It's been suggested by the NY media, and to some degree on BBV, that how the 2010 season ends would determine the fate of Giants' HC Tom Coughlin. Well, as a fan, I'd hope that lesser elements around the Giants would dispense with this white noise chat that Tom Coughlin should be fired. Or that he should be held accountable. Or that this ridiculous notion that the Giants should even consider removing Coughlin wasn't soundly repudiated.
It was. Thanks to John Mara's unequivocal statement of support after the Giant's victory over the Redskins.
So I'm going to address the above three sound bites in schematic order, and tell you why it's important.
1. Why Tom Coughlin shouldn't be fired. Who are you going to replace him with? In an era of uncertainty--a looming lockout, a coaching carousel that has gripped the NFL at season's end the past few years, a new and improved DC--Tom Coughlin was the best coach out there. I'm not a big fan of replacing one SB winning coach with another (Bill Cower). That change will undoubtedly incur growing pains and a turnover of coaching personnel. Could that instability be contained and paved over in one season? Doubt it.
2. Why Tom Coughlin shouldn't be accountable for the Giant's failure to secure a playoff berth. To answer this requires a clear understanding of what the Giants problem has been this season. I say turnovers, too many of them, and I dare anyone to challenge me on that point. In fact, I can think of at least 3 games in which the Giants win if they don't turn the ball over, or even if they cut those TOs in half. That would have left the Giants at 13-3, so enough said.
Is Coughlin at fault for Manning's deflected interceptions? Is Coughlin to blame for Bradshaw and Jacobs fumbling the ball, stupidly?
This comes in the same vein as the "Fire Gillbride" faction that reorganizes whenever the Giants lose. At what point does responsibility to perform on the field, and to execute the plays you practice all week, fall on the shoulders of the players playing?
3. Why Tom Coughlin's HC status shouldn't have been questioned. The above two points nicely dovetail into the third. Troy Aikman was right last week about at least this one point: no one came into the 2010 season expecting the Giants to go anywhere. There were questions abound on defense. Who would be the new Middle Linebacker? Who would step up on the defensive line after 2009s feuding? What about the new DC, how would he rebuild this unit?
So, in a strange way, given all the turnovers, poor special teams play, and new coaching personnel, 10-6 was a great record. And 10 wins usually gets you into the playoffs. Not this year. Did the Giants hold playoff destiny in their own hands? Yes. And they miserably gave the game to Philly three weeks ago. All things considered, the Giants are in better position going into 2011 than they were going into 2010.
For 2011, the Giants know where they stand. They can only get better on defense, bearing no key injuries. On offense, a few returning weapons (Hixon) and a focus on holding onto the god damn ball should dominate the 2011 training camp.
I'm mad the Giants are not in the playoffs because they statistically belong there. They have as good a defense as any in the NFL, and our offense can score points on one play, from anywhere on the field. That should hold us over to next year. Cause 2010 wasn't our year.
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