The Giants have said nothing about whether coach Tom Coughlin will return for an 11th season at the helm in 2014. On Tuesday, the 67-year-old coach suggested that he has no plans to walk away voluntarily.
“Sure, absolutely,” Coughlin said regarding whether he still has a passion for the job, via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. “I mean, probably even more because there are a lot of those that are telling you that you didn’t do very well and you’re not a very good coach and you’re not this and you’re not that, so perhaps you have something to prove.”
With no postseason appearances in four of the last five seasons, there’s a chance Coughlin will have to prove something with a new team, pro or college. In July, G.M. Jerry Reese made it clear that the team’s recent struggles could cause problems, if they continue.
“All I know is that we’ve been in the playoffs one time in the last four years and that’s really not acceptable for us,” Reese said. ”That’s not our standards. That’s not what we shoot for. We want to put everybody on notice, myself, everybody is on notice that that’s not our standard.”
If people are on notice and another failed season occurs and no consequences emerge, then the notice was the equivalent of a hollow I’ll-turn-this-car-around-right-now threat.
It nevertheless would be jarring if Coughlin gets fired. While the philosophy in the NFL has shifted over the last 20 years from “what have you done for me lately?” to “what are you doing for me right now and what can I reasonably expect from you tomorrow?,” there’s a sense that the two Super Bowls won by Reese, Coughlin, and company have earned for them the benefit of the doubt.
If that pair of titles will secure another chance for the current regime, it could be a good idea to make it clear that Coughlin is on the hot seat in 2014. After all, he won both of his Super Bowls at a time when he was believed to be coaching not only for a championship but also for his job.