NFL coaches hot seat will likely impact the 49ers coaching staff

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

The NFL coaching hot seat likely means opportunities for 49ers coaches when the season wraps up. What potential openings are out there?

The 49ers have managed to retain most of their coaching staff for much of the last two years. Amidst great success, their only coaching losses have been lower level assistants. Generally speaking, the coordinators and lead position coaches have all stuck around. As the team continues to find success, I have to imagine this changes at some point, particularly if the team can get over the hump and win a Super Bowl.

The NFL reaches its official halfway point on Sunday, as the completion of the first 1:05 p.m PT game will be game 128 of 256. The halfway point also means the NFL's hot seat is starting to get just a little bit toasty. Or, if you're Greg Schiano, you're basically getting burned as we speak.

There should be several head coach openings that 49ers assistants might elect to pursue. In looking through the NFL standings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano appears the most likely candidate to get fired. And that very well could happen before the season is out.

Other than that, Leslie Frazier has to be on at least a moderately warm seat in Minnesota. He is dealing with a QB mess, and they are wasting away the best years of Adrian Peterson. Frazier is only in his third season with the Vikings, and coming off a playoff appearance. I think he lasts at least another year, but if they continue their free-fall, maybe not.

Tom Coughlin's New York Giants are struggling mightily, but I don't think he's in any danger of getting fired yet. Rather, he very well could decide to hang it up after what is his tenth year as their head coach. He has a pair of Super Bowls under his belt, and with Eli Manning likely on the back half of his career, Coughlin might not be in for a re-building project.

Gary Kubiak is in his eighth year as head coach of the Houston Texans. He's coming off a 12-4 season, which followed a 10-6 season. He had one playoff victory each year, but this year the wheels have fallen off for Houston. They stand 2-5, and it's kind of a mess down there. It's likely only a moderately warm seat, but if they continue to struggle, maybe a change is in order.

These are just a few of the possible openings in the coming months, but I'm sure we'll see at least one surprise come out of it. Maybe Washington opens up if Mike Shanahan can't right the ship there. That would be an intriguing job with Robert Griffin III in place.

For now, we wait and wonder. The 49ers have been fortunate to retain their current coaches, and I imagine they've avoided some group-think issues with the addition of various former head coaches. The team has brought in guys like former Browns and Jets head coach Eric Mangini, and former Washington State head coach Paul Wulff. Head coach Jim Harbaugh seems to be smart enough to recognize the need to bring in the best minds he can find. Turnover can be beneficial at times, but for the 49ers, the constant flow of new minds added to the existing group hopefully covers for that.

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