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I’m Not Sure Tom Coughlin was the Problem

Posted By Mark Reichman On Jan 8 2011 @ 12:53 pm In New York Giants | 1 Comment

Its taken me some time to process the untimely end of the Giants 2010 season.   What a crummy way, as a fan, to end the season last Sunday, eagerly waiting for Packers-Bears highlights as the Giants wrapped up a meaningless victory in Washington.  The Bears had no motivation to win and therefore didn’t, and the impressive Packers squaeaked by their divisional rivals and completed their playoff destiny, and the 15-second cut-ins on Fox crushed any last hopes of the Big Blue nation.

Clearly the Giants needed to win one of the two big showdowns with the Packers and Eagles at the end of the season in order to expect  the playoffs.  A playoff team wins one of those two games.  A team is not a playoff team when they lose both of those games; a team is not a playoff team when all they do to help themselves is beat the pitiful Redskins. 

I originally said I would favor dumping Tom Coughlin if they couldn’t bounce back from the Eagles debacle with a victory against Green Bay.  Now, with some time to reflect, I’m not so sure Coughlin was the problem.  Big Blue was a middle of the pack team in the NFC.  They went from a team which no one was talking about in the preseason and saw a personality develop over the course of the year.  They had an at times dominant defense, which saw the emergence of bigtime play and leadership emerge from new sources, such as Jonathan Goff and Antrel Rolle, to complement the powerful front line of Tuck, Umenyiora, Canty and company.  They discovered depth at the wide receiver position with Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham emerging as game changing threats, and then even Derek Hagan got into the mix as their biggest weapon in that last game against the Redskins.

If not for a few too many Eli Manning interceptions and the confounding scrambling ability of Michale Vick, these Giants would have been in the playoffs.

Coughlin did not lose control of the team; the team respects his command and goes to battle for him.  Yes, he got flustered against the Eagles and couldn’t pull the squad back together, but now I’m not sure that a change is necessary.   Coughlin got the right ingredients together, and though the 2010 cake did not get baked, there is promise and hope that the 2011 cake will be baked much better.

But if the Giants take a step baclkwards next year and cannot build on the progress they made in this season then they really should fire him!

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