The Mack Brown situation at the University of Texas, with the highly successful coach in the process of being run out of town by the Longhorns, makes me think about Tom Coughlin and the New York Giants.
There are similarities in the two situations.
Brown, 62, has been highly-successful in 16 seasons with the Longhorns. He coached the team to a national title in 2006. The Longhorns went 13-1 in 2009, losing to Alabama in the national championship game. Brown has gotten Texas to a bowl game in every season except one. He has a record of 158-47 as coach of the Longhorns.
Things, however, have not gone as smoothly in recent seasons. A 5-7 record in 2010, and record of 8-5, 9-4 and 8-5 the past three seasons. Now, the folks at Texas appear to be trying to run Brown out of town like a guy with a communicable disease. Mack's name is pretty much mud in Texas. Shoot, maybe even Dallas Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones has more supporters these days.
There is a nasty fight brewing in Texas, with Brown seemingly trying to keep his job, the Longhorns apparently ready to offer Nick Saban the world to take Brown's place and fans pretty much ready for Brown to go away and put both himself and Longhorns' football faithful out of their misery.
Maybe it is time for Brown to go. Maybe it isn't. Either way, it appears he is going.
From a Giants' perspective the whole story circles back to Coughlin and those similarities with Brown. The Giants have won two Super Bowls in 10 years under Coughlin's direction. Four times in the past five seasons (with one Super Bowl interlude) the Giants have not reached the playoffs. Two straight seasons have now ended in disappointment. There are, as you might expect, calls from some within the fan base to put the oldest coach in the league out to pasture. Many of them calling for his ouster are saying, umm, unflattering things about Coughlin.
Doesn't Coughlin deserve to be treated better than that? Brown, too? In Coughlin's case, I whole-heartedly believe the Giants don't win those two championships without his leadership. Don't forget that no one else has two Super Bowl titles since 2007.
I am on record as having said that Coughlin should stay as head coach next season. My opinion on that won't change, regardless of anything that happens over the course of the next three games.
While Coughlin is not perfect and probably deserves some criticism for sticking too long with some veteran players, my belief is this lost season is one that shouldn't be laid at his feet. This one is on general manager Jerry Reese for dealing Coughlin a bad hand. It's on two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning for too often playing like a chump instead of a champ.
The time will come for Coughlin to go, and while it almost certainly isn't after this season it isn't far down the road. In today's social media driven, instant gratification seeking, world maybe Coughlin -- despite the titles and the absolute class way he has represented the Giants -- doesn't get to choose how he goes out. Or when.
He deserves, however, some measure of respect. The standards the Giants aspire to, and haven't met the past two seasons, are there because that's where Coughlin set the bar. Remember that while you are wishing someone would toss him out with the MetLife Stadium trash.
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