A Reign of Glory Ebbs Away for Tom Coughlin and the Giants

After 12 seasons, Coughlin may coach his final game Sunday for the Giants, but his substantial legacy is assured.

Comments: 71

  1. "Doughty"?

    If you want to say he is brave and/or persistent, please just use normal words like "brave" and/or "persistent."

    Thank you.

  2. First - it would be a mistake to fire him - especially if there is no specific high level replacement available and interested. Second the talent level on the team needs to be upgraded - especially defense. The Giants have no pass rush and have missed the services of 3 (Beason - Cruz) of their top 6 players for most of the season - JPP's return not withstanding. If he wants to come back, I have no problem with that.

  3. Coughlin may be the worst coach for the Giants next year--until you consider the alternatives.

    He just hasn't had the players this year. The team hasn't collapsed in the last minute of games as advertised: they simply never had the players on defense able to stop a team determined to score. Give him a healthy offensive line, a bit of a pass rush, and maybe a real linebacker or two, he'll be fine.

    Supposing that he wants to, of course. Maybe he'll take a promotion out of the coaching role, which certainly should be offered.

  4. With a few notable exceptions, Coughlin hasn't 'had the players' in ANY year if by that phrase you mean high-dollar, big name players. The Giants have been a team largely devoid of superstars (and super egos), and that is FINE by this fan. The Beckhams of the game - spoiled prima donnas who think that team is spelled "tiim" - have no place in a "TEAM" of real journeymen. Coughlin's biggest problem this year? Injuries that prevented him from using the team to best advantage and allowing him to sit the "tiim" on the sideline!

  5. Sorry Hal and all the other apologists for Coughlan bemoaning the lack of talent. The team won, as of today 6 games, had the lead in 5 games with less than 2 minutes to play yet lost all 5. Didn't get blown out of any games until last Sunday against the Vikings, was down 35-7 to the undefeated Panthers, managed to tie the game while not allowing Carolina to score ANY more points including a Field Goal, and somehow this team has a talent deficit.

    I would suggest this all points to poor or ineffective coaching especially late in games. Maybe the wrong personnel on the field at the wrong time, not correctly anticipating likely play calling by the opponent. Odell Beckham gets 3 personal fouls in the Panther game and Coughlan didn't know it, please enough alibi's already. The man has had an impressive career, But it's sundown.

  6. It’s time to go. Hopefully Coughlin will retire and leave with dignity, instead of unceremoniously being shown the door.

  7. Coughlin has been saddled with a thin roster, bad draft choices, and questionable personnel decisions. I respect the job he did in spite of these challenges and although I'm ready for a change in the head coach position, I think the GM position should also seriously be looked at by Giants ownership...

  8. Well, I don't think anybody will really miss his crustiness but a lot of people will miss the fact that he was a winner and except for some sloppy plays this season he also could have gone out on a winning note.

  9. What you don't say is that he did not have the best players and many good ones got injured. While the Giants are 50 million under the cap. A severe indictment of Jerry Reese who is smooth but rests on the laurel of Ernie Accorsi. Give the guy some players. Look how long they gave the Bengals coach who has yet to win a playoff game. While Coughlin won two Super Bowls. Manning did fabulous with an offensive line which did not get him enough time.

    Here we go again with musical chairs on coaches. None of them should talk to the media. Just for punishment. Give the guy more players. Especially an offensive line. We have had a great coach for 14 years. Now comes a coach every two years. Misery is coming.

  10. Coughlin has taken a lot of heat lately, which he deserves, BUT he also deserves to walk away with honor and pride. Two fantastic Super Bowl wins against Patriots teams that, frankly, were better than the Giants. Thanks for the memories, coach. "Heroes get remembered, but legends never die."

  11. Hey change happens.......
    Will his coaching get better at 70 years old?
    Will his clock management get better?
    Will he coach mediocre talent to a better level?
    I do believe Spags and Mcadoo can do the job better than TC.
    His handling of Beckham going all Norman Bates, stinking of desperation to win at all costs, was a disgrace. He never hesitated to bench Jacobs or Shockey when they got jiggy.
    He sat the young man Moore down when he roughed the quarterback and hurt his team.
    But O'Dell commits three personal fouls and he plays on?
    Ta-Ta Tom.
    It's time to spend more time with your family......

  12. I've mixed feelings about the decision. But there is a scenario that really concerns Giant fans. What if Coughlin does not want to stop coaching? And what NFl team looking for a new coach would not consider him? Most alarmingly, what if the Philadelphia Eagles are calling him hours after he's gone from the Giants? Unimaginable but one factor in their decision.

  13. Please, everyone who is calling for Coach Coughlin's head, review the last five years worth of draft choices and free agent acquisitions and then tell me you still think the last three years are his fault.

  14. I remember being in the concierge room at the Newton, Mass. Marriott hotel back in the late 90's or early 2000's and in walks Tom Coughlin and a bunch of coaches to have a beer and a snack. I knew Coughlin was the coach of Jacksonville at the time and recognized him. Just sitting a few tables over as a fly on the wall, I watched as the other coaches tried to make small talk. Coughlin did not say a word. Drank his beer and looked to be wound as tight as a golf ball. The man looked so tense it was sad. He obviously was a good coach but looking back at that one encounter you wonder why he wants the stress at 69.

  15. A fan of Tom Coughlin since his days at BC. Broken my heart twice as a Pat's fan. Old school - fiery, tough but a teacher on and off the field. Have spoken to numerous guys who've played for him and its almost unanimous praise.

  16. I have the greatest respect for Tom Coughlin, coach of the NY Giants. While some may criticize late game decisions this year, just as they complained about Coach Coughlin's early years, he has led the Giants to stellar successes while amassing a coaching record that puts him in the pantheon of the greatest NFL coaches in the game.

    This season has not been the Giants most successful, but with respect to Mr. Coughlin, I'll merely quote another athletic leader with the reminder that it matters not if you win or lose, but how you play the game. I hope to see Coach Coughlin on the Giants' sidelines for 2016-17.

  17. I would add that I concur 100% with those who think that Giants' owners need to take a hard look at the GM position. I'll go further and say that if finger-pointing for the Giants' lack of success is occurring upstairs, then starting by pointing at the GM would be far more appropriate than pointing at Coughlin. He is, after all, working with the players the Giants acquired through the draft and free agency -- and frankly, those choices have left some wondering (if not gnashing their teeth in frustration).

  18. He was a good coach, but never a great coach. If not for Manning he would have been let go a long go along time ago. As his stars ebb so must he. Others may have squandered the riches he was given, give him the credit he is due for not

  19. Time to move on

  20. There is no doubt that Tom Coughlin will have a great legacy as a coach. But this season in particular we have seen mental mistakes by him, Eli and a host of other players that indicate that Coughlin and the players are not on the same page and that the players are not fully prepared to play 60 minutes of quality football. In the final few minutes of any game there was an inevitable sense that no lead was safe and it proved itself valid on far too many occasions.

    Admittedly, we don't have the onfield leadership and personnel we once had, but we are still talking about professional athletes who should have the motivation to rise to the occasion when needed. That motivation is supposed to come from the top and the clear absence of it is why Coughln needs to sail off into the sunset. The sooner he does the more solid his legacy will remain.

  21. A legacy built on two lucky catches and an exit cemented by a QB who throws three interceptions in a game yet has a huge contract with a no-trade clause.

  22. "Two lucky catches.." Those Super Bowls still count; the Giants get to keep those trophies.... They don't take them away. Better legacy than most other NFL teams; I'll take it.

  23. What's luck and what's a great clutch play? I guess we differ on that. I would say they were lucky to get hot at the right time TWICE and that it makes everyone look better than they probably were.

  24. Doesn't matter. Being able to flash a Super Bowl ring or two does.
    Sounds like you've eaten some sour grapes.

  25. No doubt he will be a HOF inductee, and deservedly so, but the culture needs to change. I would like Coughlin to retire, not be fired, but I would like Reese to be fired, not retire.

  26. Branch Rickey is famous for saying that:

    "Trade a player a year too early rather than a year too late."

    Mr. Mara must now realize that he broke that rule and maybe even by 2 years.

    I wish TC all the best for the future but it is time for him to be replaced.
    Giants also need to give thought to the job that Jerry Reese has done and perhaps he needs to also go.

    The Giants have looked very stale the last 2 seasons.

  27. Coughlin achieved two Superbowls under his watch, but it has stopped working a while ago. Frankly, was surprised he even got to coach this season. The hard part for many players and coaches is facing the end of their careers.

    Considering some in the NFL don't ever get to compete in a Syperbowl, it's very hard to feel sorry for Tom Coughlin.

  28. Coughlin's HOF credentials are not very strong at all. He is not even close to the level of Landry, Shula, or Parcells!

    If Parcells is like Mickey Mantle, Coughlin is like Roger Maris -- two remarkable seasons, but a mediocre/slightly-above-average rest-of-career.

    Coughlin's Super Bowl teams are two of the weakest / luckiest ever to win. And he had far too many non-playoff seasons. He has as many .500-or-under seasons as over-.500 seasons. And many of his "winning" seasons were 9-7. Lifetime .531. win pct.

    Keep the HOF for those who are truly special. Otherwise it gets watered down.

  29. He doesn't look like he is having a great time. He should retire and enjoy what is left of his life. I wish him the best.

  30. Two Super Bowl wins. Tom Coughlin is a great coach.

  31. The GM needs to go and his replacement needs to decide who coaches.

  32. How can you write an article about getting rid of Coughlin and not talk about how lousy of job Reese and the front officehas done. The talent acquired as well as draft picks have been nothing short of awful. When you think about the defensive player they are looking to step up to carry the D is missing a hand, you know you lack any sort of depth, which has showed through.

  33. Awesome coach. If the Giants fire him, then bring him to Tennessee to coach the Titans.

  34. Thanks Coach.

  35. Bad luck in JPP, Cruz, and David Wilson have played a role in both Coughlin and Reese's failures.

  36. Firing Coughlin is the wrong place to start. Not that he doesn't deserve firing, he does, but not before the incompetent front office that drafted a roster of low talent players.
    Coughlin mismanaged seasons and games regularly. His body of work is spotty at best and you can't ignore the failings and focus on the few successes.
    Reese and company have had nothing but failings. The front office needs a complete revamping. Coughlin can wait. He isn't that important.

  37. Considering the rotten drafts that GM Jerry Reese has saddled the team with, who in their right mind would trust his decisions to both fire Coughlin and hire Coughlin's replacement?

  38. Come on, he needs a better team - this guy won 2 Super Bowls, for God's sake! He can win again provided he gets better players. Even this year with a bit of luck he could have 2 or 3 more wins and would have won the division. Some questionable decisions by an experienced QB - take the touchdown when you can get it Eli, don't think you can score at any time - try talking to Seattle about how hard it can be to score a touchdown. And if the LB had held on to the pick thrown by Brady, this team would have beaten the Pats! Again! Brady would have nightmares about this team and would have stayed up nights praying they don't make the playoffs

  39. Hire Jon Gruden!

  40. Since 2013, 20 NFL head coaches have been replaced. Total Super Bowl appearances by these head coaches - Zero !!

    There are just 2 head coaches with multiple Super Bowl wins.
    Belichick 4, and Coughin 2 !!

    There are just 2 head coaches with 2 Super Bowl appearances.
    Carroll and Tomlin.

    And there are just 3 head coaches with only one Super Bowl appearance. McCarthy, Payton and Harbaugh.

    If management can provide a team that -

    has depth,
    doesn't injure itself in the off-season,
    protects Eli Manning,
    pressures an opponent's quarterback,

    - then Tom Couglin will be much more likely to deliver a playoff-worthy performance from this team, better than any of the other head coaches who might be "available for hire" after this season is over.

  41. There is no doubt in my mind he should be back. The undeniable fact here is that this team, especially the defense, is severely lacking in talent. That is not TC's fault. Sure there were early screw ups that cost us a couple games but a good team overcomes them. Eli is 35. Are you really going to start a new era right now? With just a bit of talent on D, this team could easily be the best in the Div and with a healthy Cruz (longshot I know) it could be one of the best.

  42. Tom Coughlin is a great coach. He (like Parcells) was never a good in-game strategist. His strengths are his leadership, ability to motivate and to command respect. Those are valuable commodities in modern day sports.

    He (and his staff) have done a particularly good job this year of remaining competitive given an underwhelming talent base - especially with the well above average injuries the team has endured. Their late game decisions have been poor but so has the execution of those decisions.

    If it were my choice I would leave him as coach (assuming he wants to stay) and to bring in a game strategist coach to make sure he does not make the kind of mistakes that likely cost him the Sept Dallas game and the Jet game - to name just two. He has already given up the reins to the offense and defense already so he should be willing to do this. If he leaves, it is likely that next year's edition will do worse than 2015 - even with Beckham who is one of the rare talents to come along every generation. I would be more likely to set Reese go as (other than Beckham) he not shown the ability to put a competitive roster together for awhile now.

    I have been most impressed with his willingness to adapt over the years here as most old dogs are not willing to try new tricks. He can be in my foxhole during a firefight any time; the Giants will be worse off without him. Letting McAdoo go now (as part of a regime change) would be a disaster.

  43. From an outsider with no dog in the hunt, I've always liked him, think he is a class guy, and thought two super bowl rings earned him some good will from management. But I also know the NFL is about what have you done for me lately.

  44. It is probably time for TC to ride off into the sunset with his head held high; most fans would sign up for two super bowl victories every 14 years. Even Don Shula and Tom Landry had to retire. But as a Giants fan, I have to wonder, Where has the succession planning been? The team has been languishing for several years but I don't see a Plan B at the ready. I fear the next few years.

  45. I'm sorry I just doubt see him as a "great". He had 3, maybe 4 good seasons and frankly I think he got lucky with his Super Bowl wins. I know you say you cant get lucky twice but I think he did. He is so-so. Definitely no Parcels or Landry.

  46. In a season in which the Giants consistently snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory, it is understandable that Coach Coughlin would find, on occasion, his coaching instincts deserting him. However, for me, he pulled off a hidden miracle. If every game the Giants played ended at 58 minutes, Big Blue's record would be 11 wins, 3 defeats and one tie. And this for a team that had no running game, no defense, a decimated offensive line and innumerable injuries. However, between the draft, free agency and the salary cap money the Giants have along with the return of Victor Cruz, Jon Beason and other starters, the Giants can field a team with a decent defense and a potent offense led by Eli Manning that can better this years high ranking offense. In short, I hope Mr. Tisch and Mr. Mara come to the conclusion I have come to which is as long as Eli, the on-field leader is the Giant's Quarterback, Coach Coughlin should remain the coach. It isn't often you have a Hall of Fame coach whose statistics can match every other coach except one, the coach he has beaten in the Super Bowl.

  47. While Tom was winning Two Súper Bowls with Eli, everything was okay. But then, the front office provides him with little in the way of RB's, and he takes the brunt. He may not get that extra one year at the helm, but If the Mora's are serious about rebuilding the team, give TC what he needs, and by 2018, they will be in the Super Bowl again.

  48. If he is pushed out - and still wants to coach - don't be surprised if he quickly finds another position. Remember if knucklehead had not shot himself - its likely there would have been a third super bowl - as the Giants beat that years winner in Pittsburgh.

  49. Prior to last week, if the game ended at the 2 minute warning, the Giants would be 10-4.

    There is no excuse for that with a veteran coach and veteran QB.

  50. Never a Giants fan but geez go ahead and look a gift horse in the mouth.

    Two Superbowls. But that isn't enough, is it?

    What exactly do you guys expect from an NFL coach? Would 12 consecutive SB victories satisfy you?

  51. In reality the Giants have not been all that successful. Yes, they may have won two Super Bowls but their seasons were lackluster each time and they had the benefit of divisional teams that were just as lackluster. It seems to me that luck had more to do with it than any great coaching. The last seasons have proved that. Luck just ran out for the Giants.

  52. His greatest accomplishments will always be remembered for the lucky catches that secured the victories. The fact is, you never knew what you'd get from a Coughlin team (as the past few seasons show). Hardly a ringing endorsement of his greatness.

  53. It's pretty amazing to me that there isn't much talk about benching or trading Eli Manning. He's been really erratic the last few years.

  54. Cough lin embodies everything good about sports competition. He has unquestionable integrity, respect for the game, an energy and work ethic unsurpassed in the business. Unfortunately the bottom line is wins and losses and what have you done for us lately. Given that ugly truth, the Giants must part company with a man who gave the organization everything he had. Unless his successor is given the talent to win, we will see more losing seasons.

  55. The Giants' season would be radically different had Victor Cruz been healthy. They had no one to pass to except Beckham so the opposing defense could double Beckham and concentrate on the run without worrying about any other receivers getting open. In spite of that 5 games were in the win column until the final minute. There's nothing wrong with Coughlin that Cruz wouldn't have fixed. Blame Reese for not getting Coughlin a replacement for Cruz or a running back. And what about the injuries to the defense? It's not Coighlin who has to go...it's the administration that has to bring in healthy players.

  56. ironpants shoulda bowed out after the 2011 super bowl
    he's tarnished his legacy ever since then

  57. There were too many narrow losses this season which could have gone either way. I'd like to see him back for one more season - he's earned it.

  58. its time for coughlin to go but even more so for reese to go. the culture needs to change, there needs to be more fight, more accountability. but the players need to change to. they need a significant upgrade almost across the board; dl, lb, cb, safety, wr, te, rb. they have several good players; eli, 4/5ths of the ol, hankins, odb, drc but that's about it. kennard and prince are injured to much. jpp is not the player he once was, maybe collins but too soon to tell. it was difficult for coughlin to get much out of this group but to many lapses by him. it will be bad if coughlin goes but reese stays because i see reese as more to blame than coughlin. mara needs to have some intestinal fortitude and make the right decision finally. he is a couple years to late.

  59. All i hear are people saying "Don't fire him, he won 2 Super Bowls!" but I don't hear anyone saying "His best coaching years are still ahead of him"

    And that is why he must go.

  60. Ah yes, just think how wonderful it would be to have Chip Kelly. Ask anyone in PHL.

  61. Time to go. Period.

  62. The fashion of the NFL is to fire the coach when things aren't going well. It's easier than firing the players. But if one looks back at the pre season prognostications most analysts picked the Giants to finish behind Philly and Dallas maybe not make the playoffs, even as a wild card.

    The problem then, as now is that the Giants roster is not very strong. On offense they basically have a strong QB and a talented but egotistical wide receiver. But the O line is average at best, even when everyone is healthy and they have no running game.

    Defense is where the greatest weaknesses lie. It's not that the Giants are bad, it's that they are at best average. Add to that a secondary beset by injuries and its unreasonable to expect that they would be better than a .500 team. How many pro bowel pics are on the Giants roster?

    Each year the division winners and the wild card go on to the playoffs. Everyone else goes home. I could see the Giants focusing on the coach if like Philly they were expected to be much better and fell short. But the Giants are finishing the season about where most analysts thought they would be. So why not get Coughlin some better players and see if he can get them to perform as expected. Otherwise a new coach will find himself with a team that's neither rebuilding nor making that big player move to push them to the next level.

  63. The Coughlin/ Manning marriage has run its course. Coughlin was very good for the NY Giants as far as its brand. He upheld the classy image of the Giants franchise. Did a lot for the city and for charities.

    I feel strongly, though, that Tom Coughlin was VERY fortunate to have been paired with a future HOF QB who was intelligent enough and talented enough to execute his offense. Two years out of that system and Eli Mannig is putting up the best numbers of his career. It's been eye opening.

    However, if Coughlin goes, Jerry Reese should go as well. Odell Beckham Jr shouldn't save him. As Carl Banks said, this team is "a group of independent contractors". Oft injured free agents (Beason, Schwartz) and star struck nobodies (Donnell, Tye). They hit lightening in a bottle with Victor Cruz and thought they could continue bargain shopping for Eli. Wrong. Under Coughlin and Reese, the teams are now untalented and uptight, striving for perfection when they're really just trying to show they belong. It's not the GREEN ZONE. It's the RED ZONE. Get the right players in the right plays. Watch how Shane Vareen was used in New England and then watch how he was used here.

    John Mara must maximize these final Eli Manning years. The odds of finding another QB like this should not be taken lightly and they have been taking it lightly since SB 46. You have the best QB and best receiver in the division, and your 6-10, 7-9? Not good.

  64. For those concerned about who would replace Coughlin, in my view, the Giants ownership would be one of the more desirable groups to work for in the NFL. Especially given who some of the other owners are around the league. There are a lot of cartoon characters out there. I don't know why a top flight coach and GM wouldn't want to have the opportunity to excel on behalf of this organization.

    The Giants need to remember that and hire accordingly without being hasty or selling themselves short.

  65. In some ways, this season was one of Coughlin's best, taking a depleted, largely second-rate squad and through sheer magic, making it appear competitive with powerhouse teams like New England and Carolina. Ironically, when the smoke and mirrors failed in crunch time--as they had to--it was Coughlin who looked bad. And that was part of the magic, too: keep the team from losing confidence. Remove Coughlin, and you'll see what a mice-and-pumpkin team the Giants really are. I'd suggest, Coughlin earned a raise and some good players. Folks who think another coach could have done better are delusional.

  66. Tom has been a wonderful coach and steady leader. Give the lack of talent on his rosters, he has bee amazing/outside of bumbling time management and late game strategy. The lack of premiere talent, outside of a few home runs such as Beckham, is sad. NFL network reported the Giants have the least productive draft over the last five years. Not Tom's department, but it is someone's/most likely Reese's. A new GM and fresh talent would let Tom retire in style. Who on earth would be a better replacement?

  67. This is a personnel problem, not a coaching problem. All three of our main coaches--Coughlin, McAdoo, and Spags--are first-rate. Please make no changes there, Mr. Mara. Jerry Reese is another story. Somebody has to answer for the fact that the Defense has dwindled down to just two decent players out of eleven (DRC and Prince).

  68. The guy the Giants should never have let go is sitting in Charlotte. They erred big time in not naming Dave Gettleman GM. Yes, it's time for Coach Coughlin to retire, but it's also time to reassess the front office from top to bottom.

  69. How many titles has Gettleman won as GM?

  70. Coach Coughlin deserves to retire with the dignity he has earned by bleeding Giant Blue for so many years. The recent performance of the team has been abysmal, but I do not feel that Coach should continue to suffer for the ineptitude of the team. He does not drop the passes, throw the interceptions, fumble the ball or miss the tackles. Coach deserves to leave on a high note. I remember as a child serenading Ali Sherman with 'Good bye Ali' at the Yale Bowl. He deserved it. Coach Coughlin deserves to ride into the sunset on his terms and enjoy his grandkids full time. It may not be in the teams best interest, but he deserves better. I lieu of getting a better team, I think its time to collect your accolades Coach and call it a career.

  71. Some thoughts from a Pats fan.

    Tom coached the greatest upset in the history of pro football. Can you imagine a Patriots team that went 19-0?

    "We did time trials - 19 seconds, 20 seconds. I thought he was nuts." Nuts, scruts. Genius is in the details. Football is a game of milli-seconds. A coach who isn't timing pass rush routes, field goal durations, QB drop back times, and on and on will quickly earn a new title - insurance agent.

    One of his OL said "some day I can tell my kids that I played for a HOF coach. Who are they going to get to replace him?"

    No matter what happens on Monday, Coach Coughlin has earned a standing ovation. Show your class, New York. Make it long and thunderous.