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    Factors That Lead To NFL Head Coaches Getting Fired

    The conclusion of the regular season often means the firing of many of the NFL coaches. Several fans wonder what factors into coaches being let go. The real answer is, there are a  thousand reasons. Each situation is very different from one another; however, there seems to be a few reasons that are common amongst every situation. The common factors consist of production or lack of, quarterback success, missing the playoffs, lack of on-field discipline, salary cap room to spend on more talented players, and the relationship with team owners and management.

    Quarterback of choice

    First, no coach has ever gotten fired if his quarterback was successful. When his quarterback is successful, that tends to lead to team success and wins. The one aspect that covers up bad coaching and shaky relationships is winning. A pattern has formed throughout the NFL: if the coach wasn’t given the right to choose his own quarterback to lead the team, it often means he set them up for failure. When coaches cannot pick their quarterback, and the QB underperforms and the coach gets fired as a result, it’s a setup. However, when the coach picks his own QB, the bucks stop whenever the QB begins to underperform.

    Missing the playoffs

    Second, it seems missing the playoffs in the NFL is a glaring red flag to several organizations. Especially, if a coach misses the playoffs for two consecutive seasons. Since 2005, the most coaching firings occurred in years when the coaches averaged two or more losing seasons, per Forbes. In the eight seasons between 2005 and 2012, five seasons averaged eight and 11 firings. All of the coaches within the five seasons had back-to-back losing seasons.

    Lack of on-field discipline

    One would agree that behaving in a professional manner is a bare minimum requirement. NFL coaches are not above this understanding; however, several coaches have behaved in ways that could affect the brand of the organization. For example, former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, comments from previous emails surfaced earlier this season. The comments were hateful and derogatory towards certain groups of people. Therefore, his release came shortly after. This happens surprisingly often throughout the NFL. Many coaches act passionately and do things they later regret while on the field or during practice.

    Relationship with owners and management

    The relationship with the owners and management is key to any coach’s success regardless of the NFL. There have been several coaches who have kept strong relationships with management and it has prolonged the organization from moving on from the coach. As many believe, it’s never about what someone knows, it’s more about who someone knows that determines what his or her future holds.



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