Tonight the New York Giants will play a home game against the Dallas Cowboys "for all the marbles" as they say. The Giants have to win one game at home (they are 3-4 at home this year 4-4 at Giants stadium) to make the playoffs for the first time in three years.
That song and dance is well now, what is interesting to me is how few people believe that Tom Coughlin should lose his job if he loses, and how many people would like to see a shuffling of assistant coaches. To which I say: why?
I know this is not a popular opinion, but to me Perry Fewell and Gilbride should stay if Tom Coughlin stays. I'm not saying that there haven't been problems with both coordinatros, (even though Kevin Gilbride and Eli Manning's offfenses have been one of the most potent offenses consistently since 2008)
My question is: why is Coughlin getting so much leeway, but the fault is always on the coordinators? These are Coughlin's coordinators. Coughlin OK's these game plans. Coughlin is in charge. It is coughlin's responsibility. And despite what people think this Perry Fewell defense is a BIG PLAY DEFENSE.
What are the reasons for keeping Tom Coughlin if the Giants lose tonight (let's hope it doesn't come to that) that wouldn't apply directly to Perry Fewell?
I recognize that Tom Coughin is a good football coach, but he has been with this team since 2004 and in that time the Giants have won playoff games in ONE season. They have also struggled at the end of the season every season, They have recently struggled at home as well. They have came out flat in too many big games. Even if Coughlin gets a pass in 2008 for the the Plaxico Buress saga, what is his defense in 2009? Bill Sheridan lost his job because the defense had absolutely no depth in their secondary which turned them into one of the worst defenses in the league. Last year it was the offensive turnovers and bad luck (they did win 10 games afterall) that cost them the playoffs.
But it's all of the flat perfomances that get to me. In 2009 the Giants had a huge game they needed out in Denver on Thanksgiving night, which they came out and lost 6-26 in one of the worst performances I've seen in my life. This was not a good Broncos team. How did they bounce back? Ok. Until the last two weeks of the season where they had huge games against the Panthers and Vikings in which they lost a combined 16-88. Ridiculous
2010 was a different story. The defense was pretty damn good when healthy (seriously they caused nearly 3 turnovers a game. That same Perry Fewell defense we all hate this year was a turnover machine last year...but I digress). They have two games they have to win to get into the playoffs. A game against the Eagles which resulted in the most difficult loss. Then they didn't show up against the Packers.
Yet Coughlin has afford another opportunity based on his past and reputation.
Why are these losses Perry Fewell's fault?
Last year with a healthy defense Fewell turned this team into turnover machines. This year the team has 12 forced fumbles (average) 10 recovered (10th best in league), 42 sacks fifth in league, and 19 interceptions tied fifth most in the league.
This defense is severely undermanned. They have a one armed, Tuck, Osi has been gone half the season. They have no cornerbacks, rookie linebackers all over the field and they still make a lot more plays than we give them credit for.
The responsibility of the team to come up and play tough every game is on the head coach not Perry Fewell. Why is Coughlin getting all the leniency?
If Coughlin stays and Fewell goes that's ANOTHER season of a defense trying to adjust to a new defensive system. Another year of making sure we get the players we need to fit the system, another year of miscommunications and mis understandings.
None of the Giants coaches are perfect, but they should remain in this together.
I'm not saying Coughlin should go I'm saying if he doesn't get fired neither should Perry Fewell. Just get the cornerbacks healthy, Tuck and Osi healthy and let's see if he can continue to have this defefnse be one of the Best defenses in the league and creating negative plays for the oppositions offefnse.