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Debate: Does Tom Coughlin Deserve to Be Fired as New York Giants Head Coach?

October 13th, 2013 at 7:00 AM
By Doug Rush

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.

VERDICT:

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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Tags: Football, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, John Mara, Kevin Gilbride, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Perry Fewell, Steve Tisch, Tom Coughlin

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5 Responses to “Debate: Does Tom Coughlin Deserve to Be Fired as New York Giants Head Coach?”

  1.  Ron Juckett says:

    No.

    He retires at years end. The problems run deeper than him.

  2.  James Stoll says:

    Tom absolutely SHOULD be fired. He should have been fired long ago. The two LUCKY super bowl runs prove it to me. Those championships were LUCKY not because we didn’t deserve to win the individual games, but precisely because we did. That is to say, we stunk all year, a .500 team right to the very end that struggled to make the playoffs, and then WHAM! And not only WHAM! But WHAM! Against the very best the league had to offer in each of those two seasons.
    That tells you that in those 2 years the talent was there but Tom could not figure out how to harness it.
    In 2007 Tom was forced by injury first to play Derrick Ward over BJ (BJ suffered the knee opening night in Dallas) and the Bradshaw Week 15 against Buffalo. If BJ is not injured during that Buffalo game, Bradshaw never plays, there is no snow-creating 88 yard TD run and the Giants never make the playoffs.
    There was also the Steve Spagnola effect. The only coordinator Coughlin did not hire on his own. The only coordinator who ran an attack first philosophy. After years of Tim Lewis’s saggy baggy cover 2, it took the Giants defense many weeks to adapt, then learn, then thrive to the tune of a league leading 55 sacks (if I recall correctly). It was the defense that won the championshipmthat year, not the offense. The offense had to be greatly simplified to control the error-prone Eli Manning from killing the team with his errant picks. The fact that Gilbride had the wisdom to do that was the one shining moment in his otherwise dismal coaching career.

    2008 started out gangbusters, 11-1; but it was a fragile team that could not overcome the loss of one player(Plax) and was severely out coached by Andy Reid and Jim Johnson. By 2009 the team was in the toilet going 3-8 after starting 5-0 against the softest schedule one could imagine. The principal culprit: a defense so abominably bad that blow outs became routine and when a blow out did not occur, inventive ways of losing games in hand were discovered. The architect of that dismal defensive unit was Bill Sheridan, who Tom hired after he ran Spagnola out of town. 2010 ushered in the defensive reign of error known as Perry Fewell, Tom’s 3d disastrous DC hire, and the team watched it’s playoff hopes fizzle in one of the truly epic 4th Q collapses in NFL history.
    Then comes 2011: .500 all the way to week 13, lots of blow out losses along the way; then Dallas and 12 points down with 5 minutes left and magic! JPP records 3 sacks, a forced fumble and a blocked FG onnthe last play. Tony Romo misses a wide open Miles Austin on what would have been a game winning TD. Now the giants have a strangle hold on the division so what do they do? They go home and lose to a putrid Redskin team, led by Rex Grossman and with nothing to play for.
    Now they are on the precipice and they have to be the Marc Sanchez led Jets. And through the first quarter they are losing (3-0 I believe), getting no offensive traction at all, and then a 9 yard pass to Victor Cruz is turned into a 99 yard TD and they are able to win. From there they went all 2007 on us leaving us to ask “where did this team come from”. We get a hint of it when Antrel Rolle reveals that he had to tell Fewell to just stop coaching and let the defense figure out what to do. But in any event, the coaches couldn’t figure it out for themselves

    We know 2012 was another 2d half disaster as the easy part of the schedule was front-loaded. We staggered to a 3-5 finish and revealed to the league that we could no longer rush the passer. We finished last in the league in rushing and revealed to the league that if you minimize the number of long bombs on which we connect, we can’t sustain a drive. The league gets it; Tom doesn’t.

    And now this: 0-6. Last in every statistical category one can measure (except turnovers! Where we are 1st!!).

    Does this team really have a lot of talent? The 2007 and 2011 results suggest

    • Anthony Raiaaxr29 says:

      This and all of it. If you look at Tom’s career here as a whole, it looks more and more like they won in spite of him and not because of him.

    •  James Stoll says:

      (hit the submit button accidentally)

      As I was saying the 2007 and 2011 results suggest those two units had lots of talent that was being wasted all season. Coaches out-scheming themselves.

      The roster now looks talent poor, and while JR should be blamed for that in large measure, Tom is part of that evaluation process, part of the decision to keep his son in law on the roster at 7M or whatever he is making with hips so bad he can barely walk. He holds onto Diehl even though the guy has been done for 3 years. He ‘s Part of the brain trust that pinned all their hopes on JPP coming off of back surgery and starting week 1 like it was week 13 in 2011.

      Thus team is a mess. Now the locker room rumblings have begun. Soon it will get even uglier (in the words of Bob Dylan: “when you think you’ve lost everything/you find out you can always lose a little more”). If we don’t clean house at the end of the year, what will be the reason to hope next year? If we don’t clean house does that mean we are re-upping Tom for 2+ years more? What does that say tom the plays? Awful is good enough? How to you rise from the ashes of an 0-16(or thereabouts) season? With the pilot who crashed the plane in the first place?

      No, Tom has to go. I say has to, even though I know it’s at least even money that he wont

  3. Anthony Raiaaxr29 says:

    Peterson met the son for the first time while he was on life support because the mother hadn’t told Peterson the son was his until about a month ago

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