In the past I've maintained that Tom Coughlin is a team manager, who relies heavily on his coordinators for the game time strategies and adjustments.
And I still maintain that.
Tom Coughlin isn't an Xs and Os guy. He's not the type of coach that is going to call a timely overload blitz or switch up from a vertical game to a west-coast style offense in mid-series to out fox an opposing defense.
However, Tom Coughlin's particular genius, which is far less sexy but ultimately as important (if not more so), is managing all of the personalities and dramas of the team during the course of the year. Think of what we've dealt with this year:
1) Lack of off-season and training camp.
2) Jerry Reese and the lack of free agent acquisitions including our own losses of stalwarts such as Boss, Smith, Seubert and O'Hara. Compounded by his lack of quality in a notorious and ongoing soft spot of our defense (LB).
3) A tremendous amount of early season ending injuries (Goff, TT, Witherspoon, Coe, Tyron, Austin, Hixon, Sintim, Beatty) and ongoing injuries to our star players including our first round draft pick missing the first half of the season, Bradshaw, Osi, Tuck and Nicks.
4) Osi's contract issues and pseudo hold out (fake injury) and then pre-emptive surgery at the start of the season to keep him out more games.
5) Brandon Jacobs typical attitude and grumbling compounded by lack of production.
6) Antrell Rolle and his media presence.
7) Typical Giants second half collapse and the media circus that produces.
8) Media (and fans) expecting coaching changes after losing the second Redskins game.
That's not a small amount of pressure on a head coach. While some of it had to be endured by all coaches (lack of off-season and injuries) very few have dealt with this combination as successfully this year, given all of the ups and downs the Giants have endured during 2011 season. Fewer have dealt as well as TC has with the negative locker room issues as well:
Being a team manager isn't as sexy as being recognized as the offensive guru or progenitor of a stallwart defense but I will say, in Tom Coughlin's case, it's his particular brand of genius to ensure that no matter what calamity is befalling the planet, the NY Giants come ready to play.