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Tom Coughlin: NOT a great coach

The Giants are and have been pitifully inonsistent. Tom Coughlin is NOT a great coach.

He has had a career that featured lack of imagination and the inability to win “The Big One.” His career in Jacksonville was punctuated with intimidation, player rebellion, military tactics and he got what he could using intimidation. He brought that with him to N.Y. and it didn’t work. He was on the verge of losing his job, as the Giant players (Barber AND Strahan, to name two important ones) did not respond to his “old school” tactics. I stand on my opinion that Jerry Reese saved Coughlin’s bacon by drafting 5 starters his very first year. ALL 8 draft picks made the team!  And if that was not incredible enough, ALL 8 are still with the team. Those are very unusual statistics. Two years ago, a lot of luck and a miraculous run got them in the Super Bowl. Spagnoulo’s defense (which became a juggernaut) and arguably the greatest catch in playoff history brought in a miracle. Hey, it was great and none of us will forget it.

The fact is that the proof is in the pudding. Kevin Gilbride has been a bust everywhere he has coached.  The fact is that his offense is arcane, unimaginative and there is NO game plan for the opponent of the week. It’s the same old,same old and is a proven failure.  People here on the blog noted how the red zone has gone from 12th in the league in 2007 to 20th in 2008, to now where it is 28th!  Something is wrong and that something is Gilbride. 

The league wised up to Brandon Jacobs. When “crazy” Plaxico was there he made defenses committ to coverage. This opened up the running game for Ward, Jacobs and Bradshaw when they let him play. Plaxico was hurt and then shot himself. The Giants became less than mediocre and the Staff went blank.  Hixon is NOT a #1.  Nick’s has star written all over him. They just don’t get it. Jacobs was so frustrated that he said he would quit if he didn’t average 5 yds a carry for the season. He doesn’t look like he’s going to make it. Boss impresses me more every time I see him. He catches it,he blocks,he takes a hit and he gets open. How many passes come his way during a game? Nicks got hurt for a couple of games but has been outstanding. This guy is the real deal. Yet he does not start. Eli has reverted to bad Eli. You want to talk coaching? Why is Eli always changing plays? Why does it take the entire clock to get the play off? Eli has proven over and over that he plays best off the line of scrimmage. He sees the field better,he finds his receivers, he is a different player. Steve Smith is,in my opinion one of the best 5 #2’s in the game. A great route runner, great hands, goes over the middle, caught 10 passes along with Manningham in the first game. A team record for two receivers. Obviously these men are NOT used wisely and that means a bad game plan and bad execution. You cannot blame the player. There is no one that can open up the middle for Jacobs and Bradshaw consistently because the opponent is stacking the box as Arizona did so effectively. Arizona simply added a wrinkle with the safeties and the Giants were lost. That doesn’t happen with good coaching. Adjustments anyone? Last up for this rant is the disappearence of Osi on defense, the sudden disappearence of Kiwi, the open dissension of Pierce and Tuck. Who is responsible? I say it’s the coaches. Why is Lawrence Tynes our kicker? How can you possibly put him out there when it matters? Why did the Giants re-sign him when Carney had at least another year in him as witnessed by his role with the UNDEFEATED Saints?

I am also wondering about all the injuries. Every team gets them but the Giants get many more than most. Is it conditioning? Is it the training regimen? Is it bad luck? Alford, Kehl, Canty, Boley, the 5 million dollar man from Seattle, Ross, Phillips, Wilkinson, all out for extended time. Then there are the normal games missed. I played college football, I scouted pro football and I am telling you that conditioning is paramount. Canty played 5 years in Dallas and never missed a game,Boley played pretty much injury free.

I don’t want to write a book here but,think!! The reason I said what I did about Spags is more about how his team responded to him,,how in synch they were,how the Giants controlled the game just like in the Phil Simms,Lawrence Taylor, Brian Kelly,et al era. They won with D as did the great Steeler teams,the purple people eaters of Minnessota, Green Bay and yes, this year it’s the Bengals. The Bengals are in the catbird’s seat with two wins and a series sweep againd Pittsburgh. Terry Bradshaw had to make a national aplogy as he said that there were three inevitable things in life. There is death,taxes and that the Bengals will NEVER win in Pittsburgh! OOOPS.

The amazing thing is the Giants are still in it. They had their best week by having a bye. Dallas lost, Philly lost, so, it’s a toss up. You can see an awful K.C. team get better each week. You can see the Cardinals play CONSISTENT winning ball each week under Grimm. You can see that Ryan is changing the Jets, you can feel it. You can see what a good front office is slowly putting together in Miami. Of course Sean Peyton has turned the Saints in what, less than 4 years?

Bill B. made an interesting call Sunday night. He went for it on 4th and 2 on his own 30. He had more than a field goal lead and only a couple of minutes left. They DIDN’T make it and lost the game. Crazy? Nuts? Bad coach? Hardly. The call can be questioned, demeaned and labeled a mistake. The fact is he had the guts to call it and it was about CONFIDENCE in his offense. Confidence in his offense. In the short term they will burn him in effigy but this attitude has brought three superbowls and dominance in professional football for a decade. Compare this to our Giants and you have to wonder. Yes, they could have made Spags a promise that he would be head coach in a year, tops two and I believe he would have seriously considered it. Coughlin is about 65. He’s toast no matter what. Great coaches burn out before 65 and Tom is NOT a GREAT Coach.