So, this is what it is like to follow most of the other teams around the NFL. The New York Giants, admired around the league for their stability, have named a new offensive coordinator, fired two long-time quality position coaches and may be re-assigning a third -- all moves that have come in less than 24 hours.
This very un-Giants like day is probably the most eventful ever in the Tom Coughlin era with the Giants -- rivaled only by a pair of Super Bowl Sundays and maybe the day back in 2008 when Plaxico Burress put a bullet in his own leg.
I mentioned the unusual craziness this morning to Joel Thorman of SB Nation's Arrowhead Pride. His response, via instant message?
you're learning that this is what most teams go through. Whereas the Giants usually do nothingWelcome to our world, Ed!!! haha this is what instability feels like!
So true. This has been a day like no other for Coughlin's Giants and definitely like no other since Big Blue View was born in 2007.
At the end of the 2013 season co-owner John Mara was obviously unhappy.
"We’ll do whatever we have to do to improve this team and put a team on the field next year that our fans can be proud of," Mara said at the time.
The purge of the veteran core of the offensive coaching staff, and the handing of the reigns to a first-time play-caller, show that Mara was not just giving lip service to the idea of making changes.
More importantly than any of that, this is turning out to be a pivotal moment in the future of the Giants -- especially the near-term future. Define 'near-term future' as the rest of Tom Coughlin's tenure as head coach, the rest of Eli Manning's tenure as quarterback, or both if you want.
This might work, or it might not. There are no guarantees.
If it works, Coughlin and Manning could bring yet another championship to New York and go down as unquestionably the best coach-quarterback combination the Giants have ever seen (sorry, Parcells-Simms fans). At the very least, if it works the Giants will be back in the playoffs, a legitimate contender.
If it doesn't work, things could get ugly. Coughlin has those two Super Bowl titles and no one wants to see the classy, veteran coach pushed out the door. It would be much nicer for everyone if Coughlin gets to walk out and close the door behind him when he's darn good and ready. If the changes on offense are a disaster and another season goes up in flames, it's unlikely Coughlin gets that chance. Good will only gets you so far. You want to stick around? You better keep winning.
As for Manning, after the Giants won their second Super Bowl title with him at quarterback there was plenty of Hall of Fame talk, plenty of chatter about the possibility of more titles with him at the helm. After playing poorly for two seasons now, the question is simply whether or not Manning is still a championship-caliber quarterback.
If 2014 turns into a disaster and Eli's performance once again is more Mark Sanchez than Peyton Manning then the Giants will be staring at the 'what do we do at quarterback' question. No one really wants to face that, and a short time ago it seemed absurd that the Giants might face that question at this point in Manning's career. Here we are, however.
The Giants have jumped into the great unknown with both feet. What happens when they land? Nobody knows for sure, but it should be quite the ride while we find out.