The Schein Nine  

 

Jim Harbaugh headlines nine guys who should be on the way out

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I've had enough. You've had enough. We are 14 Sundays deep in the 2014 NFL season, and some things just have to change.

Here are nine hot-button situations around the league that we consider "must move on" spots:

1) Jim Harbaugh, head coach, San Francisco 49ers

It's over. It's all over. Even though it's pretty clear where this is headed, seeing how Harbaugh just doesn't seem to be on the same page with owner Jed York and GM Trent Baalke, I always hoped, for the sake of the great 49ers fans, that they would find a way to salvage the relationship, because Harbaugh is a fantastic coach who rescued the franchise from the Dennis Erickson/Mike Nolan/Mike Singletary abyss.

Then, on Sunday, the 49ers lost to the lowly, cross-Bay rival Raiders.

Oh, it's over alright. And it's going down in flames.

Colin Kaepernick has completely regressed. He is no longer "great," despite what Harbaugh tells the press. Kaepernick doesn't throw or run with the dominance or consistency he used to display.

While Harbaugh appears to have a frosty relationship with his bosses, he was quite chatty with Raiders owner Mark Davis before the game, further fueling speculation he could coach in Oakland next year.

Once mighty, the 49ers are now inexplicably 7-6, and it would take a miracle for them to make the playoffs. They are, for all intents and purposes, cooked.

It will be tough for San Francisco to find a better coach than Harbaugh, who took the Niners to three straight NFC title games (and a Super Bowl) in his first three years on the job. But the play of this team, the underachievement and the constant drama -- in conjunction with Harbaugh's cantankerous personality -- has made this a divorce that needs to happen. It has sucked the life out of this organization.

2) Joe Philbin, head coach, Miami Dolphins

On Sunday, the Dolphins hosted a Ravens team playing without perennial Pro Bowler Haloti Ngata, who was serving Game 1 of a four-game suspension. The game was in Miami, and the 'Fins even jumped out to a 10-0 lead through one quarter of play. But they were outscored 28-3 the rest of the way, suffering a crushing defeat. Just like last December, Miami was presented with an opportunity to win a huge game loaded with playoff implications. And just like last December, Miami looked lost.

That's coaching.

The Ravens didn't have Ngata and were fresh off of a heartbreaking loss to San Diego. But they have a great coach in John Harbaugh and were ready to play.

Joe Philbin is not a good coach. I still can't believe he survived last year's bullying scandal and late-season collapse.

Miami owner Stephen Ross once tried to hire fellow Michigan man Jim Harbaugh. He needs to make that phone call again.

3) Buffalo Bills quarterbacks

I feel bad for Buffalo's defense. The D-line is arguably the NFL's best. But the Bills can't make the playoffs -- or take a game like Sunday's contest in Denver -- because they are saddled with journeyman Kyle Orton at quarterback. Sadly, he's a major upgrade over first-round bust EJ Manuel.

Doug Marrone has done a fabulous job keeping Buffalo afloat this season and dealing with major adversity. But compiling a 7-6 record with mighty Green Bay coming to town this week is a recipe for yet another playoff-free season in Buffalo. The Bills need new blood at the game's most important position to snap the longest playoff drought in the NFL. It truly feels like that painful "Music City Miracle" loss came a lifetime ago.

4) Jim Haslett, defensive coordinator, Washington Redskins

With Washington's quarterback conundrum understandably owning the D.C. news cycle, the Redskins' defensive struggles have flown under the radar.

That is, until Sunday morning, when my CBS Sports Network colleague on "That Other Pregame Show," London Fletcher, rightly went scorched-earth on defensive coordinator Jim Haslett.

Backing it up with game film and facts, the former Redskins linebacker didn't hold back: "This is a guy that would take the '85 Bears and turn them into a mediocre defense," Fletcher said. "He is clueless. He has no idea what he is doing. Believe me, I had a front-row seat for four years."

Fletcher also urged the Redskins' first-year head coach to fire Haslett because "he's probably back-stabbing Jay Gruden like he did everybody else."

Aaaah, good times in D.C. Chaos is the norm. This team needs a new defensive coordinator -- and some fresh talent in the QB room -- in the worst way.

5) Rob Ryan, defensive coordinator, New Orleans Saints

It felt like the Saints finally turned the corner with a big road win over the Steelers in Week 13. Seven days later, they played their worst game of an underachieving and grotesque season.

How do you lose 41-10 to the seemingly defunct Panthers -- at home?!?!?! Yes, for those of you keeping track, that's four straight losses in the Superdome for New Orleans. Unreal. Obviously, the offense isn't without blame here, but the Saints' defense has been jarringly bad all season long. Giving up 497 yards of offense to Carolina, Ryan's unit ranked 31st in total defense at the close of business on Sunday.

While Saints head coach Sean Payton denied reports of friction between him and his defensive coordinator, this clearly isn't working. And if you're familiar with Rob Ryan's track record, this can't be a surprise.

6) Rex Ryan, head coach, New York Jets

Hello, I'm Captain Obvious! Nearly two years ago, I wrote that Rex should've been fired alongside then-general manager Mike Tannenbaum. Last December, I explained again why Rex wasn't the right guy to get this franchise back on track. And the proof is in the pudding: Rex remains a terrible in-game coach, and he's currently piloting a 2-11 team.

So why go down this road again, re-examining Rex's shortcomings as a head man? Well, there are mystifying rumors that the Falcons would be interested in hiring Rex Ryan. I've expressed my belief that a head-coaching change is in order for Atlanta, but this would be a downgrade. It'd make more sense for the Falcons to hire baseball legend Nolan Ryan or famed sports writer Bob Ryan than Rex Ryan.

7) Ruston Webster, general manager, Tennessee Titans

I've called for the Giants to change general managers because of the lack of talent on the roster. I also believed they would snap a seven-game losing streak by beating the Titans in Tennessee, which they did -- by 29 points.

That tells you all you need to know about the Titans' talent base. Coming into the year, I thought Tennessee had the single worst roster in the NFL. Their current 2-11 record supports that.

Team president Tommy Smith has continually said Webster is safe, which begs one simple question: Why?

Curious what Smith thought watching former Titan Akeem Ayers -- a guy Webster haphazardly dealt to New England -- make plays (again) for the Patriots on Sunday night.

I think Ken Whisenhunt can coach, but this roster is horrible -- it needs a new set of eyes.

8) Phil Emery, general manager, Chicago Bears

Jay Cutler's play -- and general demeanor -- is offensive. I thought Marc Trestman would turn Cutler around. Obviously, that hasn't happened.

The Bears look dead. (And actually, they were officially eliminated from the playoffs on Sunday.) The fan base is angry.

If there's one person responsible for Cutler, Trestman and the embarrassing defense, it's general manager Phil Emery.

9) Brian Hoyer, quarterback, Cleveland Browns

Sunday had to be the last straw. That was a gruesome, gut-wrenching loss for the Browns, blowing a 14-point second-half lead over Indianapolis.

Hoyer played horrible football, completing just 14 of his 31 passes for 140 yards and zero touchdowns while throwing a pair of interceptions.

It was the right move for Cleveland to start him on Sunday, with the Browns in the thick of the playoff race at 7-5. But now their season is on the brink, and Hoyer has posted a TD-to-INT ratio of 1:8 over the past five weeks. It's time to go to the bullpen for Johnny Manziel.

Follow Adam Schein on Twitter @AdamSchein.

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