Coaching in the NFL is a tough gig.  You only have two or three years no matter the team, front office and quarterback to make things happen if you enter a new head post.  Who has the toughest jobs this year as rookie NFL head coaches? Here are my Top 5:

  1. Rob Chudzinski, Cleveland Browns.  Years of bad drafts, no quarterback and a horrendous front office.  This team's cupboard is empty on offense and defense.  The one thing going for Chudzinski is the Browns were in a lot of close games last year, so maybe they can break through.  The reality is, however, that Cleveland thought it had Oregon's Chip Kelly.  Then they hired Chud just to fill the spot.  Ouch.
  2. Doug Marrone, Buffalo Bills.  Pictured above, Marrone turned Syracuse around with two bowls during his college tenure.  But this is the NFL.  And the Bills are a joke.  They haven't made the playoffs since 1999 and haven't won a playoff game since December 30, 1995, a 37-22 triumph over the Dolphins. Buffalo has a long road ahead, with possibly a rookie quarterback in E.J. Manuel, a questionable defense and a soft offensive line.  Marrone's job will be hard to say the least.  Marrone's wife thought it was unfair when people in Syracuse criticized her husband and kids in school barked at the their kids on Mondays after a loss.  Wait until the people in Orchard Park start drinking on Sunday, see a loss and then go to work on Monday with their kids heading to school to greet the Marrone youngsters.  Mrs. Marrone hasn't seen anything yet.  And neither has the new ball coach in Buffalo.
  3. Mike McCoy, San Diego Chargers.  Depleted on defense, especially in the secondary, and Philliip Rivers past his prime without big time weapons. McCoy made Jake Delhomme and Tim Tebow look respectable, but they had better teams around them.  Rivers is regressing and his team is horrendous.
  4. Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles.  He has talent for sure.  But Kelly wins this slot because of the flat-out pressure from sports fans in Philadelphia.  They are brutally tough on their teams and have no patience for new people who fall down in their town.
  5. Bruce Arians, Arizona Cardinals.  Arians was amazing as interim head coach for the Colts when Chuck Pagano battled cancer.  But that has created enormous expectations out West for a team that isn't really good on paper heading into the year.  Plus, could you imagine having the Bidwill family as the owners of the team you coach?  Good luck.

By:  Mike Lindsley, "Mid-Day with Mike," M-F 1-4, Yankees pre/post game host on 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio.  Follow him on Twitter at

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