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With decision looming on Coughlin, Mara dismisses Cowher rumors

Tom Coughlin

During last night’s postgame segment with Bob Costas on NBC, I mentioned that Giants coach Tom Coughlin is under contract for only one more year, a critical factor to consider when assessing whether the Giants will be contemplating a potential coaching change after the 2010 season.

As I was packing up my things this morning at the Motel 6 in Manhattan, I heard ESPN’s Adam Schefter explaining that Coughlin’s contract has not one but two years remaining, a critical distinction.

Media reports from early 2008 indicated that Coughlin had signed a four-year deal, not a four-year extension.  Based on those reports, he is under contract through 2011.

Schefter now reports that Coughlin’s deal applies through 2012 — February of 2012.  As a result, Coughlin is indeed under contract for only one more year.

Schefter also reports that Coughlin’s compensation drops by $750,000 in 2011, making an up-or-out decision from the Giants even more likely after the current season ends.

That said, we think the decision will be “up” if the team qualifies for the postseason, which will happen if they beat the Packers on Sunday at Lambeau Field.  It would be the fifth time in seven years that the Giants have advanced to the playoffs under Coughlin, and it would merit an eighth year on the job, likely with a contract extension.

If they don’t make it to the playoffs, the decision could very well be “out.”

But there’s no guarantee that Cowher then would be in.  On Sunday, co-owner John Mara dismissed an ESPN report that Cowher is targeting the Giants.

That’s ridiculous.  That is ridiculous,” Mara said, per the New York Daily News.  “Are we down to that?  We were writing Bill Cowher stories two months ago and now we are going to write them again.  That’s ridiculous.”

Frankly, we wouldn’t expect any other reaction with the Giants still alive for the playoffs and with a coach currently under contract.  But it was Mara’s reaction to a failed 2009 season that prompted intense speculation that Coughlin would once again be coaching for his job in 2010.

“I’m disappointed at everything. I’m unhappy at everybody. It’s just not acceptable to perform like that,” Mara said after the Giants’ 2009 campaign ended without a trip to the postseason.  “I’m less than 24 hours after the end of the season, so I’m sure I’ll cool down at some point and try to make intelligent decisions going forward.  But obviously I’m not very happy right now.  And they know that.”

If the Giants fail once again to qualify for the playoffs, especially after Sunday’s Monstrosity in the Meadowlands, Mara will be unhappy again.  And with a head coach who is signed for only one more year, Mara may do much more than talk.

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18 Responses to “With decision looming on Coughlin, Mara dismisses Cowher rumors”
  1. donovanmcflabb says: Dec 20, 2010 10:44 AM

    NBC put you up in a Motel6? Did they run short on tents?

  2. phinfan says: Dec 20, 2010 10:50 AM

    Sad that this is going to take the Schottenheimer, Green & Billick route. Those guys made playoffs allot and still got fired.

    Pressure sucks.

  3. contract says: Dec 20, 2010 10:57 AM

    “We were writing Bill Cowher stories two months ago and now we are going to write them again. That’s ridiculous.”

    Actually the Cowher to the NY Giants story has been kicking around for years. Pretty much since he resigned in Pittsburgh.

  4. zaggs says: Dec 20, 2010 10:58 AM

    Cowher coming in must be as ridiculous as the coaching display the Giants put on Sunday.
    Its not that I think Coughlin is a bad coach, but getting rid of him gets rid of everyone else. Because there is no way the kick return team was told to be ready for the onside kick, EVERYONE ran backwards. So either everyone on the squad disregarded their coaches, or people are lying to protect the special teams coach. Fewell has been up and down all season and has had some major downs (cowboys, colts, eagles). Gilbride? Hell I think my dog could do a better job of play calling.

  5. xtb3 says: Dec 20, 2010 11:50 AM

    Too many bad decisions. Coughlin is stubborn has always been. Refused to fire his yes men Tim Lewis and Sheridan and all this year again for another year Quinn. Putting Cruz on IR inexcusable. Breaking up the o-line yesterday to bring back an unready Ohara after the o-line was playing its best football in years is inexcuseable. And why the running game was stuffed yesterday. Coughlin obviously defended his special teams coach when he said they discussed an onsides but concentrated on a return – well his sole goal with 5 minutes left was not a return but possesssion of the ball and run that clock down. Everyone who supports this old fraud of a coach forgets that Detroit and Dallas in the first meeting both almost came from all the way back under backup QBs to beat the Giants as Coughlin doesn’t know how to run out the clock with a comfortable lead. Remember what Vince Young did to him once in Tennessee a couple years back at down 0-21. Reese put together an excellent team too much for oldsters like Coughlin and his yes men to handle.

    Giants will lose in Green Bay then beat Skins to end 10-6 out of playoffs and Coughlin supporters will scream “a 7-9 team made playoffs you cant fire a 10-6 coach ”

    yes we can!

  6. 4sacroc says: Dec 20, 2010 11:57 AM

    So, you’re out of the Hostel now, eh?

  7. dannymac17 says: Dec 20, 2010 12:32 PM

    I guess it goes to show, no matter how many superbowls you win in your tenure, in New York, its just not enough.

    Thats why i hate NY and their media, pushing out coaches who have done so much for your franchise.

    Stay classy New York.

  8. berniemadoffsides says: Dec 20, 2010 1:03 PM

    Too many people to blame for this loss, but ultimately it comes back to the head coach. If there’s one thing Giants fans know by now, it’s never be comfortable with any lead against a division rival. Let’s face it – the Giants were content with a 21-point lead, and figured there was no chance they’d lose. I’m not sure why Gilbride was calling for even ONE pass during those final 8+ minutes… absolutely moronic. Run the clock out, win the game.

    But I think Gilbride gets paid $1,000 per every Eli pass attempt. I see no other reason for passing the ball to our injury-ridden WR corp over handing the ball to our top 5 rushing attack when attempting to maintain a 21-point lead.

    The Akers onside kick was flawless, but again that’s 100% on the ST coach. No chance he reminded them – the players simply weren’t expecting it.

    Dodge’s punt is the least of the issues. He should’ve been cut about 13 weeks ago, but evidently he has photos of Mara and/or Coughlin naked or something… I don’t know how he’s on an NFL roster otherwise. I’d rather have Diehl punting out there than Dodge.

    PS: Dodge, make sure you flex your arms more before your next punt. It works well.

  9. abninf says: Dec 20, 2010 1:05 PM

    Coughlin has as many rings as Cowher. And he didn’t coach the same team for 45 years before he got his.

  10. xtb3 says: Dec 20, 2010 1:13 PM

    spagnuolo’s defense won the super bowl. spags the coached who replaced tim lewis who giants owners demanded coughlin fire and go outside to replace him. coughlin has not won a single playoff game with the giants except when spags ran the defense and that defense won all 4 post season games that year. and coughlin made big money off spags skill!

  11. nygfan says: Dec 20, 2010 1:19 PM

    I would love to see Cower as the Giants coach.

  12. nbseesnothing says: Dec 20, 2010 1:36 PM

    Still dragging up that old saw by Bettis. The one that was refuted by Cowher. And Not a Broadcasting Company reuped for more of this monkey flinging poo. Monkeys could write better than thi oh wait. Monkeys are writing this sight.

  13. jkay123 says: Dec 20, 2010 2:19 PM

    I agree with one of the comments above me, he refused to get rid of sheridan and lewis, both who were atrocious and pretty much ruined their seasons. Mara and tisch had to step in last yr and give sheridan the boot. Both fewell and spags made a huge difference and if fewell gets a head coaching gig next yr which seems likely, we are back to square one again with one of coughlin’s hires.

  14. nygdefenserules says: Dec 20, 2010 2:44 PM

    I don’t understand why everyone think Cowher is the best coach available! He won a grand total of ONE SuperBowl in 14 years with the Steelers.

    Brian Billick and Jon Gruden have one as well – yet no one is bringing up their names.

    I have never been a Cowher fan. I just don’t see why winning one Super Bowl…then having a mediocre season makes you the best coach available.

    I would liek to keep an eye on the Jeff Fisher/Tennessee situation. I think he may try to find a way out over his conflict with the owner. If he becomes available, and we ax Coughlin, then Fisher should be the man!!!

  15. drshakedown74 says: Dec 20, 2010 3:36 PM

    Sorry NY for ruining your baseball and football season in one week.

  16. xtb3 says: Dec 20, 2010 3:42 PM

    cowher also got to many afc finals and another super bowl appearance.

  17. xtb3 says: Dec 20, 2010 3:47 PM

    and cowher retired for awhile- he was not fired like coughlin was in jacksonville.

    the rooneys and the maras are not only close and for generations but chris mara the hidden assistant gm of the giants is maried to a granddaughter of art rooney. one of their 2 actress daughters is named rooney mara.

    that is why there are these rumors that quite frankly a giants loss in green bay sunday will turn into reality.

  18. justanotherdummy says: Dec 20, 2010 4:55 PM

    Hasn’t the Coughlin won just as many Super Bowls as the “Jaw”? TC is a quality NFL coach who has done a pretty good job in NY. I am still not sure the Steelers would have beaten the Seahawks if the game officials had been a bit better. What is so great about Cowher anyway?That was a tough one though, losing his wife so young, bad deal for he and his family.

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