By SAMANTHA DESMOND
New York’s boys in blue are experiencing an epic code red – three messy wins and fans calling for Tom Coughlin’s head. Tom and his boys aren’t in Kansas anymore.
Once upon a time, the New York Football Giants were champions. They won games with heart and soul. They conquered the big, bad Brady and the wicked Belichick – twice. Kings of New York, the Giants were.
Talk about falling from grace.
The Giants are awful. Not only can they not win a game – they can’t win a game when one of their coaches guarantees victory. Luckily for Coughlin, he’s smarter than Perry Fewell, and doesn’t sink to the level of arbitrary guarantees. He’s a football man, and statements are best said on the field.
Unfortunately, fans aren’t smart enough to realize that Tom is not the source of our giant-sized problems.
In case anyone has forgotten, Coughlin has two Super Bowl championships under his belt, in addition to boasting a 93-77 record during his tenure in New York. Over the last 11 years, he has become the face of the organization, alongside Eli Manning, creating one of the most dynamic coach/player relationships in the league. Not only has he earned the respect of the league, but he also continues to command his locker room, with key players consistently reaffirming their support for a man who is, in their minds, an excellent coach.
Tom Coughlin is an excellent coach – it doesn’t take more than a pulse to see that. Unless, of course, you are Tiki Barber.
It might just be jealousy for the once lauded running back, but Barber’s consistent jabs at Coughlin over the years since his departure have become all too familiar. He criticized his former coach in 2007, writing in his book that he might still be with the organization, had Coughlin not remained head coach. He continued his harsh criticism recently in a radio interview, where he plainly stated that Coughlin has lost the Giants’ locker room, and it was high time for his dismissal.
Hell hath no fury like a Tiki scorned. He is the man, after all, who retired at the end of the 2006 season – right before Coughlin and Manning led the Giants to a Super Bowl victory the following year.
Unfortunately for Barber, he couldn’t be more wrong. Both Manning and defensive captain, Antrel Rolle, have come out in recent days to strongly contradict the criticism against their coach. Anyone who follows Giants football can clearly see that Coughlin is the commander of this organization. And that’s an incredible success, considering Coughlin has had a serious lack of talent on his hands. All thanks to one Jerry Reese.
While our fearless leader has been riding the roller coaster of success and failure, Reese has consistently delivered miscalculated acquisitions, which are largely to blame for the Giants failure. The team has zero depth, and no identity to boot. They are neither defined by their rock-solid defense (laugh) or explosive offense (slightly fainter laugh). They are one dimensional, at best, in a league where you can’t win on reputation alone.
Reese has largely failed to deliver an effective unit since taking the helm as general manager. Aside from a few high-level players, the Giants have brought in players who lack the finesse to succeed at the next level. Eli Manning needs weapons on offense, and the defense needs a pulse. Coughlin’s job is to coach the unit he has, and it is, in my mind, impossible to better a unit that can’t break through even the lowest of ceilings.
The pivotal point in speculating Coughlin’s future is that we are talking about Tom Coughlin, a future Hall of Fame coach who might be the greatest coach in the Giants’ storied history. Reports of firing him are laughable. If Tom is going to go, it should be on his own terms, and it very well could be. Our fearless leader might want to jump ship after this lackluster 2014 campaign, but there’s still a chance he returns for 2015.
If the Giants can get some actual players before then, Coughlin might have something to work with. As a true blue Giants fan, there’s nothing I want more than to see Coughlin go out on top. But, if that is not in the cards, the man deserves the opportunity to go out his way.
I haven’t lost faith in you Tom. Just don’t let us be worse than the Jets.