After missing the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year, the New York Giants saw longtime head coach, Tom Coughlin, step down from his position on Monday afternoon. Coughlin was at the helm of the Giants for the last 12 seasons, leading the team to two Super Bowl wins and five playoff appearances. His eight playoff wins tie with Bill Parcells’ wins for the most in team history, and he’s one of only 13 coaches to win multiple Super Bowls. However, the team has struggled over the last three years, finishing with a losing record, which hadn’t happened to the franchise since suffering eight straight losing seasons from 1973 to 1980.
New York had missed the playoffs in six out of the last seven years; their lone appearance during that span was their Super Bowl XLVI victory against the New England Patriots. So, it was nothing new to hear that Coughlin was on the hot seat this season. The team just never pulled the trigger on one of the most winningest coaches in franchise history. With Coughlin’s leave marking the end of an era for the Giants, should it also mark the end of his coaching career?
Not in the slightest for Coughlin, as he stated his desire to continue his head coaching career elsewhere during his press conference. And there are several job openings around the league, with teams such as the Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, and Tennessee Titans. Although Coughlin is 69 years old, there are plenty of teams that would love to hire an established head coach who could bring stability to an organization.
Let’s not forget that in his first five seasons as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ head coach, he took the team to two AFC championship games. He’s also a players’ coach who has shown that he can connect with his team both on and off the field. This is a critical aspect of the job for a head coach, as players need to buy into what a coach preaches in order for the team to experience any success. Coughlin will experience job offers; it’s just a matter of him wanting to take any of these positions.
“I didn’t say that,” Coughlin said Tuesday when asked whether he would consider returning to the sidelines if the right opportunity to coach came along, according to USA TODAY Sports. “I said I’m not necessarily done with coaching. Thank you very much for asking.” It’s true that his tenure didn’t end the way he may have wanted, but the Giants had a depleted roster.
New York’s defense has been a key issue over the last couple of seasons. And the offense beyond Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., and Rashad Jennings wasn’t reliable. In short, there wasn’t enough depth this season. If the Giants did possess enough talent on the roster this year, it would’ve ran away with the disastrous NFC East, which saw just one team in the division finish with a record above .500. Yes, much of the blame should fall on the head coach’s shoulders, but the players should be held accountable too.
Coughlin’s leave was influenced by the Giants’ fourth consecutive year of missing the season playoffs, proving to be the breaking point for New York. With Coughlin now on the market, expect him to be a hot commodity for the current head coaching vacancies across the league. An obvious spot would be with the Eagles, given his familiarity with the franchise and playing against the team twice a season in the NFC East for over a decade.
If not Philadelphia, any one of the other five openings may interview him in the coming weeks. Yes, some will point to his age as a reason that teams may avoid pursuing him, but Coughlin has shown that he still has the passion to coach. This makes it hard to imagine a team turning down the opportunity to add a proven head coach with his strong resume.