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Coughlin: “Very difficult decisions” to fire two assistants

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin calls running back Michael Cox towards him during the second half of their NFL football game against the Cowboys in Arlington, Texas Reuters

Tom Coughlin kept his job after a 7-9 season, but his reaction to firing two of his most trusted assistants shows how serious the need for change in the Giants offense was.

The Giants let tight ends coach Mike Pope and running backs coach Jerald Ingram go today, as they remake the offense under new coordinator Ben McAdoo.

“Both of these men are very good talent evaluators and, in their own way, are very good teachers,” Coughlin said, via Conor Orr of the Newark Star-Ledger. “I decided to make a change in our staff that I believe will be productive going forward. These are very difficult decisions, but I felt they were in the best interests of the Giants moving forward.”

Pope was part of all four Giants Super Bowl-winning coaching staffs, and Ingram had been with Coughlin for more than 20 years at Boston College and with the Jaguars and Giants.

But with McAdoo bringing more of a West Coast offense vibe to New York, some degree of change was inevitable.

But the bigger question might be what the moves signal for the future of the team beyond the 67-year-old Coughlin.

He’s obviously closer to the end of his run with the team than the beginning, but chipping away at guys he’s worked with for decades might also indicate the Giants are casting an eye toward the future in other ways as well.

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21 Responses to “Coughlin: “Very difficult decisions” to fire two assistants”
  1. azarkhan says: Jan 15, 2014 1:00 PM

    Translation: It was either them or me.

  2. arwiv says: Jan 15, 2014 1:01 PM

    Tom is talking a good game, but these moves were not his choices. He would NEVER have gotten rid of Pope (probably not Ingram either) if he wasn’t told that he had to.

    Its a sign of the times with the Giants. As stable a franchise as they are, change has to eventually come. Tom is definitely entering into his last 2 years as the Giants head coach.

    McAdoo isn’t calling the shots for the TEAM yet, but he is definitely calling the shots on offense. These moves were his decisions.

  3. gpete1962 says: Jan 15, 2014 1:12 PM

    Don’t lie Tommy boy. The decision wasn’t hard at all, It was either them or you.

  4. kd75 says: Jan 15, 2014 1:16 PM

    If it is broken…Fix it.

    Sad to see Pope go, but its not like Meyers lit it up this season.

  5. pitch87mph says: Jan 15, 2014 1:19 PM

    Given the sudden rise of in status of McAdoo, is it possible he’s being groomed as the replacement? Would that be a violation of the Rooney Rule (if he’s not a minority–I honestly don’t know)? Are teams technically allowed to have succession plans if it doesn’t involve a minority? Are they allowed to have formal succession plans regardless of the ethnicity of the heir apparent? Just curious.

  6. gpete1962 says: Jan 15, 2014 1:21 PM

    This partial house cleaning is a waste of time and all for nothing!

    After next years continued debacle, the giants will have to bring the Big Chin and clean house all over again.

    Not just Coughlin Either, maybe Eli too? Tough to build a team around a 20 million dollar 15th ranked QB.

  7. blu4l1fe says: Jan 15, 2014 1:41 PM

    I can understand that he’s stating his feeling from the standpoint of his relationship with his now former assistants. Yes, they were good coaches and evaluators, at some point in their Giants career, but it is really more important that he also states that the moves were made for the best interest of the team in moving forward.

    Both coaches were on the helm during the recent two SBs by the team and they definitely contributed to both wins. But at the same time, and this really happens more often than people would want to admit, this is just one of those scenarios where their time has run out. They did what they can do and now its time to move on. It’s not a bad thing, these things happen. Like I said before, hopefully the new hire(s) work out.

  8. syrnyg says: Jan 15, 2014 1:56 PM

    I think its the opposite, when your making multiple changes to the staff, this is not a one year change, this to me sets Coughlin up to be here for multiple years.. I don’t think the Giants forced Coughlin to do anything, I think he agreed with Reese/Mara assessment and made changes. I don’t think you make all these changes for a first time Coordinator, who could be a dud… I think you make these changes for a complete overhaul. This is similar to when Coughlin took Spags from Philly. For some reason, popular opinion believes Spags was forced on Coughlin by Reese. When discussing the hiring of Spags, Coughlin always stated that he wanted the best players to play and if you read enough Giants articles you will know it was Coughlin’s idea to load up the Giants defensive line with defensive ends. Coughlin was a fan of Jimmy Johnson, so Coughlin targeted Spags. I am just surprised that some fans thinks Mcadoo is a Reese/Mara hire, and believe the Giants would force anyone on a 2 time Superbowl winning coach, who would get a job tomorrow if he was fired.

  9. merrhod says: Jan 15, 2014 2:01 PM

    I agree about Eli. Perhaps it time consider that his run may soon be coming to an end. We have to make changes and the O line is a MAJOR priority!! Listening Jerry?

  10. bassplucker says: Jan 15, 2014 2:15 PM

    Bears did somewhat the same thing but on the other side of the ball.

    By rights Mel Tucker and the entire defensive coaching staff should have gotten the boot after a historically bad season by an utterly clueless and unmotivated Bears D… but all they did was launch two position coaches under Tucker and let him stay.

  11. nflofficeadmin says: Jan 15, 2014 2:15 PM

    From Pope to Poop it can happen in a minute.

  12. gpete1962 says: Jan 15, 2014 2:25 PM

    The Giant owners are either creating an easy out for TC next year and at the same time are truly giving him one more shot at extending his career. Both of which he deserves for giving us and them 2 Superbowls, But as fans and season ticket holders, will we be patient enough to endure one more year of crappy football without calling for TC’s head and diminishing his legacy here?

    Only time will tell!!

  13. thegreatgabbert says: Jan 15, 2014 2:32 PM

    “Major Tom, here, we need a couple of good men to climb underneath the bus to check those squeaky wheel bearings.”.

  14. allsport1980 says: Jan 15, 2014 2:37 PM

    Go ahead and try to diminish 2 SB titles when you’re team was a heavy underdog in both games and heavier underdogs in the games leading up to the Superbowls.

  15. rhanna11 says: Jan 15, 2014 3:20 PM

    Sorry to disagree with some of the posters on here but replacing Eli would be the worst possible decision ever the dude is a closer. Can suck during the regular season but shines postseason. for a different perspective, go talk to charger fans or Browns fans or Lions fans and see if they Would take Eli in a second. can’t wait to see what he does behind a decent offense of line in a running game

  16. davemvh says: Jan 15, 2014 3:23 PM

    Coughlin is a coaching dinosaur.

  17. arwiv says: Jan 15, 2014 3:27 PM

    Eli is NOT done. He’s a pocket QB….and he’s a darn good one when he is allowed time. A guy like him, not too athletic, cannot possibly thrive with a high school level offensive line. Give Brady the giants 2013 o-line and he would have been almost as bad.

    Eli has forgotten more about football then most commenters here will ever know. Get him a decent o-line and he’ll be fine for another 4-5 years.

  18. fdugrad says: Jan 15, 2014 3:27 PM

    I believe coach C. still knows how to coach. Perhaps the Giants needed some new position coaches, I don’t know, however, I still think that NO coach or staff could have won with the team from last season. The players were old, slow and injured. Eli was an absolute interception machine awarding turnover after turnover to opponents everywhere. Perhaps the brain trust should be casting an eye on the roster and in the direction of the GM.

  19. roadtrip3500 says: Jan 15, 2014 4:31 PM

    Coughlin has already shown he can reinvent himself when it’s necessary. After the 2006 season when Tiki kicked him on the way out, Coughlin lightened up, created a players panel, and what happened? Super Bowl run the next season. And what helped immensely was that Strahan bought into the “new” Coughlin and told the rest of the team to do so.

    It appears that Tom is looking to reinvent again for one more run. I see Mara/Tisch giving him a 2 year extension between now and the draft, and they’ll give him the tools for one more run to the top. If he wins Super Bowl 49 or 50, Tom retires on top and the Giants “trade” him to the Canton YellowJackets – then McAdoo would have the inside track as the next head coach for a long time.

  20. bleedsnyblue says: Jan 16, 2014 5:23 PM

    Now that Tom has finally sucked it up (or, as others have thought far more likely, was told by Mara to get rid of the dead wood, or join them in the bonfire) and sent that incompetent tool Killdrive packing, please continue and send Perry Fewell and Tom Quinn to the unemployment line, as well. And if Reese can’t prioritize better in this draft, he should join the club.

    We don’t need “tweaks and adjustments.” We don’t need to “fine tune.”

    We need to CLEAN HOUSE, and bring in FRESH IDEAS. ROCK THE BOAT!

    McAdoo is a great step in this direction.

  21. edithpiaf51 says: Jan 17, 2014 3:44 PM

    I think it is a great idea to get rid of some of the OC staff and to add AcAdoo. These changes are a step in the right direction and I do believe Tom Coughlin supports them, not just for job preservation but for the future of the team’s success. Change increases team and organisational learning. Chris Argyris mentions this in his studies on organisational learning that double-loop feedback and change are essential as is a small amount of productive conflict. However, those of you who advocate gettting rid of a 2 time MVP Superbowl QB like Eli Manning who is best in the playoffs, are not thinking. You are also throwing flaming arrows at Eli. Remeber that if Eli had the o-line that Brady or Peyton have, he would be just as good. Eli is a great decision maker, planner, and he is very intelligent. His IQ is 138. His brother’s IQ is only 115. Stop criticising ELI and look to where the real problems are which is why the Giants managmeent are making the changes they are.

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