After 12 seasons in charge of the New York Giants, Tom Coughlin stepped down on Black Monday. At the age of 69, the experienced coach specifically mentioned in his statement that he was not retiring and wanted to carry on working. So, will he get another shot at being an NFL head coach? Our writers David Pruett and David Venables discuss their thoughts on Coughlin’s future in the league.
The league has passed Coughlin by
by David Pruett
Tom Coughlin is finished as a Head Coach in the NFL, or at least he should be. Come kickoff of the 2016 season Coughlin will be 70 years old – and while the adage that ‘age is just a number’ may be true, there are limits. Coughlin is already the oldest Super Bowl winning coach in history – aged 65 in 2011 and will not break that record. There are signs that he is slowing down as well as mistakes have begun to creep into his game management, mistakes that cost the Giants wins this season. Further, while known as a disciplinarian as a coach, his failure to act when Odell Beckham Jr was out of control during the Panthers game this year leaves a stain on that reputation. Then, let’s look at record. Coughlin’s Giants have missed the playoffs in 6 of last 7 seasons – in those seasons recording a cumulative losing record of 55-57! This is despite playing in the NFC East, a division that has in that time only sent one other team as far as the NFC Championship – the Eagles in 2008. Even when they won the Super Bowl they were lucky to even make the playoffs, only getting in on the last day of the season with a 9-7 record. To sum up – if you hire Coughlin, you would be hiring one of the oldest coaches in NFL history, one showing signs of decline and one with a losing record in the last 6 seasons. That is not a recipe for sustained success in the NFL.
A 2-time Super Bowl winner? He’ll get another shot
by David Venables
Though Coughlin was 60/40 to leave the Giants at the end of the season, I still believe that his availability will come as a surprise to many in the NFL. The fact that he stepped down and expressed his desire to continue coaching was even more telling. Clearly, there’s life in the old dog yet. After all, his resumè speaks for itself: two Super Bowl wins and eight winning seasons while with the Giants, and a 12-7 postseason record. There are not many available coaches out there with the winning experience that Coughlin can bring to the table, as well as being a respected team motivator. Teams in desperate need for a proven, winning coach will jump at the chance to make Coughlin their head coach. Despite that, it will be Coughlin that makes the decision, and I doubt he will go to a team that it’s in dire need of a rebuild (Browns, Titans), or that has an unstable front office (49ers). It is possible that he returns to the NFC East with the Eagles, who would love him to bring success to Philadelphia at the expense of the Giants, or even to the Colts, should they fire Chuck Pagano. Coughlin will coach again, and he will get the choice of the pickings. It is that simple.