So a couple of weeks ago, we tried out an in-season hot-seat watch. There was a small problem with it. The people who are included in such lists have a tendency to freak out a little at their status.
That resulted in unnecessary and unwanted phone calls and other communications. Frankly, I decided to hell with it. Not worth the trouble.
Besides, most of the folks who are on the hot seat already know it. For those who don’t, well, I’ll let them enjoy their blissful ignorance.
Instead, we’ll try this weekly feature — especially since you can bet on it. Coach of the year watch, with odds from the PointsBet sportsbook.
Here are the ones we currently like. For anyone not listed, there’s a chance you’re on the hot seat. Even if you don’t realize it.
Matt Rhule, Panthers (+1000): Coach of the year usually goes to the guy whose team most exceeds his team’s loose, general preseason expectations. Rhule’s team wasn’t expected to be a major player in the NFC. It is. If it continues to be, he’s getting votes.
Vic Fangio, Broncos (+1800): If they beat the Ravens on Sunday, Fangio’s odds will fall.
Jon Gruden, Raiders (+1100): Name recognition helps. A playoff appearance would help even more. An unlikely division title could nail it down.
Kliff Kingsbury, Cardinals (+2200): He’ll need to win the division to have a real shot at it, which won’t be easy. End Arizona’s eight-game losing streak to the Rams, and it gets a little easier.
Brandon Staley, Chargers (+700): The current favorite needs a Monday night win over the Raiders to hold that spot.
Sean McVay, Rams (+900): He entered the season with high expectations. His team is fulfilling them, so far. If they get the No. 1 seed in the NFC, he could win it.
Others to watch: Kevin Stefanski (+1500), John Harbaugh (+2000), Sean Payton (+2000), Sean McDermott (+1800).
Ignore for now: Mike McCarthy (+2200), Kyle Shanahan (+1700).
Value plays: Mike Vrabel (+5000), Matt LaFleur (+3000), Zac Taylor (+3000).