Pressure is on in the AFC East: Which coach has more pressure on them?

Jun 6, 2023; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel signals during
Jun 6, 2023; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel signals during / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The AFC East is going to be an all out brawl in 2023 and there could be heads rolling at the end of the season should things not go well.

In Miami, Mike McDaniel will lead one of the most stacked rosters in the NFL and the best roster Miami has had since the mid 1980s if we are being absolutely honest with ourselves.

Miami is expected to compete for the AFC East division title but that road will be a rough one given the other teams in the division.

If we look at the AFC East as a whole, is McDaniel under more pressure than others? Let's take a look.

Buffalo Bills - Sean McDermott

Of all the AFC East coaches, McD could be the safest of the four. He has a very good football team with a lot of talent but they have come up short each of the last three seasons. Would a failed fourth send the Pagula family into a spiral that would result in McD losing his job?

The answer is no. Sean McDermott is not on the hotseat and if the Bills even fail to make the playoffs, he will and should get another season. That being said, 2024 could be trouble for McD if they struggle this year and fail to make strides in the post season. An early exit or a no trip at all could set up the Bills for changes next year but even that is remote.

Miami Dolphins - Mike McDaniel

The other McD in the AFC East has probably the best overall roster per positional unit and anything less than a post-season birth would be horribly bad. We know that Stephen Ross' patience doesn't last long when it comes to winning and coaches find the door alway open for a departure.

For McDaniel, however, his job isn't up for change yet. For one, Ross believes in him and he needs McDaniel to succeed because he has failed so miserably at hiring head coaches. At the very least, McDaniel would get another year.

Another big factor in what happens for McDaniel is the situation with Tua Tagovailoa. While McDaniel has supported his QB 100% there is no question that Tua was not drafted by McDaniel or under his coaching career in Miami. That falls on Chris Grier.

If Tua stays healthy all year and the Dolphins fail to make the playoffs with Tua not playing well, the question will be wether or not it is McDaniel's offense that isn't working or if Tua isn't the answer. In either case, McDaniel and Tua should get another season in 2024 together no matter the outcome of the season. This puts little outside pressure on either of the two.

New England Patriots - Bill Belichick

If you listen to the talking heads around the NFL, you might have caught wind of Belichick being on the hotseat. That probably isn't the case despite comments about expectations to win this year by owner Robert Kraft.

The Patriots have made the playoffs once in three seasons and have basically struggled without Tom Brady. At the center of this issue is Belichick is the guy that handles all of the players coming and going so there is no one but Belichick to blame if it all continues to go south.

Inevitably, Belichick will be out as the HC in NE but when is the question. Belichick is chasing the Don Shula win total record and Robert Kraft knows that but will he keep him around simply because he is within reach if they continue to lose or not make the playoffs?

That is something that is being discussed in the media. If the Patriots flat out lose it this year, Kraft could feel the need to make a change but it won't come with firing Belichick but instead, quietly asking him behind closed doors to call it quits and retire. If Belichick says no, Kraft may be put in a corner he doesn't want to be in.

Interestingly enough, if Belichick were to be fired or forced to retire, it would not surprise me to see him out of football and not be hired by another team. Creating the "Belichick-way" in New England took many years and simply put, Belichick doesn't have the same timeframe left in his career. Oddly enough, the rest of the AFC East that he has beaten up over the past two decades, could put his career in jeapordy should the Patriots be swept by all three.

New York Jets - Robert Saleh

Saleh is probably the best coach the Jets have had in two decades...probably more. The Jets have traditionally been a bad football team and a cellar dweller in the East but Saleh has a great defensive system filled with great players and an offense that should be very good...on paper.

For Saleh, his biggest challenge this year is winning and making the playoffs. If he can't do that given this roster, it is very hard to see the Jets ownership waiting for him to get it right. The money they poured into the roster along with the big addition of Aaron Rodgers shows the Jets are in a win-now mode and if they can't do that, Saleh is not going to be kept around.

It is safe to assume that a winning record and no playoff birth would likely keep Saleh around another season but if the Jets hit .500 or just above and come in third or worse in the division, it is hard to see a road for Saleh to remain in New York.