Over the weekend, Christmas shoppers hit the stores and online shopping sites to take advantage of Black Friday deals. During Week 13 of the NFL season, about a quarter of the league's owners started to look ahead to Black Monday.
Believe it or not, the date that features the majority of NFL head coach firings is just four weeks away. It appears unlikely for now that there will be any further midseason changes, but several head coaches are at risk of losing their jobs the day after the season ends.
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This year's Black Friday could be particularly ugly. Two coaches who have been to the Super Bowl - Ron Rivera and Dan Quinn - could lose their jobs. And the only seats hotter than Jason Garrett's after the Dallas Cowboys' Thanksgiving loss to Buffalo were the turkeys in ovens.
But the NFL owners who go shopping for a new head coach in early January could find themselves with few attractive options. What most within the league are saying is that it's going to be tough to find seven to eight qualified replacements. Since 2010, there have been 66 coaching hires, dwindling the pool of accomplished assistants, and early success has been hard to come by in recent years for new hires. If you count the Washington Redskins, who fired Jay Gruden after five games this year and replaced him with Bill Callahan, nine of the 10 teams with the worst records in the NFL entering this week have coaches who were hired this year or last year.
Let's take a look at the coaches who are at risk of losing their jobs at season's end, ranked in order from the hottest to the most likely to survive. (Note: This doesn't include Callahan, who is unlikely to be retained by Redskins owner Daniel Snyder.)
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