In previous weeks, the "fire Tom Coughlin" as New York Giants head coach chant has been heard quite a bit.
It got going in Week 3 after the Giants were embarrassed 38-0 by the Carolina Panthers — a game in which many people felt that the team simply quit on the field and the discussions, which were once thought to be put to bed after they won Super Bowl XLVI, were ignited again.
It picked up even more steam the next week following their Week 4 game when the Giants again lost 31-7 to the Kansas City Chiefs and dropped to 0-4 on the season and the talk of the Giants possibly missing their second straight postseason and fourth in five seasons was brought up.
Fans briefly mentioned Coughlin getting fired after Week 5's 36-21 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, but they quickly shifted gears because of the short work week and the team having to play a game four nights later, which they lost 27-21 to the Chicago Bears and dropped them to 0-6, a record the team hasn't seen since 1976.
The two losses in one week must have been what the fans and some media needed to ignite their debate again looking for Coughlin's job, because the "fire Coughlin" as coach roars are as loud as they have ever been before; not quite to the point of Christmas Eve in 2006 when the Giants lost to the New Orleans Saints in Giants Stadium and the fans were chanting it as soon as the game was over, but with each loss, it's getting to that point.
So lets look at both sides of the argument for those fans who have been on either side of the fence for Coughlin staying and going:
WHY COUGHLIN STAYS AS COACH:
Not too many Super Bowl winning head coaches get fired, much less multiple Super Bowl winning head coaches (two), but Coughlin has, in many peoples' eyes, earned the right to choose his own destiny on how and when his career ends. Before 2013, Coughlin has had eight consecutive plus-.500 seasons with the Giants dating back to the 2005 season, with the only non-winning season being his first one in 2004. Coughlin wins in this league and he's won with the Giants. One bad season where the injury totals have been outrageous, the players have been terribly inconsistent and bad luck has happened at every possible way; is a very harsh reason to let go of a guy who, if got let go from the Giants and was still interested in coaching, could still hook on as an NFL head coach if on the open market. The Giants know what Coughlin has meant to this team and has done everything possible to make them competitive every season he's been at the helm.
WHY COUGHLIN DOESN'T STAY AS COACH:
New York has the "what have you done for me lately" mentality and, while they will try to tell you the history of when they became a fan and why they're more die-hard than everyone else, they'll still want to know what success they're having at that current moment. Sure, the Giants have had winning seasons, but in this town, people want to see results and playoff opportunities, and for the Giants, they've had one in the last five years. Sure, it was the Super Bowl year, but what if the Giants didn't win Super Bowl XLVI almost two years ago? Does Coughlin even have a job at this point at 0-6; tough to say. But the fans are tired of seeing the Giants with the talented players that they have and watching them fail in the second half of the season; a big reason why the Giants haven't been to more playoff opportunities. When it's not Coughlin's head fans are clamoring for, it's his assistant coaches Kevin Gilbride and Perry Fewell that they are demanding to be terminated, even though they are long-time Coughlin assistants and friends of the coach and more than likely, won't fire. His loyalty to them could be just enough for ownership to see that a change needs to be made at the head of the coaching staff.
At this point, Coughlin still gets to determine his own fate because the two championships have bought him that chance. At 0-6, owners John Mara and Steve Tisch are not ready to throw their coach out of town yet and as reports trickled down on Thursday night, will allow Coughlin to determine if he wants to come back or not next season; although there was one report contradicting that, saying Coughlin might want nothing to do with coaching in 2014 with the way the current season is shaping out.
And that is how they feel when the team is 0-6 and in the middle of October. How will ownership feel if the team goes 0-11 and it's late November or are 1-14 in the end of December? Will Mara and Tisch still want Coughlin back as the head coach then? If you think the season won't get that bad, you're only fooling yourself, because this team has played about as bad as it could and hasn't shown anyone that it can get a win without screwing it up somehow.
And if we even want to take this one step further; what if the Giants finished 0-16? Would Coughlin be the rare head coach to get to keep his job if the team went winless in an entire season? Rod Marinelli sure didn't when he went 0-16 with the Detroit Lions in 2008, and while Marinelli is certainly not on the level of Coughlin as far as coaching goes, an 0-16 record is hard to defend and having the coach of that team around is hard to defend too. But the Giants haven't slipped to the Jacksonville Jaguars point yet, so we'll hold off on that talk for now.
So while we at Giants 101 feel that ultimately Coughlin doesn't deserve to lose his job, at the historically bad rate of this season, it would not shock any of us to see Coughlin leave either — whether it be him choosing to leave or being forced out.
So now, we will turn it over to you, the Giants fans for debate and discussion; should Coughlin get to stick around for at least one more season and finish out his contract in 2014, or should change come either in the middle of the season or after the season and have a new head coach lead this team in 2014?
photo credit: nfl_mitchell via photobucket
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