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It was reported before the season that Robert Kraft might be willing to cut ties with Bill Belichick if the New England Patriots didn’t take a step forward in 2023. At 2-6, coming off a blowout loss, the only thing obvious is that New England still isn’t close to contention. We don’t fault Belichick’s defense, which is dealing with numerous injuries in the secondary. However, burning the 2022 season with Matt Patricia as his offensive coordinator and failing to draft a better team around Mac Jones are both indictments on Belichick’s recent resume.

It’s perfectly reasonable if Kraft allows Belichick to finish out the 2023 season as the Patriots coach. Quite frankly, allowing that to happen can be a sign of respect for a legend that so many are calling for. However, take a deeper look into where New England is and there’s an argument that change is necessary now.

Belichick bungled the offseason with Jakobi Meyers and there’s reporting that the Patriots’ coach lied about the team’s effort to re-sign the wide receiver. Even before Sunday’s loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, the locker room was reportedly starting to turn on the head coach. We also can’t forget that Belichick hand-picked this roster and staff, making him entirely responsible for the Patriots’ stunning deterioration from a dynasty to a bottom-two team in the NFL.

The Patriots are officially one of the worst teams in football this season, there’s no getting around that. It all falls on Belichick because he built this offense, one that has shown no signs of improvement even after replacing Patricia with O’Brien as play-caller. To make matters worse, Belichick’s defense has regressed. Kraft might have no choice but to make a change in January.

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4. Robert Saleh, New York Jets

NFL: New York Jets at Buffalo Bills
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Robert Saleh is one of the best defensive-minded coaches in the NFL. Since taking over as the New York Jets head coach, he’s helped the Jets’ defense improve from a league-worst unit in 2021 to a top-10 defense over the last two seasons. However, there’s also a big issue.

  • Robert Saleh coaching record: 15-31

Saleh didn’t pick quarterback Zach Wilson and he didn’t urge the team to sign backup quarterback Tim Boyle. There’s even an argument to be made that he didn’t hand-pick offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, with ownership making that happen to entice Aaron Rodgers to join the Jets.

However, Saleh now has a .333 career winning percentage through 45 games. That in itself is enough to endanger the locker room’s confidence in you. The big problem is Saleh publicly defending Wilson, saying the quarterback was “playing pretty well” when he was the Jets’ biggest problem. Saleh also suggested that Tim Boyle, who was one of the worst starting quarterbacks in UConn’s history, could maybe become Kurt Warner.

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No one is asking Saleh to publicly call out his starting quarterback, but exaggerating their abilities and downplaying their continuous mistakes but ripping your star running back won’t fly for very long in a locker room. Saleh might get the 2024 season with Rodgers, but the Jets shouldn’t be questioned if they make a change.

5. Dennis Allen, New Orleans Saints

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at New Orleans Saints
Matthew Hinton-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s what you need to know about New Orleans Saints head coach Dennis Allen. Coming out of Week 13, his 5-7 record this season is his best during any year as head coach. He had a pair of four-win seasons with the Las Vegas Raiders (2012-’13), finishing 20-45 in Oakland, then backed into the Saints’ coaching job after Sean Payton retired. Allen is an outstanding defensive coordinator and he’ll never be out of work in the NFL as long as he wants to keep coaching. However, Allen is not cutout to be an NFL head coach and he’ll be fired after Week 18 unless the Saints win the NFC South.

  • Dennis Allen coaching record: 20-45 overall, 12-17 with New Orleans Saints

6. Todd Bowles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Todd Bowles, much like Dennis Allen, was promoted to head coach after his predecessor resigned. He made the playoffs in 2022, albeit with a losing record in a weak NFC South. Doing the same again and earning Tampa Bay a home playoff game might’ve given Bowles at least a chance of keeping his job in 2024. However, the alarming regression from the Buccaneers defense and their inability to win close games will likely result in his downfall. Considering he’d have losing records in NFL head-coaching stints with two teams, a third chance won’t come.

What NFL coaches are on the hot seat in 2023?

Bill Belichick, Todd Bowles, Dennis Allen, Brandon Staley, Arthur Smith and Ron Rivera are the NFL coaches on the hot seat right now.

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Is Brandon Staley on the hot seat?

Los Angeles Chargers coach Brandon Staley is on the hot seat in 2023. Staley currently has one season remaining on his original four-year, $24.5 million deal.

First NFL coach fired odds 2023

Here were the odds for the first NFL coach to be fired in 2023, via, entering the season.

  • Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys – +600
  • Todd Bowles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – +600
  • Josh McDaniels, Las Vegas Raiders – +700
  • Ron Rivera, Washington Commanders – +700
  • Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland Browns – +900
  • Dennis Allen, New Orleans Saints – +900
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