When Tom Coughlin first arrived in the 2004 season for the New York Giants, it seemed as if it was just a matter of time before he would be fired. Coughlin had a great tenure with the Jacksonville Jaguars becoming the head coach when they first joined the NFL in 1995. He took them to the AFC Championship game in their second season of existence and returned to the AFC Championship game in 1999.
However, after that 1999 season when the Jaguars went 14-2, everything went downhill from there and Coughlin was fired a couple of seasons later. People who knew Coughlin knew he wouldn’t be out of football long, and the move to acquire Coughlin by the Giants was lauded as a smart move. The Giants needed discipline, and they surely lacked it with Jim Fassel at the helm. In the 2003 playoffs, a year before Fassel was fired, the Giants blew a 38-14 lead against the San Francisco 49ers, and many players were simply out of control, which included S Omar Stoutmire being tossed from the game.
As the Giants were unraveling, Fassel looked lost on the sidelines, and a horrible 2003 season clinched Fassel’s fate. Many players, most notably DE Michael Strahan, did not like Coughlin’s approach, but it appeared he straightened the Giants out when they started 5-2. However, the Giants would go on to lose eight straight before winning the final game. Other than that season, Coughlin has had the Giants on the winning track, with their worst record being 8-8 in 2006 and 2009.
By the start of the 2013 season, Coughlin will be 67 years old. His contract currently runs through 2014, so he has two seasons remaining. It doesn’t appear Coughlin wants to step down anytime soon. He’s still the fiery guy on the sideline, and he really seems to be enjoying himself. I believe Coughlin will probably look to extend his deal one more year and ride out into retirement before the age of 70.
Coughlin has ridden the right arm of QB Eli Manning much like the way New England Patriots‘ head coach Bill Belichick has done with QB Tom Brady. Manning may play beyond Coughlin’s retirement, but when it’s all said and done, Manning and Coughlin will be compared to other great head coach-quarterback tandems in history.