clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

A Defense Of Tom Coughlin -- From An Unlikely Source

Coach Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Coach Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Getty Images

If you guys have been here for a while you know that I have been a defender of New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin during the last two playoff-less seasons. I found a post this morning supporting my position on Coughlin from an unlikely source, so I figured I would bring it to your attention.

The source? SB Nation's New York Jets website, Gang Green Nation. Here is part of what GGN editor John B wrote on the subject of stability within franchises:

Monday's opponent, the New York Giants have suffered back to back end of season collapses to miss the Playoffs. Ownership has stuck by head coach, Tom Coughlin. It is fair to say Coughlin would not have kept his job under different owners than the Mara's and the Tisch's. Was this the right move?

My answer would be, "Yes!" Over the short term in the NFL, things vary a lot. Sometimes people have an uncharacteristic year or two. Remember how David Garrard threw 18 touchdowns and 3 interceptions in 2007 and how the Jaguars were a team on the rise?

On the other end, Coughlin has a great track record. He won a Super Bowl with the Giants. He has won two division titles in New York and a strong run of success in Jacksonville. He is an excellent coach. Two years does not change that. The Giants smartly saw that two bad runs to end seasons did not change that. This is what good franchises do.

Bill Cowher had 7-9 and 6-10 seasons in 1998 and 1999. A lot of people thought he was on the hot seat in Pittsburgh. The Steelers knew they had a good coach who just hit a rough patch and saw they were unlikely to find a better coach. Cowher won at least ten games in four of his seven subsequent seasons in Pittsburgh as well as a Super Bowl.

Exactly. Coughlin is a terrific football coach. Is he perfect? Hardly. Is he to blame for the past two seasons? Certainly, there may be things that could have been done differently, but I don't think so. He can't punt for Matt Dodge. He can't force Eli Manning not to throw left-handed, or do anything about an inexplicable fumble when Eli tries to slide. Does the Super Bowl championship the Giants won with Coughlin give him a lifetime pass? Of course not. The only coach operating on a lifetime pass these days seems to be Penn State's Joe Paterno, who might coach until a player runs over him on the sidelines and actually kills him.

GGN is also correct to write "Continuity for the sake of continuity does not work."

Some of football's best coaches have gone through runs of two and three seasons, sometimes more, without making the playoffs. Right now, he deserves to still be the coach of the Giants.

I am just surprised to see the SB Nation folks who write about that other New York football team take that stance