Coach Tom coughlin has just matched Coach Parcells for two Super Bowl trophies in 8 years. The biggest difference of course is that Coach Tom Coughlin is still the coach of the New York Football Giants, while Coach Bill Parcells chose a different path. Let’s reminisce.
The story really begins in January 1979. The Giants were a Mom and Pop organization in the 70’s and it showed on the field. They were an awful team and a losing organization throughout the 70’s. The Giants were struggling making the transition into the new NFL. The league suggested they change to the NEW model of having a General Manager as the leader of the team, they even gave a suggestion as to who to hire. That man was George Young. George Young was hired by Wellington Mara, and the team was changed for the better for the future. George Young drafted Phil Simms number 1, as Commissioner Pete Rozelle chuckled, in the 1979 draft, then Lawrence Taylor came in 1981. After 1982 Ray Perkins left to be the head coach of the University of Alabama, at the time a better job than the one he was leaving. In stepped Bill Parcells, and the eight year run began.
Tom Coughlin, who at one time turned down the New York Giants, came aboard in 1994. He was awarded the pleasure of mentoring Eli Manning when he arrived out of college. He has had to change his style and his ways over the past 8 years, but after inheriting a 4-12 team, he knew that the team needed to change also. His ways did rub some the wrong way initially, but eventually almost everyone has come to agree that Tom Coughlin is a very good football coach, and an even better person. Two championships and counting. Look for the Giants to award a nice contract to Coach Coughlin, one that has been earned.
Back to Coach Parcells….after the second championship in 1990, you could get the feeling that he was a little miffed at not getting full credit for the teams accomplishments. He was a players coach, he was the controlling force on the sideline and in the lockerroom. Parcells used and abused the media, but always to the betterment of his team. Each week he would find a way to challenge some portion of his players to be better. He was the reason they were winning, it was us against the world, unfortunately for Bill “The world” included management and ownership. To prove his point Bill took some drastic steps. He first allowed defensive genius Bill Belichick to interview and accept the job as head coach of the Cleveland Browns. He then allowed offensive guru Ron Earhardt to go to Pittsburgh. Then he hired Rod Rust and his “Read and React” defensive scheme. He knew that this system would not sit well with the attacking players he had in LT, Carl Banks, and Leonard Marshall. Then the bombshell dropped, coach Parcells was retiring. In the final insult and challenge to the organization to prove that it wasn’t the coaches that won championships, but the organization, he recommended Ray Handley to be the next head coach. Coach Parcells wanted to prove a point, and wanted to be the only coach to win a Super Bowl with two different teams. Unfortunately for Bill, times had changed, and his search for the right job that would grant him total control never really materialized. Bill is a Hall Of Fame coach, no doubt, but his ending with the Giants was not as many would have preferred it.
Fortunately, the Giants organization did nothing but thrive even during the lean years on the field. George Young watched over the transformation of the Giants until 1997. Ernie Accorsi took over after that, and presided over the team that went to the 2000 championship, and then made the best trade the team has ever made acquiring Eli Manning. Accorsi didn’t like Tom Coughlin and was positioning to fire him, but the team thrived under him in 2005 going 11-5. Accorsi then left the team in the hands of Jerry Reese who ran the 2007 draft, with great success, and has now presided over 2 Super Bowl Championships of his own.
The continuity of the front office of the New York Giants has built a great organization, one that can withstand many obstacles.