Here for the joke of the day? NFL job security.
Remember the historic Houdini-esque, magical exit performed by Bobby Petrino in 2007? Not even after a year spent with the Atlanta Falcons (11 months, 3 days), the Head Coach abandoned the dirty birds along with a five-year, $24M deal he had with Atlanta ... to coach Arkansas for a tenth of the cost.
"The best way to describe the way we feel is betrayal." -Falcons owner, Arthur Blank
Thirteen games and a sorrowful record (3-10) -- he was no Bob's Burgers. (He couldn't handle the heat.) Whatever happened to the unspoken three-year rule given to coaches and quarterbacks? You know, kind of like the five-second grace period we give ourselves to swoop up the Chick-fil-A waffle fry off the ground, and pretend as if it never happened?
Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam fired Rob Chudzinski after one season at the helm, hours after their final game against the Steelers (which was a loss by the way). The hapless Browns went 4-12 in 2013, the ballclub's sixth straight season with 10 in the "L" Column.
Some team's boiling points are higher than others, that I believe. In the AFC North, the insatiable Steelers' Mike Tomlin had a word about his job security.
"I don't assume that," Tomlin told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Are all of the coaches in the division sitting on hot coals? The last time I read about four men withstanding this much heat were Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego and Jesus. I digress.
Who will it be in 2014? I present: the hot-to-not list of the AFC North: Coaches' edition.
Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals
What we know: Lewis signed a one-year extension that will keep him on deck to the end of 2015. Owner Mike Brown trusts the man to get the job done.
Why his buns are toasty right now: The winningest coach in Bengals history has zero playoff victories. Under Lewis, Cincinnati has punched three tickets to the postseason since 2011.
How to think positive: Before Lewis, the Bengals missed the playoffs 12 straight seasons. The big picture is larger than Lewis, yes, the franchise is actually in danger of becoming the laughingstock of the League if they don't break their Wild Card Round Curse in 2014.
Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers
What we know: Tomlin is a beast, no question. He's the youngest coach in NFL history to win a Super Bowl (2008) and his passion and knowledge for the game is up there with the greats.
Why his buns are toasty right now: The last time the terms "Steelers" and "Playoffs" were in the same sentence? 2011, when they were eliminated in overtime by ... Tim Te...bow. (Congratulations on the new house purchase, sir.)
How to think positive: In his first four seasons, Tomlin has captained the ship to the 'Ship twice. Give thanks. Also, since 1969, three coaches have held the highest position in Pittsburgh. That's 45 years, for you math-haters.
Mike Pettine, Cleveland Browns
What we know: Post up a losing season in Cleveland and you may not make it to Year Two. He's the 15th full-time head coach in Browns' history.
Why his buns are toasty right now: Johnny Manziel is an on-and-off type of guy, on, and off, the field. We've no idea what to expect--and if you haven't heard already--this is a quarterback-driven league.
How to think positive: Pettine and former Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will help develop Manziel into becoming one of the League's elite quarterbacks. MAYBE LeBron James will win Cleveland an NBA Championship, retire, and then play wide receiver for the Browns. Dare to dream?
John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens
What we know: 2012 Super Bowl champions. Despite missing the playoffs last season for the first time in Harbaugh’s six-year tenure, he has otherwise maintained a solid rap sheet. He's also the sole head coach in NFL history (since 1970 merger) to win a playoff game in each of his first four and five seasons.
Why his buns are toasty right now: Those buns are frozen, still thawing. A losing season could crush hearts, yet won't shake his job status. (Knock on wood.)
How to think positive: Regardless if his contract runs through the 2017 season, or 2030, the Ravens have a win-now mentality. Ravens fans should hope that the two quarterbacks of their respective units Joe Flacco and Matt Elam will champion their competition and carry the team to the Promised Land.