Ex New England Coaches On The Hot Seat

Ian Logue
September 23, 2008 at 10:59pm ET

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Poor Romeo Crennel.
The third year head coach out in Cleveland is battling to try and save his job in a market that is tired of their team wallowing in mediocrity when the national experts had picked them as Super Bowl contenders heading into this season.  The Browns, who are 0-3 heading into this weekend, are about to embark on the Brady Quinn experiment which will give the 1st round draft choice his first NFL start when they face off against their in-state rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals, this weekend.
For Crennel it's been a rocky road, with this season proving to have the most pressure since his team was favored to go deep into the postseason and potentially contend for a championship.  Instead he finds himself fighting for his job in a division that has the Baltimore Ravens as the unlikely division leaders.  It's unfortunate because head coaches have such a limited shelf life to make a lasting impression, and for Crennel he's coming to the end of his rope.  Should the Browns falter and finish with a 5-11 or 6-10 record it could spell the end for the former New England Patriots defensive coordinator.
It would be a shame, because in all likelihood Quinn could go on to be a great player and with the building blocks in place  it could end up allowing another head coach to get the credit for the roster Crennel put together.  Unfortunately in this day and age where it's more important to win right away, it may be too late for Crennel based on how his team finishes the season.
So the pressure is on and how his legacy shapes up will be decided in the coming weeks.  Should Quinn perform well and set up an 8-8 or 7-9 type of season, Crennel could get one last shot at saving his job.  Fans in Cleveland are looking for hope, not a promise.  So look for big games for Quinn in the coming weeks, or Crennel could be one of the eligible coaches looking for a new position after the season.
Former colleague Charlie Weis also isn't faring so well out at Notre Dame.  Weis, who's team is 2-1 this season, is coming off of a disappointing performance to Michigan State and is also fighting for his own job.  As if coaching the team isn't enough, the Fighting Irish head coach also has a torn ligament in his knee that he suffered two weeks ago and has to somehow find a way to keep his focus and convince the administration along with the alumni that he has this team heading in the right direction, or face the potential of having to find a new job at the end of this season.
Which brings us to Jets head coach Eric Mangini, who appears to be testing the patience of Jets Nation along with ownership following a difficult Monday night loss against the Chargers.  Little has been uttered at the possibility of Mangini being fired, but most published reports leave him out in the cold in the event he can't right the Jets' ship and find a way to get them into the postseason.  Mangini rolled the dice and opted to trade for Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre to try and battle his way into the playoffs, and with the loss of Brady in New England this is about as good as it will get for Mangini.  To miss the postseason would be a disaster, so needless to say it will be an interesting season for those who are wishing good things for each of these coaches.