Regardless of whether the Giants win or lose on Sunday, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin must be fired.
In my opinion, after the Giants quit at the end of an abysmal 2009 campaign, John Mara, Giants co-owner who is in charge of football operations, should have disposed of Coughlin. Instead, he retained Coughlin. Needless to say, because of Mara’s lapse in judgment, we have another repeat of last season. As a matter of fact, the last three years, Coughlin’s Giants have fallen apart. Collapse. Major Breakdown. Whatever you want to call it. The team’s performance, without question, is unacceptable. And what is Mara going to say this year. Remember, after last season, Mara’s tirade was palpable. He was extremely unhappy with his team’s play.
“Probably as disappointed as I’ve ever been in my life at this team, given the expectations we had this year, given the roster I thought we had, given the way we started out and given the embarrassment of the last two weeks.”
Because the Giants have sputtered the last three seasons, it is time. Tom Coughlin has to be held accountable for his team’s demise.
Despite his promises of bringing in top notch coaches, Coughlin’s selections for coordinators, except for Spagnuolo, have been disasters. Hufnagel, Lewis, Gilbride, Sheridan, and Fewell have not gotten the job done. Recently, Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas questioned the coaching staff’s game plan. Unfortunately, under Coughlin’s leadership, this is not the first time a Giants player has expressed their frustration about the coaching staff. This is an alarming trend which Mara should take notice. Because when Bill Parcells was head coach, Parcells assembled an outstanding coaching staff. To name a few: Belichick, Groh, Erhardt, and Crennel. Although, at times, some of Parcells players might have doubted a game plan. Let us take for example, Belichick’s defensive game plan for Super Bowl XXV. According to the book, The Education of a Coach written by David Halberstam, there is a passage about Giants defensive players scoffing at the notion of letting Thurman Thomas gain over 100 yards. Belichick’s defense prided itself on stopping the run. And now, their coach is instructing them to let him gain over 100 yards! The game plan raised doubt; however, the players believed in their coach. Then, they executed his plan to perfection. Sadly, this cannot be said for Coughlin’s coordinators, except for Spags. Thus, if Coughlin stays on as head coach, is yet another assistant coach (ie special teams coach Tom Quinn) going to take the fall?
In addition to having mediocre coordinators (none of which are head coaching material), Mara has spent millions to upgrade his team. After the 2008 collapse, we were told by GM Jerry Reese the root cause for the Giants breakdown down the stretch was the defensive line wearing down. They could not sustain the madness upfront. Therefore, in order to remedy the defensive line problem, Mara opened up his wallet and the Giants signed defensive linemen Chris Canty and Rocky Bernard to multi million dollar contracts. Going into the 2009 season, on paper, the Giants had the best defensive line in the game. Pundits talked about match up problems. How are teams going to block all of these guys? Going into the 2009 season, the Giants were favorites to go to the Super Bowl. And their 5-0 fast start got fans excited about winning another title. Suddenly, the wheels came off. The Giants went 3-8 in their last 11 games. Their defensive front, which was supposed to be formidable, amassed a total of 32 sacks. Because the Giants lacked depth at safety especially after Kenny Phillips went down for the year, opposing teams attacked our secondary with impunity. Our defense could not stop anybody, giving up yards and points. The 2009 Giants allowed teams to score 40 points a whopping five times! What happened? As a result of poor defensive play, defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan and defensive line coach Mike Waufle lost their jobs. But what about Coughlin? Surprisingly, Coughlin received a pardon from Mara and kept his job.
During this offseason, Coughlin hired a new defensive coordinator-Perry Fewell. Furthermore, in order to repair a leaky secondary, Mara opened up his wallet, signing safeties Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant to multi million dollar contracts. With a new coordinator and with the addition of quality players, things looked promising for a successful 2010 campaign. Fewell vowed to run an attacking defense. He called it 11 hats to the ball. Once again, the Giants started strong. And time and again, they finished with a whimper. Fewell’s defense went into the tank with eight minutes left against Philly and were atrocious against the Packers. His passive schemes played into the hands of the competition. Undoubtedly, in their last two games, an epic loss to the Eagles followed by a shellacking by the Packers has sealed Coughlin’s fate.
Another lost season for a team supposed to compete for a championship. It remains unlikely they will make the playoffs. Without securing a playoff berth, how in the world is Mara going to explain to the fans about letting Coughlin linger around for another season? The looming lockout? This is not the Giants way to can a coach with a winning record? Cowher, Gruden, and any other viable canidate is not better than Coughlin? This is all hogwash! Under Coughlin, when things have gone awry, the Giants have disposed of assistant coaches. And to improve the team, they have spent Mara’s money on free agents. Since Super Bowl XLII, things have not gotten better. They have gotten worse.
Has Coughlin suffered from Success Disease? Bill Walsh called Success Disease the following: Success disease makes people begin to forego to different degrees the effort, focus, discipline, teaching, teamwork, learning, and attention to detail that brought “mastery” and its progeny, success. The hunger is diminished, even removed in some people. Is this what Amani Toomer talked about after the 2008 season?
“It just seems like some of those games, it didn’t seem the same. Last year, when everybody’s jobs were on the line, everything was pedal to the metal,” Toomer said in what appeared to be a not-so-veiled reference to Tom Coughlin’s job hanging by a thread after the 2006 season. “All of a sudden, this year, it’s a different kind of feeling.”
It has become apparent that Coughlin’s get-out-of-jail-free card has just expired.
Evidently, Coughlin will be most remembered for an improbable Super Bowl Championship. John Mara called Super Bowl XLII the greatest win in franchise history. And Coughlin will also be remembered for their worst loss.. the epic giveaway game against the Eagles. The two extremes tell us a lot about Coughlin: he was not a consistent winner with talented players. Mara has no other choice but to get rid of the pestilence plaguing his team. Fire Coughlin!