Hunting season used to start shortly after Thanksgiving, right around Dec. 1. NFL owners would go after their own, hunting for their head coaches, and not wait until the end of the season to bag them.
But in this instant-gratification society, when we want what we want right now, that timeline has been pushed up. Dramatically.
Hunting season now begins the moment the NFL season does. Coaches are on the clock once the games begin. We’ve never seen firings come this quickly, with three coaches and one GM being dismissed. Plenty more will come.
Already the pressure is mounting on Wade Phillips in Dallas. Questions are coming at Rod Marinelli in Detroit. Even Romeo Crennel, who signed an extension after last season, is getting heat.
And history shows it could get ugly. The NFL averages, religiously, 6.5 coaching changes per year. Last year there were only 4, which means that the league is due for nine this season. Nine! Three already have happened. Six more, roughly, are likely to come.
But no numbers are needed to quantify this: The scrutiny is intensifying. The stakes are growing. The pressure is rising. And so are the number of in-season casualties.