Finally got around to reading the Foxsports.com report that John Fox was No. 1 on the NFL hot seat, meaning that Fox is the head coach most likely to be canned.
I don't know if Fox will coach the Carolina Panthers in 2011. I'll be surprised if he is. But if Fox goes, it's as likely to be his idea as it is the team's. Engines wear out, knees wear out and relationships wear out, too. The relationship between Fox and the Panthers probably is in danger of expiring.
The NFL, however, thinks more highly of Fox than fans of the Panthers do. I can easily see him coaching the New York Giants or Cleveland Browns next season.
We like to speculate. I'm speculating about New York and Cleveland. Last summer somebody at ESPN speculated that the Panthers were one of the teams most likely to sign Michael Vick. The Panthers were more likely to go undefeated than they were to sign Vick. But somebody said it so somebody believed it.
Carolina did not extend Fox's contract after last season. They didn't extend the contract of any assistant coach or of general manager Marty Hurney, either. Thus, there was speculation, some of it local, that Hurney was gone. Hurney, however, has a job with the Panthers as long as he chooses to.
If Carolina has another washed out 8-8 season like the last one, I am certain that Fox and the Panthers will part, and I suspect the parting will be mutual.
So is Fox on Carolina's hot seat or is Carolina on Fox's?
In this case, the term doesn't apply.