Postseason football, or lack thereof, is the ultimate barometer of a franchise’s success. While Wellington Mara characterized a good season as one in which your team has something to play for in week 17, fans would argue otherwise.
The Giants have qualified for postseason in 4 of the last 5 seasons, but have only won a playoff game in one of those 4 appearances.
Ultimately, Tom Coughlin’s teams have been characterized as teams which melt down in December and January. In the past, the scapegoats had been identified: Tiki Barber, Bill Sheridan, and of course Plaxico Burress.
In 2010, there is tons of blame to go around, but ultimately it may be difficult to place the ultimate blame anywhere else but on head coach Tom Coughlin. When 2010 draws to a close, the Giants will be left looking back on a season that they themselves gave away. Even the highest of the highs in 2010 were muddled by the presence of unnecessary and untimely turnovers.
Week in and week out Coughlin preached it, he implored his team to take care of the football and even benched his starting running back to send a message, which unfortunately, the team failed to heed to.
If Coughlin is eventually fired, his inability to connect with the players on a level which induces change on the field (such as the aforementioned running back change) will be cited at the main reason. Maybe even Coughlin will realize this and step down.
But I am here to tell you that none of this will happen. Tom Coughlin will remain The Giants coach in 2011.
Many will be quick to point to the fact that the Giants don’t often (if ever) keep “lame duck” coaches. Historically the Giants will either fire or extend their head coach with one year left on his current deal.
But times have changed. Do not underestimate the presence of the looming lockout. The Mara’s don’t have to be concerned with how many more personal seat licenses they can sell if they make a coaching change if there is indeed no season in 2011. If the Mara's among the rest of ownership across the NFL want to avoid a disastrous scenario in which there is no 2011 season, their energies will be devoted to labor negotiations.
This is no to imply that it is impossible to see a coaching change. It is to remind everyone of the reality concerning the current state of The NFL as well as the Giants. There are not too many people that the Mara's trust with control of their football team during this dark time as much as Tom Coughlin.
A switch at the top will mean that the new coach could not meet with the players until the labor situation is resolved.
Though these words will cause the more cynical fan to go ballistic, The Giants were merely seven minutes away from being a top seed in the conference and probable NFC East Champions. Coupled that painful truth with the fact that a new coach would not be allowed to meet with his team until the lockout ended, and ownership will deem sticking with Coughlin as the wiser choice for now.
Any decision otherwise would be indicative of a serious paradigm shift within the fabric of Giants management. They are typically very conservative and would follow the line of thinking which I have outlined in this very article. But perhaps there was more to John Mara’s comments about last year feeling like 2-14 than anyone knows. Perhaps he and Jerry Reese will move swiftly in an attempt to send a collective message to the players that mediocrity is indeed not acceptable ad that if they won’t answer to Coughlin, then it is time to bring in someone they will answer to.
That being said, my money is on Tom Coughlin remaining head coach in 2011.Ahmad Bradshaw, Bill Sheridan, Brandon Jacobs, New York Giants, Tiki Barber, Tom Coughlin
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