John Fennelly, Lead WriterFor those who may not want Tom Coughlin back, read no further. He’s practically a cinch to be on the Giants’ sideline next September.
A two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach, Coughlin may have turned in one of the best efforts of his long career in 2013, guiding his team back from an 0-6 freefall to a 7-9 finish. Still a losing season, but at least they went out with dignity. They went out fighting. They were a true representation of their coach.
The Giants played hard for Coughlin for seventeen weeks. They fought even after they didn’t get the results they sought and then when they knew the postseason was out of reach. He never lost the locker room, as some suggested. His message did not fall on deaf ears, as some intimated.
His players, the ones who were not lost to injury, that is, went out and played for pride, themselves and yes, Tom Coughlin.
“We’re a never-quit and never-die locker room,” said safety Antrel Rolle. “No matter how tough times may get, tough times never last, tough people always do and this is an extremely tough football team. No matter what kind of ups and downs we may face throughout the season.”
Still, the rumblings continue. Coughlin, who dodged questions about his future on Sunday, will speak to the media today. So will GM Jerry Reese. We will find out just what the plan is. Or maybe not. With the Giants change comes slowly, if at all.
QB Eli Manning is optimistic that the only head coach he’s known in his ten-year career will be back.
“I hope he’s back and he said he wants to be back and the Giants want him back,” said Eli Sunday. “You never know how these things work out, but I definitely hope that he’s the coach of the Giants next year.”
DE Justin Tuck has been here since 2005 and the Giants will likely bring him back in 2014. He has grown to know and love his head coach. Coughlin has helped him through some tough personal times and rough patches on the field as well. Tuck said he would be “shocked” if Coughlin were to be elsewhere next year:
“You tell me somebody that’s better prepared than he does and as far as players being in that locker room for nine years now, I haven’t seen him change not one bit as far as has he has this team prepared, how he prepares. I pride myself in being here pretty early on Wednesday through Friday and I never beat him here and I don’t think anybody is beating him here.
This guy… He prepares his butt off and I think the fire is still there. I think he still feels like he has a lot to prove in this league and I think he’s going to go into this offseason just like all of us, figuring out ways to have a better season next year and I think you’re not going to find anybody that’s going to prepare a team as well as he does. Obviously I’m biased, but I damn sure hope that he’s manning the sidelines next year.”