April 25, 2013

NFL Head Coaches Who Need a Great 2013 Draft

By - Tim Swift

The 2013 NFL Draft is upon us, and certain teams already know that it will likely be the deciding factor between making the playoffs or another season of underachievement.

Here are some head coaches who are in dire need of a successful draft this year, or face the possibility of being in the unemployment line by season's end.

- Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys

Photo by: Ronald Martinez
The new Tony Romo deal and the lack of movement in free agency because of cap penalties make the 2013 draft Jason Garrett's last stand. The Cowboys have six picks, and additions will need to be made on the offensive line, with the struggles they had in the run game last year, as well as the defensive line, with the change back to the 4-3 scheme under new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. Dallas knocked on the postseason door in each of the last two seasons, but in both cases lost Week 17 showdowns which cost them a playoff spot. If Tony Romo does not get better in clutch situations, and the lines on both sides of the ball do not improve, the Cowboys will once again be on the outside looking in come playoff time, which will probably mean the end for Garrett.

- Rex Ryan, New York Jets

When a new GM comes in and the coach stays, the pressure is on the coach to win now. Rex Ryan must know that after the Darrelle Revis trade, that pressure has been ramped up even more, and it starts Thursday night. The two guys that the Jets bring in with the 9th and 13th overall picks must be instant contributors, and one of them might even have to be a Pro Bowler for New York to have any chance to be successful in 2013. Obviously the quarterback position is a huge question mark, with Mark Sanchez regressing over the last few years. Overall the offense is in complete shambles, and there may not be enough playmakers in this draft for the Jets to get back into the playoff mix this season.

- Mike Munchak, Tennessee Titans

Owner Bud Adams has made it clear that he's not getting any younger (he's 90), and with over 20 million in cap room when free agency started, he wants to win right now. Munchak, who had to fire several assistants last year, now realizes it's playoffs or bust for the 2013 season. The Titans have four picks in the first three rounds and nine overall, and will need to hit on most of them to get back to the postseason. Tennessee has had some success of late with first round picks as well as later round selections. If they are to be successful this year, the middle rounds will be the key for Munchak to keep his job.

- Jim Schwartz, Detroit Lions

Keeping your job after losing your final 8 games following a playoff appearance the previous season is not a way to build job security and trust from the front office. Last offseason was filled with controversy in the Motor City, with multiple players being arrested and then showing a lack of focus once the season started. Both the offensive and defensive lines must be improved if the Lions are to get back to the playoffs. For Schwartz, the stark reality is that he is 22-42 in his tenure with the team and has yet to win a postseason game. If that final part holds true again this year, he might as well start cleaning his desk out now.

- Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers

Yes, Ron Rivera inherited an absolute mess when he arrived back in 2011, but Cam Newton was named Rookie of the Year that season and the Panthers finished hot, winning 4 of 6, finishing at 6-10. They won 5 of their final 6 last year, but that was still only good enough to get them to 7-9. For Rivera to keep his job, Carolina can not get off to the same slow starts that affected them the previous couple of years. The defensive tackle position and the secondary are keys in this draft to improve a defense that finished 18th overall in points per game in 2012.


  1. I agree with all 5 of these guys. I think this is the year where Rivera has to do something. Too much excitement in Carolina with Newton in his rookie season. People want playoffs.

  2. They should have just fired Ryan when they fired Tannenbaum. He's pretty much a lame duck coach at this point. The Jets are in rebuilding mode and have little chance to succeed this season no matter who they draft, so in the end Ryan will be fired anyway. There was no point in delaying the inevitable.

  3. They ALL should have already been fired.