With 3 coaches already axed, plenty more on hot seats in NFL
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee interim coach Mike Mularkey wishes he had more time with the Titans.
Dan Campbell feel the same way in Miami.
The Philadelphia Eagles decided they couldn't give Chip Kelly one more game.
The NFL has had seven coaches fired after each of the past two seasons, not counting a handful of general managers. After the Eagles on Tuesday made Kelly the third coach fired during the season, the league easily could match - or top - that next Monday. Owners are desperate for a quick fix and needing to create excitement around their struggling teams.
Some couldn't wait beyond the halfway mark of the season to make changes. Campbell took over as the Dolphins' interim coach when Joe Philbin was the first coach fired Oct. 5. Mularkey was promoted Nov. 3 when the Titans fired his friend, Ken Whisenhunt. No time to change personnel or schemes other than a few tweaks around the edges, and now both men could coach their final games Sunday.
''Time would be nice,'' Mularkey said this week. ''If you had an opportunity to have a year, an offseason, from start to finish, it certainly helps. I'm not sure that one year is enough.''
Here are some coaches and team executives whose time may be up very soon:
COLTS: Indianapolis' Super Bowl hopes look likely to be dashed short of the playoffs for the first time with quarterback Andrew Luck, costing both coach Chuck Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson. Pagano's contract is about to expire after turning down a one-year extension during the offseason, while Grigson has a year remaining. Owner Jim Irsay may not be able to stop himself from chasing a new coach to get him back to the Super Bowl.
GIANTS: Two Super Bowls are great. Missing the playoffs for a fourth straight season puts both 69-year-old Tom Coughlin, the NFL's oldest coach, and general manager Jerry Reese on the firing line. The Giants have lost five of six and are assured of their third consecutive losing season.
DOLPHINS: The youngest coach in the NFL at 39, Campbell brought only a momentary jolt of energy before the Dolphins reverted to their old ways. Eliminated from the playoffs with three weeks left, the Dolphins will be looking for their ninth coach since 2004 for a franchise that hasn't won a playoff game since 2000. General manager Dennis Hickey also is on the ropes after two years.
TITANS: General manager Ruston Webster has worked with three different coaches and for three bosses in as many seasons, with Amy Adams Strunk, daughter of the late Bud Adams, taking over as controlling owner in March. This franchise hasn't been this bad since 1983-84 in Houston. Mularkey has the Titans playing better in some areas, including protecting rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota. In his favor? A new coach would be Mariota's third in less than a year, though a reunion with Kelly could ease that transition.
LIONS: Detroit also couldn't wait to make changes. Coach Jim Caldwell is 5-2 since Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford fired both team president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew. Ford might keep Caldwell or finish cleaning house. Remember, this was a playoff team last season.
BROWNS: Coach Mike Pettine is 3-17 over his last 20 games, testing owner Jimmy Haslam's vow not to ''blow it up.'' General manager Ray Farmer's future is shaky as well considering his first-round picks and free-agent signings the past two years. The Browns have lost at least 12 games in eight seasons since 1999 and have had eight coaches since re-entering the league in 1999.
EAGLES: Owner Jeffrey Lurie gave Kelly all the personnel power last offseason and had him under contract for two more seasons. But the Eagles (6-9) missed on a shot at the NFC East title when routed on their own field last weekend by Washington, and have made the $40 million contract Kelly gave to running back DeMarco Murray look like wasted money.
FALCONS: First-year coach Dan Quinn appears safe after ending Carolina's quest for perfection. General manager Thomas Dimitroff's eight-year tenure is expected to end with the Falcons (8-7) trying to avoid a third straight non-winning season, done in by too many poor drafts and free agent signings.
CHARGERS: If they relocated to Los Angeles, the Spanos family might just want to make a splash by changing coaches. Mike McCoy has a year left on his contract, but the Chargers (4-11) have missed the playoffs two straight seasons and five of the past six.
49ERS: A puzzling choice to replace Jim Harbaugh, Jim Tomsula has done little to impress aside from putting the 49ers in position for a high draft pick.
SAINTS: Coach Sean Payton and Drew Brees have a plan to rebuild the Saints again but need a win Sunday to avoid their first 10-loss season since arriving in New Orleans. A desperate owner could offer draft picks and lots of cash to tempt away Payton.
AP National Writer Paul Newberry, Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi, and Sports Writers Brett Martel, Larry Lage, Steven Wine, Tom Withers, Michael Marot, Janie McCauley and Tom Canavan contributed to this report.
AP NFL websites: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL
Follow Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker