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Gary Myers: Coughlin must go!
13 years ago  ::  Jan 08, 2007 - 4:07PM #1
Posts: 0
Coughlin must go

Ax can't fall fast enough


Tom Coughlin
PHILADELPHIA - Tom Coughlin stood helplessly and sadly as he watched David Akers boot the Giants' season and perhaps his chaotic three-year tenure as their coach through the uprights as the last three seconds ticked off the clock.

He handed his headset to an aide and made what Giants management should make sure is his final long walk off the field as their coach. His situation will be clarified in the next few days by Giants co-owner John Mara. Coughlin either will be fired, given a one-year or multiyear extension or told that if he wants to stay, he must coach out the last year of his deal in 2007.

Coughlin must go. He has lost the locker room. Too many players have tuned him out. He has taken this team as far as he can.

"I'll have something to say during the week, but not right now," Mara said as he exited the locker room after the Giants' 23-20 loss to the Eagles. "Do you think you can wait that long?"

Mara had a chance to end the speculation about Coughlin, but instead chose to leave him hanging. That is not necessarily good news for the coach.

Coughlin was in a predictable mood. He was defensive and a bit ornery. Asked whether he is worried about his job, he said, "I'm not concerned."

After the Giants melted down against the Saints two weeks ago, I endorsed the Giants firing Coughlin. Nothing has changed. He did become the first Giants coach since Bill Parcells in 1989-90 to get them into the playoffs two years in a row, but he couldn't get them past the wild-card round either time. He hasn't been able to develop Eli Manning. He has been unable to get his locker room under control.

Where's the progress? Well, at least after losing yesterday, none of his players said he was outcoached.

It's hard to make a case why the Giants should bring him back other than Charlie Weis has insisted he will remain at Notre Dame and Bill Cowher plans to take at least one year off before he looks for a huge contract. But until Weis tells the Giants himself that he's not interested, they have to ask if he wants to come and save Manning's career. Two words of advice for the Giants before they give up on Weis: Nick Saban.

If the Giants are convinced Weis is staying in South Bend and that Cowher is going to watch his daughters play basketball, they might decide Coughlin is better than anybody else they can hire, let him coach the team and, if the results are not any better in 2007, check in on Weis and Cowher.

In a hallway off to the side of the locker room after the game, Coughlin spoke with Mara, retiring GM Ernie Accorsi and his assistant Jerry Reese, who is the favorite to succeed Accorsi. Coughlin was doing most of the talking.

It's doubtful he was lobbying for his job, but he might need to come up with a strong argument to convince Mara and co-owner Steve Tisch to bring him back. The Giants' monumental collapse in the second half of the season, when they turned 6-2 into 8-8 and barely made it as the No.6 seed, became an embarrassing soap opera and has cost him his strong standing in the organization.

There were strong indications Coughlin needed to win a playoff game to stick around. He doesn't have many players publicly supporting him. The lack of discipline evident for three years was on display again on the drive when the Giants scored the tying touchdown in spite of themselves on Manning's 11-yard pass to Plaxico Burress with 5:04 left in the game.

After they had a first down at the Eagles' 23, here's what happened on the next three snaps: false start on David Diehl - his third of the game - false start on Chris Snee and holding on Snee. That made it first-and-30. The Giants also called two timeouts on that drive because of mental mistakes in lining up. That hurt them when the Eagles used up the entire clock leading up to Akers' game-winning 38-yard field goal.

"It's frustrating to be in position to win a game and not win that game," Coughlin said. "It's very frustrating. You can point to many things and I can also point to some outstanding plays. Let's face it, we had a first-and-30 and still got a touchdown. Who wants to talk about that one? Let's not lose track of the good things as well."

Then, lecturing the media, he said, "I know you are in a mood and (have) been that way most of the year, where it's all negative. But it's not all negative."

In the first quarter, after taking a 7-0 lead on their first possession, the Giants started their next three drives on the Eagles' 49, their own 48 and the Eagles' 46. They ran a total of 11 plays for 10 net yards, one first down and no points.

The season began with Super Bowl expectations. In every corner of the locker room, the players were talking about spending time in South Beach. That was the primary issue. The unspoken issue was Coughlin. When management decided in the offseason not to address Coughlin's contract situation until after the season, it automatically put him on the hot seat.

Mara and Tisch elected to defer their decision on Coughlin until they were able to see how the season ended. It ended with Akers kicking them into the offseason, where the first move should be to fire Coughlin.

Originally published on January 8, 2007

13 years ago  ::  Jan 09, 2007 - 8:28AM #2
Posts: 0
he doesn't know what he is doing.

i say we give him one more year. then sign coward.
13 years ago  ::  Jan 09, 2007 - 3:42PM #3
Posts: 0
WHY wait a year? For what? These guys aren't getting any younger - and this could have been a Super Bowl team with the right coach.
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