When asked about Tom Coughlin’s future with the Giants, and when might be his last season with the team, Terrell Thomas had a somewhat surprising opinion.
“I thought it was this (past) season,” Thomas said on NFL Network. “But I think he has one more in him.”
It’s pretty apparent that Coughlin has at least one more in him, as there have been no serious talks within the organization about his possible retirement. Coughlin himself has shot down such rumors, but at age 66, questions about how much longer he can coach will only get louder as seasons pass.
If 2013 is Coughlin’s last year, and I think every rational Giants fan hopes that it’s not, it will mark the end of one of the most successful runs of any head coach in Giants history. Coughlin’s tenure with the Giants coincided with the drafting of Eli Manning, who took the reigns from Kurt Warner as the starting quarterback partway through the 2004 season. From 2005 – Eli’s first full season as the starter – until 2007, the Giants made the playoffs in 5 of 7 seasons, winning two Super Bowls in the process. The only comparable stretch in the teams history came from 1984-1990, where coach Bill Parcells led the Giants to the playoffs in 5 of 7 years, and won two Super Bowls as well.
I am too young to remember the success of Parcells and Lawrence Taylor in the 80s and early 90s, but I consider myself very fortunate to be able to watch the Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning led version. Despite his teams rarely looking dominant, Coughlin’s Giants have amassed nearly as good a winning percentage as the Giants of the 80s (.611 vs. .576) and have the exact same playoff record (8-3) and number of Super Bowl wins (2). With Bill Parcells recently being inducted in the the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it’s not crazy to imagine Coughlin eventually joining him there.
All that is to say, Tom Coughlin can coach my favorite team for as long as he likes.