Giants quarterback Eli Manning’s emotional comments to reporters about coach Tom Coughlin should be no surprise. Coughlin is the only NFL coach Eli has known, arriving in New York the same year Eli was drafted.
Twelve years later, and a day after Eli turned 35, the Giants need a coach who wants to work with Eli — and with whom Eli wants to work.
It’s no surprise, then, to learn (as PFT has) that Eli Manning made a direct pitch to ownership to keep Coughlin. With ownership opting to still make the change, the question becomes whether ownership will throw Eli a bone by elevating offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo into the head-coaching job.
McAdoo arrived in 2014; promoting him would ensure a degree of continuity for Manning. Then again, it could be argued that McAdoo is part of the problem that culminated in Coughlin being fired. If the Giants decided to push out Coughlin, why would they promote one of his lieutenants?
It’s also possible that the next head coach would agree to keep McAdoo as the offensive coordinator. With the Giants job regarded as one of the best in all of football, it possibly wouldn’t take much arm twisting to persuade Coughlin’s successor to stick with McAdoo, if that helps Eli feel more comfortable about spending the twilight of his career with the Giants.
A dozen years ago, Eli showed that he’s not bashful about making a power play. Although it was Archie Manning, not Eli, who told the world that the Chargers shouldn’t draft Eli, some believe that Archie was simply taking the heat in order to keep Eli from looking like the bad guy. At this stage of his career, after giving the Giants a pair of Super Bowl wins, would it be a shock for Eli to make it known that he wants to finish his career elsewhere, if he’s not happy with the team’s choice of head coach or offensive coordinator?