Such is life in the industry, and the profession has been much more cutthroat over the last decade, when the urgency to win now has caused some good football minds (as well as plenty of not-so-good ones) to lose their job.
Consider this: From 1990-99, there were seven head coaches who were fired in the middle of the regular season. But from 2000-10, 19 head coaches lost their jobs in the middle of the season. It was once rare, maybe even the most drastic of measures, to can a coach midseason. Now, nearly an average of two head coaches lose their job every single year before the season is out.
This season probably won't be any different. It's only a matter of time before the Dolphins detach themselves from Tony Sparano, though there's a strong theory out of Miami that ownership fears a move would spark the team and take them out of the Andrew Luck sweepstakes (it's sad, but that's not a joke).
There has also been speculation that Steve Spagnuolo (Rams), Jack Del Rio (Jaguars), Jim Caldwell (Colts) and Todd Haley (Chiefs) could be shown the door. Haley, however, has rallied Kansas City to a four-game winning streak, so he's all set.
Of course, it's a miracle that Chargers head coach Norv Turner has lasted as long as he has, so who knows what could happen with him. And there's some thought that Andy Reid could be chopped by Philly if the Eagles slide any further from the playoff race. Then, if things get worse in Seattle (Pete Carroll) or Arizona (Ken Whisenhunt), it's hard to rule out the possibility for change there.
If any of those guys lose their job, whether it's sooner or later, there are a stable of well-qualified coaches waiting for their chance. It seems to always start with former head coaches Jeff Fisher, Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden, but the NFL has trended in the direction of finding upstarts who could inject a new type of life into the organization.
Obviously, the big hires don't happen until after the season, so there's still some time for that to play out. An early look at other candidates involves Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan (whose name will excite the fan base), Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski (who has played key roles in developing Philip Rivers, Cam Newton and, briefly, Derek Anderson), Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer (whose passion will breed optimism) and Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell (who is simply a solid defensive mind).
Keep an eye on Chudzinski. He might be the best option for the team that lands the No. 1 pick and can draft Luck. However, with quarterbacks Landry Jones and Matt Barkley set to go in the top 10, any team looking for development of its newest face of the franchise would be wise to key on Chudzinski.
The process of outing the old is surely about to start. The sooner these franchises begin scouting their replacements could go a long way toward restructuring the path of the organization.