"The next five games are important for everybody," Tisch said. "[The fate of] Jerry and Tom is not a discussion to have today, but I certainly don’t want to disappoint our fans as we get into the last month of Giants football."
Even more ominous for the Giants’ brain trust was Tisch’s response when pressed on whether another season without a playoff trip would be acceptable to Tisch and co-owner John Mara.
"I would not be happy with our season ending on Jan. 3," Tisch said.
Newsday also addressed the topic of Coughlin's job security:
Lurking beneath the surface are more questions about whether this might be the time when the Giants change direction if Coughlin can't reach the playoffs for a fourth straight season. Team president and co-owner John Mara has given no indication of any impending change, nor is he expected to until he knows just how his team will finish the season.
But if the losing continues, especially in a division that was there for the taking had the Giants beaten Washington, then Mara and the Giants' front-office brain trust certainly will consider whether it's time to move on.
Two critical Giants told Newsday they absolutely support their veteran coach.
One is Eli Manning:
"My loyalty to him is 100 percent," Eli Manning told Newsday. "I think he's been a great coach for this team and for me, and I have 100 percent respect for him."
Manning thinks Coughlin has been adept at dealing with myriad complications thrown his way this season.
"We've had guys go down and other things have happened, but we've stayed competitive in every game," he said. "We should have won more games, but not because of his coaching, because we have to make some plays. The plays have been there, but for whatever reason, they've fallen short. But that's on us, not the coach."
The other is Jason Pierre-Paul:
"As far as I'm concerned, coach Coughlin will never be on the hot seat," Pierre-Paul told Newsday. "He's a great coach. What he's accomplished here, I have the utmost respect for. If there's any coach I'll play for, it's him. Not just because I play for him, but he knows how to win.
"It's about the players," Pierre-Paul said. "The players have to give the effort and last week, the effort that we gave wasn't really good. We're a better team than that, and we just got to come out there Sunday [against the Jets] and show it."
Of course I have to weigh in here, although briefly and without going as deep into this as I will when it gets closer to the end of the season.
My belief is that Coughlin's status is much less certain that that of Reese. There have been personnel mistakes, but the Giants have done better in that area the past two seasons. The Giants haven't fired a GM since George Young took over that role in 1979. Remember that Reese came on board after Coughlin and that what we see as odd decisions sometimes could be the result of push-pull between two people who don't always agree. I can't discount what Tisch said, but the ultimate decision-maker is John Mara, not Tisch. My read on the situation is that Reese will get to hire a coach of his own choosing before the Giants make the drastic decision to reform the entire football operation.
Coughlin? Who knows? Arguing over what is and isn't his fault is an old saw. Everyone is pretty much dug in on their opinion, and in the fan base the next five games probably will change very few minds.
The next five games, though, have everything to do with whether Coughlin comes back for a 13th season. Coaches have shelf lives. Great coaches like Tom Landry, Chuck Noll and Don Shula all reached points where they were no longer as effective as they once had been. Has Coughlin reached that point? Again, many of you have already decided.
Thing is, while wins and losses go on a coach's record they aren't always his doing. What the Giants have always looked at in recent years with Coughlin is a) do the players play hard and b) can they find a better coach? The answers have always been yes to the first and no to the second.
The alarm bell was that last Sunday, in their biggest game in three seasons, the Giants -- bluntly -- did not play hard. If they play hard, if they show urgency, if they "extend themselves" or go "all in" we will know Coughlin can still reach these young men.
If he can't, then maybe it will be time for a change. Maybe Coughlin will even come to that conclusion himself.