John Fennelly, Lead WriterMany would like to see Tom Coughlin ride off into the sunset and have the Giants bring in new head coach. That may or may not solve their problems. In my opinion, Coughlin is not the issue. Another coach might have gone 3-13 or 4-12 with this bunch, instead of 7-9 like Tom did.
The Giants have personnel problems in the assistant coach and player ranks. Too many misses in the draft and in free agency. Too many assistant coaches have overstayed their welcome. They’ve also hung on to certain players too long and that has prevented them from stocking and backfilling their roster with viable options and replacements.
Now that the brass has expressed their desire to bring Tom back in 2014, the next step is ponder what that does for the team right now and down the road. Coughlin is a stand-up guy and a great football coach. Regardless of what the public thinks, he is not an NFL luddite. He can – and has- changed with the times.
I don’t feel his age is an issue. Being around the man, he exudes energy. He does have his negatives, however. One is his loyalty to certain assistants and some credos that do not translate well into the modern day NFL.
What the Giants need to do with Tom is simple. Make him part of the brass and distance himself from getting too personal with his assistants. They should be like the players: expendable. This model works in New England. Bill Belichick is constantly changing assistants and there is no question who the boss is. Bob Kraft is the owner. Belichick is everything else.
The Giants should collectively make assistant coaching hires. Tom, Jerry Reese and the pro personnel guys should scour for candidates that will make the team better, move it forward. And make changes at the soonest possible moment.
Coughlin has earned this type of treatment, this level of status. He is like the Tommy Lasorda of the NFL. It’s his world, we’re just living in it. Let’s hope that world gets bigger and better.
The Giants always say they explore everything. That may be true, but they rarely make changes as a result. It’s time to change that. The world spins faster these days and even though they are only two seasons removed from a championship, the Giants look as if they’ve been bypassed by an entire generation.
Yes, I know they’ve been on the trend-setting end of change in this league, but they need to get back there and stick. They can close the circles by getting the right people in the right jobs. The should stop trying to act smarter than everyone else and just be smarter than everyone else.
Keeping and empowering Tom Coughlin would be a good start. Forget about his age. Does anyone question Pope Francis’ age, or Warren Buffett’s?