Those that bet on NFL will tell you that the men under the most pressure in the sport are the head coaches. He’s the man who is required to deliver the good for the owner, fans and the players.
And we can think of at least 10 men in charge this season who are going to be under real pressure to deliver the goods.
With that in mind, here are three who have the resources at their disposal to do better than they have been, and for that reason they may well be drinking in the last chance saloon this season.
Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles is first up and even though he had the self-styled “dream team” at his disposal last year, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie used words such as “embarrassing”, “unacceptable” and “disappointing” to sum up a nightmare year for Reid and his team.
The fans in Philly are some of the most demanding in the league and if he fails to deliver this year then it really could be curtains for Reid. It’s not quite Super Bowl or bust for Reid and the Eagles, but it surely can’t be that far off.
Over in San Diego another man who must surely be running out of time is Norv Turner. It appears year in year out that Turner has a squad that is capable of delivering but comes up short, and the fans’ patience is starting to wear very thin.
Ironically, Turner is now in the hot seat with one of his least talented rosters. Maybe he can defy the NFL bets and odds and turn the Chargers into over-achievers. Turner knows that his tenure is under threat and if he fails to deliver this time around he could well be looking for work in the 2013 campaign.
The final member of our trio is based out on the West Coast in Seattle, and to some, Pete Carroll’s arrival in the city was akin to that of a Messiah. Those who raved about his appointment obviously overlooked his 33-31 record in his first spells in the NFL.
It’s not got any better since his return and his 14-18 record at the Seahawks places a big question mark over his future, despite the fact that he made the post-season in 2010. But the consistency is not there and more has to be expected of a head coach who re-entered the NFL with such fanfare – and that means that the playoffs are a necessity in 2012.