4) Heat check (hottest coaching seat)?
BL: Seahawks coach Pete Carroll
In 2017, the Rams’ Sean McVay was the NFL coach of the year in his first season, and the 49ers Kyle Shanahan also enjoyed an impressive rookie season, as his team tripled its win total of two from 2016. Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks enters his first season with low expectations, so that leaves – the Seahawks’ Pete Carroll? No one really believes Carroll has to worry about job security after leading Seattle to 65 wins in the previous six seasons, but he turns 67 in Week Two.
EE: Seahawks coach Pete Carroll
We’ll assume Steve Wilks is not a one-year flameout. Young rock stars Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay are fixtures for years to come, we think. So yes, shockingly, it’s Pete Carroll. Do we believe Carroll is going to be forced out if the Seahawks suffer this season following a major exodus? No. But there were whispers late last year that Carroll might step down, and though he quashed those and scoffed at those who suggested the possibility of that happening, we believe he at least entertained the idea of it. At the very least, he thought about how he might leave the Seahawks one day before deciding on rejoining the team’s reshuffling this offseason. If things blow up, could Carroll walk into the sunset in six months? It wouldn’t stun us. Getting fired would, given everything the coach has meant to the franchise. But resigning? It’s not out of the realm of possibilities.
GG: Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and Cardinals QB Sam Bradford
I’m going to list two hear. One is Seattle head coach Pete Carroll. Seattle is going through a rebuilding stage and isn't close to being the dominating club it was just a few years ago. The Seahawks lost three our of their last four in 2017, and if that trend continues, Carroll could be gone after the season.
The other is new Arizona QB Sam Bradford. The Cardinals gave Bradford a two-year contract worth $35M, but the way it was structured, the Cardinals can get rid of him after a year and have a $20M cap savings in 2019. Bradford is one of the most fragile players in the NFL and can’t be counted on to play anywhere close to a full season. That’s why the Cards drafted Josh Rosen with their first pick. Don’t be shocked to see Rosen as the starter by midseason and Bradford gone next year.
AA: Seahawks coach Pete Carroll
It's Carroll, by default. Think the Rams or Niners are axing the Coach of the Year or Jimmy Garoppolo's most important teacher, respectively? And the Bidwills aren't firing rookie Steve Wilks in the same season that they traded up for Josh Rosen. Meanwhile, Carroll comes off his worst season since 2011 and responded by firing his talented coordinators and replacing them with "yes men." What if Paul Allen decides that with Russell Wilson now the unquestioned face of the franchise, he wants to surround Wilson with a young up-and-comer after seeing what it did elsewhere in the division?