Michael Eisen, a scribe on Giants.com, has written a puff piece about Tom Coughlin.
After reading Eisen’s drivel, I was retching. He cleverly cherry-picked statistics which make Coughlin’s Giants coaching record seem impressive. And if you are a reader here at UltimateNYG, you know this is far from the truth. Undoubtedly, through Giants.com, Eisen’s puerile article is an obvious attempt to defend Giants co-owner John Mara’s decision to retain Ten Win Tommie. Let us take a look at this article.
Inserted in this article is a table. Above the table, a heading reads: RECORDS THROUGH 100 GAMES WITH GIANTS.
Coughlin is second with 57 wins behind Steve Owen. Interestingly, Coughlin’s record as a Giants head coach through 100 games is better than that of Bill Parcells. From reading Eisen, through 100 games, he is suggesting Coughlin is the second best coach in Giants history. Hmm. Is this accurate? In order to provide balance, let us compare and contrast Coughlin’s record with Bill Parcells. In our framework, we will use seven seasons. Why seven seasons? Coughlin has been head coach for the Giants for seven years. (2004-present) Looking at Parcells’ Giants record, for eight seasons, Parcells compiled an outstanding 77-49-1 record. Out of the eight seasons, he had two seasons in which the Giants were below .500. One of the seasons, the strike shortened 1987 season, should not have been considered by Eisen. Recall, Parcells had the worst scab players for three games. As a result of owner Wellington Mara’s loyalty to the League, the Giants lost all three games. In Eisen’s analysis, there should have been an asterisk along the side of his record’s table. For agument’s sake, we will purge Parcells’ 1987 strike shortened season. So then, how does Parcells’ record compare to Coughlin’s?
Coughlin’s Giants record:
65 wins and 47 losses. His playoff record with the Giants stands at 4-3 with one Super Bowl Championship.
Parcells’ Giants record minus the 1987 season:
71 wins and 40 losses and one tie. His playoff record with the Giants: 8 wins and 3 losses. And TWO Super Bowl Championships.
Needless to say, unequivocally through seven 16 game seasons, Parcells is the much better Giants head coach.
Ironically, Eisen failed to mention Coughlin’s trademark second half collapses. In the 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2010 seasons, the Giants got off to a fast start and sputtered down the stretch. This has been the hallmark of the Coughlin era. Coughlin’s teams are fast out of the gate but founder at the end of a season.
It is quite remarkable that Coughlin still has a job. If it was not for the labor impasse, most likely, Mara would have changed his tune. From an article from Pro Football Weekly, “If you see six coaching openings (this) week, there won’t be a lockout,” one high-ranking league insider told PFW. “If everyone holds tight, it (a lockout) could be coming. And with all the CBA uncertainty, young, ego-less, strong football minds will be in demand.” After the 2010 season was over, the list of coaching vacancies totaled four. Carolina, San Francisco, Cleveland, and Denver. And out of the four replacements hired, two out of the four were coordinators. Jim Harbaugh, the new 49ers head coach, came from Stanford. Which left John Fox as the only one left with prior head coaching experience. Recently, the Raiders and Titans made coaching changes. And their replacements were both coordinators. Despite the floated rumor about bringing in a new head coach would give them a very small window to get their agendas in gear, this is unsubstantiated. With Super Bowl-winning coaches Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden, and Brian Billick wanting to coach and not getting an interview by any team, there is something wrong here. It has more to do with owners colluding not to sign big name coaches. Since a lockout appears to be inevitable, from a business standpoint, it does not make any sense to shell out millions of dollars for a guy waiting to see when he can hold practices. One salary is cheaper than two. In the case of Coughlin, Mara’s decision was expedient. He has a head coach who is under contract scheduled to make 5.25 million this year. Being a frugal owner with intimate knowledge about what may happen with the labor situation, it was in the best financial interests of the Giants organization to let Coughlin remain as head coach. It is a sign of the times. The NFL is about money and greed. As for Giants fans, thanks to the labor impasse, we are stuck with Coughlin.