At the Giants Super Bowl ring ceremony yesterday, team owner John Mara told
local media that”We’re working on it. It will be done sooner rather than later”
in regards to a new deal for Tom Coughlin. At 65 and entering the final year of
his current deal, this is a move that was expected even before the improbable
run to the title last season.
The truth is that things aredifferentin New York. I look at teams with
coaches who underachieve constantly, yet get to keep their job and aren’t
lambasted by the media. In New York, it’s win or get out. It doesn’t matter what
sport, what team or what you’ve done in the past. It’s all about what you’ve
done lately. And two titles in four years makes Coughlin safe for awhile.
Eli Manning is already going to be given a pass for the rest of his career.
Joe Namath won one title and little else the rest of his career, yet he is still
treated as the king of New York today. But for a coach, what you’ve done lately
never rings more true than in the Big Apple.
After winning the title in 2007 and winning 12 games the following year,
things were quiet. But after an 8-8 season in 2009 and a late season collapse in
2010, the majority of the fan base wanted Coughlin to go. He’d “lost his fire”
after winning the Super Bowl, many were saying.
With the team sitting at 6-6 this season with just four games left to play,
the sentiment began to grow louder. But that’s when the team did what Coughlin
led teams seem to do; they coalesced around their coach and took their game to a
whole new level. Squeezing into the playoffs on the final game of the season
with a convincing victory over Dallas, they did what the past few Super Bowl
champs have done and entered the playoffs on a hot streak en route to another
improbable Super Bowl run.
If Coughlin had these results in any other city, he’d probably of been
offered a Don Shula type situation by now and allowed to stay as long as he
wanted. And deservedly so.
All conversations of the “great head coaches” in the modern NFL seem to start
and stop with Bill Belichick. But who comes after him? Even before last season,
I would have argued and stumped for Coughlin. He just finds a way to get his
team to rally around him and is, for lack of a better term, a leader of men.
He’s won 58% of his regular season games since becoming the Giants head coach in
2004 and has a sizzling .727 winning percentage in the postseason.
In short, Coughlin sticking around in New York for the foreseeable future
should have Giants fan extremely content. Even if the teamfinishes.500 next
season. Because you know they’ll be back with him leading the way.