At least seven new head coaches next year?

Once the NFL’s regular season ends, hunting season begins.

As it begins, the league-wide feeling is that there will be at least seven head coaching changes, including one that is assured of happening in Seattle when Mike Holmgren passes the baton to Jim Mora.

The teams where most everyone is expecting change are Cleveland, Detroit and St. Louis. There’s always a surprise fire every year, too. And then there are any number of places that could be facing changes largely on how teams finish the regular season or postseason, and how head-coaching meetings with owners play out.

The one thing working in favor of some coaches on the hot seat is the spiraling economy. Coaches such as Buffalo’s Dick Jauron and Jacksonville’s Jack Del Rio, who might have been on the hot seat in other years, will likely be spared this year at least in part due to the fact that their owners and franchises are unwilling  to eat the millions of dollars remaining on their coach’s contracts.

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