Jimmy Johnson couldn’t work with Jerry Jones and walked away after consecutive Super Bowl-winning seasons. Enter Switzer who led the Cowboys to the NFC Championship game, where they lost to the 49ers because of his coaching mistake. But the following year they won the Super Bowl again. That was in 1996 and none of their subsequent attempts have gotten off the ground.
Over the following couple of seasons, the Cowboys regressed. Finally, after finishing 6-10 in 1997, Jones sacked Switzer. Later, the coach admitted that players didn’t listen to him properly. This could have been a dynasty but instead, the franchise regressed. Switzer has a solid record on paper and was a phenomenal college coach. But he should have done more with the team he had.
McCarthy’s legacy in Green Bay goes to polar extremes. Firstly, he’s the man who brought Super Bowl glory in 2010. But he’s also the coach who wasted Aaron Rodgers’ prime. The latter is unforgivable in the eyes of many NFL fans and the unfortunate truth is that he overstayed his welcome in Wisconsin.
In his prime, McCarthy was a brave and innovative coach. However, his last couple of seasons as Packers’ head coach were disappointing. Conservatism under clutch conditions affected his teams as they posted back-to-back losing records for the first time in his career. The Packers’ winning 2019 and start to 2020 under Matt LeFleur stands in stark rebuke to McCarthy’s limp ending.
Kelly made a number of horrendous decisions while in charge of the Philadelphia Eagles that still bemuse today. His first two seasons finished with winning records but the third ended 6-9. Bizarrely, he approved the trade All-Pro LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills. Yes, the same Bills who were their divisional rivals. The loss of Nick Foles and Jeremy Mclin also had a negative impact on their fortunes.
The Eagles fired him but he had another shot in the NFL. Kelly managed to run the San Francisco 49ers into the ground too. After beating the Rams in their opening game of the season, they went on a 13-game losing streak. At least he was consistent. But finally, the 49ers had enough and cut him loose at the end of the season.
The Broncos weren’t exactly worldbeaters when Joseph took the reins, but he ensured that they wouldn’t reach that status. After back-to-back losing seasons, he received his marching orders. That was an extraordinary achievement in itself because it was the first time in over 40 years that the Broncos had two losing seasons in a row. He ran them into the ground.
Joseph’s shocking in-game decision-making and inability to manage the clock in clutch situations made fans loath him. Furthermore, he struggled to motivate his players and also put too much faith in underperforming athletes. Nobody shed any tears when he departed. He may get another chance to prove himself in the NFL but it will definitely be a gamble.
After a 6-10 season, the New York Jets sacked future Super Bowl winner Pete Carroll and brought in Rich Kotite. Furthermore, they took the dangerous step of making him general manager as well. If it goes well, then excellent. But if it doesn’t, one man will run your franchise into the ground with nobody there to challenge his decisions until it’s too late.
In sum, that’s exactly what happened with the hapless Jets’ coach. He led them to the two worst seasons in franchise history, with just four wins in two years. His final season saw the Jets finish with just a single victory. Also, his efforts in the draft were as shambolic as his coaching. His name still makes Jets’ fans shudder today. One of the worst coaches in NFL history.
Marty Schottenheimer did a solid job with the Chargers until they abruptly sacked him. Then Turner came in with a reputation as one of the best offensive coaches in the league. He had some exciting talent to pick like Philip Rivers, Michael Turner, and LaDainian Tomlinson. However, the latter pair departed and the former badly regressed.
Turner’s biggest issue was his failure to lead one of the most talented rosters in NFL history to the Super Bowl. Instead, they regularly crashed out in the playoffs in shock defeats to teams like the New York Jets. Towards the end of his reign, the Chargers went on losing streaks and several other key players left. In the end, San Diego fired him after a 7-9 losing season. What a waste of potential.
O’Brien ran the Houston Texans into the ground after the office gave him too much power. First, the head coach and general manager destroyed his franchise’s cap by going after Brock Osweiler. Furthermore, he constantly took Deshaun Watson’s weapons away from him. Trading DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona remains one of the most bizarre decisions in recent NFL history.
The coach had the power to mold his team in his image. Unfortunately, for the Texans, this meant losing their best players while mediocre talent came in. Another player they traded away for nothing was Jadeveon Clowney who has continued to produce All-Pro form. Meanwhile, the Texans have the biggest payroll in the NFL. Unsurprisingly, they finally sacked him. But they let the rot seep in too far already.