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Warts and all, Coughlin deserves to stick around

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My last post opened a spirited debate on Tom Coughlin, which surprised me just a bit.

We all know Coughlin isn't perfect. It took Coughlin a long time, too long, to bend and reach out to his players. He makes mistakes occasionally managing games -- but all coaches do. He hung on to coordinators John Hufnagel and Tim Lewis too long.

But, you have to give TC some credit. He has changed, though he's still capable of some goofy-looking sideline histrionics. Belatedly or not, he rectified the Hufnagel and Lewis mistakes. He has fought successfully to regain the trust of a team we all thought he had hopelessly lost.

Like their coach, the Giants are not a perfect team. Yet, somehow, they are 9-4. Who knows, a few bounces here and there and maybe they are 4-9. But they are what they are, and they have a shot at the most successful season the Giants have had in several years.

Discussing the meaning of Sunday's victory over the Eagles for the team and its coach, Steve Serby of the New York Post had this to say.

It means only the equivalent of The Fumble, an unimaginably cruel twist of fate, can keep these 9-4 Giants out of the playoffs.

It means Tom Must Stay, one year after Tom Must Go.

It means a team and a lame-duck coach left for dead are very much alive.

It will soon mean three straight seasons in the playoffs, which may not be good enough for the Yankees, but ought to be plenty good enough for the Giants, whether Coughlin fails to win his first playoff game in New York in three tries or not.

I know there are coaches out there with bigger resumes. I know when the season began we figured the Giants would be looking for one of them at season's end. I know it's tempting to try to snatch one of those big names, regardless of how this season plays out.

I just think that would be a mistake. Coughlin and his team have gone too far down the road together. They have begun to resemble each other. Let's see where this road leads.