How worried are you about the relationship between Plaxico Burress and Tom Coughlin after Sunday's unpleasant sideline exchange between the two?
Ian O'Connor of The Record was critical of Coughlin's handling of the situation.
Hours after (John) Mara witnessed the heated exchange between Coughlin and Burress, the team president was asked if he thought the fractured relationship between coach and receiver posed a clear and present danger to the season.
"I watched Plaxico as he left the field, and obviously I didn’t like the way it looked," Mara said by phone. "But Plaxico is a very emotional player, and heat-of-the-moment things happen all the time in the NFL.
"Tom has control of the team and I trust that he can handle this."
Truth is, Coughlin didn’t handle this one at all. The points he earned a couple of weeks back for hitting Burress with a one-game suspension? He gave them all back in his 29-17 victory over the 49ers by going as light on Burress as Jerry Jones went on Pacman Jones.
William C. Rhoden of the New York Times wonders if Burress' seeming discontent will eventually tear down the empire the Giants seem to have built.
For a team and a coach, the standards of success in the N.F.L. are Green Bay under Vince Lombardi, Dallas under Tom Landry, Pittsburgh under Chuck Noll and, most recently, New England under Bill Belichick.
Outside of that group, coaches and teams merge into a clutter of names and faces.
Will the Giants’ victory in the Super Bowl in February mark the start of an era? Will the Giants be regarded as highly as the Patriots have been in recent years? Will Coughlin be placed in the same category as Belichick, the football mind of his time?
Or will the Giants be content to be among a multitude of teams that put it together for a season and won a title?
The Plaxico interlude on Sunday is a small piece of this larger puzzle.
I don't know where the Burress situation is headed, at least short-term. He did catch a touchdown pass after the blowup.
I will say I believe strongly there is no way Burress finishes the five-year contract he recently signed in a Giants' uniform. I just hope that, when the time comes to move him, General Manager Jerry Reese doesn't wait until it's too late.