With the New York Giants getting off a horrific 0-6 start to the 2013 season and now sitting at 4-7 on the year and their once slim playoff hopes may have gone out the window this past Sunday in their tough 24-21 loss to the Dallas Cowboys; a loss that gave the Giants that seventh and potentially, season-crushing defeat.
A few months ago before the Giants finally ended their six-game losing streak, Tom Coughlin's job security during and after the 2013 season came heavily into question and many fans were starting to wonder if the 67-year-old two-time Super Bowl winning head coach was still the right guy to lead the team. The talk originally started before training camp because Coughlin was heading into the season as the current oldest head coach into the league with one year left on his contract that would expire at the conclusion of the 2014 campaign.
Despite all of the Giants struggles in 2013, the team has rallied around Coughlin and gotten his message very clear, which is to stay positive and keep on fighting through the bad times; a reason why the Giants were able to climb out of their once dark hole and get back to looking like a resemblance of a relevant team and because the Giants are still mathematically still in the playoff picture, still are a relevant team in the NFC playoff picture.
Even with Coughlin at the helm, it's fact that despite him winning the Super Bowl in 2007 and 2011 with the Giants, if his team fails to qualify for the postseason, it will be the fourth time in five seasons where the Giants had their season end after Week 17 and didn't play football in January; something that doesn't get forgotten by the fans, especially the haters of the Giants.
But if it were up to the Giants players themselves, Coughlin would be back on the sidelines of MetLife Stadium in 2014 continuing to guide the Giants back to another championship.
“He is the New York Giants," cornerback Terrell Thomas said. “He epitomizes this organization as a selfless person who takes it all on his shoulders. When we lose, he takes all the blame, and when we win he gives us all the credit. When you see that over years, when you see that leadership, you take it upon yourself to start living that way and start acting that way as a team. That’s why we didn’t turn on each other when we were 0-6."
People still forget that almost three months ago, the Coughlin family suffered a terrible tragedy when Tom's younger brother John died while returning home from the Giants loss to the Denver Broncos back in September at MetLife Stadium and yet, despite losing his 63-year-old brother to such a sudden tragedy, Coughlin continued to lead the Giants week in and week out, something that impressed his players.
“The way he handled it, he didn’t make it about himself. He alerted the team what was going on and then got right into the plan for the next team. Special guy. For a guy that’s been as successful as he has as a coach and at 67 years old now to come in here and never waver one way or the other is amazing," Justin Tuck said. “Football is such an emotional game with such high highs and low lows, but he is the true definition of never get too high with the highs and never get too low with the lows. If you let your emotions go with the way the team is performing, you’ll die of a heart attack."
If the Giants manage to finish under .500 in 2013, it will only be the second time that the Giants didn't have a record of .500 or better, the first and only time that happened was the 2004 season, his debut season when the team finished 6-10, but the Giants did start out 5-2 and slipped to 5-4 before handing over the offense to a rookie Eli Manning. Even if the Giants do finish below .500 and without a playoff berth, many people around football expect Coughlin to be back, or at least be given the right to decide if he wants to come back for one more season in 2014, which is again, the final year in his contract.
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