Coughlin to Return for 2007 Mara and Tisch families convinced head coach is best man for the job.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ⁈“ John Mara and Jonathan Tisch always wanted to retain Tom Coughlin as the Giants⁈⁚ head coach. After a series of discussions this week involving the three men, the owners are convinced Coughlin is the best man for the job. Mara and Tisch announced today that Coughlin will return for a fourth season on the sideline in 2007.
⁈Å"Tom Coughlin is our coach for 2007 and hopefully for many years after that.⁈ - Giants President and CEO John Mara
Coughlin received a one-year extension on a contract that was due to expire after next season.
⁈Å"Tom Coughlin is our coach for 2007 and hopefully for many years after that,⁈ Mara, the Giants⁈⁚ president and chief executive officer, said on a conference call.
⁈Å"In all of my discussions, and our discussions with the players, it⁈⁚s my sense that they are craving the stability that is now afforded by the coach⁈⁚s remaining,⁈ said Tisch, the team⁈⁚s treasurer.
In their conversations, the owners were most interested in listening to Coughlin⁈⁚s vision for the future. Mara and Tisch are displeased that a 6-2 start dissolved into an 8-8 finish and then a second consecutive first-round playoff loss. But after listening to Coughlin⁈⁚s strategy, they believe he can lead the Giants to the ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl.
⁈Å"Much of those discussions were having him tell us what his plan was going forward to make us better and to make us as successful a team as we all want to be,⁈ Mara said. ⁈Å"We were satisfied with how he plans to move forward and we remain convinced that he is the right man for the job to get us to the position that we all want to be in.⁈
⁈Å"It is our strong believe that consistency, stability, loyalty and sticking by your people are extremely important,⁈ Tisch said. ⁈Å"Tom has demonstrated and articulated a vision for the future. It is one that we agree with, one that we support, and one that we embrace.⁈
Neither of the owners would discuss specifics.
⁈Å"He knew that obviously we were not happy finishing 8-8, particularly after starting 6-2,⁈ Mara said. ⁈Å"There were some problems that the team had during the course of the year and⁈ ¦how he was going to address those, and whether he planned on making any changes going forward, but I don⁈⁚t want to get into any specifics on that. We addressed our concerns to him. He responded. We were satisfied with his response. Those discussions will probably continue during the course of the week. But at the conclusion of the discussions that we had yesterday we told him that we were satisfied with what his vision for the future is and that we very much wanted him to continue to be our head coach.⁈
Coughlin conceded a key to the team⁈⁚s improvement is getting better play from quarterback Eli Manning, who played inconsistently this season.
⁈Å"I think (the plan) is broad in scope, but one is my belief that Eli will improve,⁈ Coughlin said. ⁈Å"He is the quarterback of the future, and certainly we have work to do there in consistency, in offensive point production, along those lines, but I⁈⁚m very confident that we will achieve in that area. I think you realize that the picture is brighter than it was when I first came on board, with the two playoff appearances. The competitive nature of our league is a most difficult one. I do think that improvement is in the offing. I think we get some of these people back, we add a strong draft class, we add a few quality people in terms of the opportunities extended to us in free agency. I think we move forward, and so everything that we talk about is all about improving our football team.⁈
Mara conceded that Manning⁈⁚s development ⁈Å"was a major part of our discussions."
⁈Å"Eli needs to play more consistently," Mara added. "He would be the first one to admit that. Something that I have been concerned about is his play over the second half of the season. There is nobody in this building that doubts his ability and that feels like he is not the guy to lead us to where we want to get to. But he has to play more consistently. We know the talent is there because we see him do it.⁈
Coughlin is 25-23 in the regular season and 0-2 in the postseason with the Giants. He was 6-10 in his Giants debut season in 2004, then led the team to an 11-5 record and the NFC East championship in 2005. The season ended with a 23-0 Wild Card playoff loss to the Carolina Panthers. Last Sunday, the 8-8 Giants were eliminated from the playoffs when David Akers⁈⁚ 38-yard field goal as time expired sent them to a 23-20 defeat in Philadelphia.
Mara said Coughlin was not told the team must finish with a specific record or again reach the playoffs for the coach to continue in his position beyond the 2007 season.
⁈Å"I don⁈⁚t believe in doing that,⁈ Mara said. ⁈Å"He knows that we need to do better, that our expectations are much higher. I think that we have enough talent on this roster to do better. We certainly have some holes that we need to fill in the offseason.
⁈Å"I want to judge him based on the totality of his work and based on the circumstances that surrounded him during the season. This year, in particular ⁈“ everybody knows about the number of injuries that we had. I have read out there, ⁈