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Giant(s) Love Fest: Tom Coughlin’s Best Coaching Job Yet?


Tom Coughlin (John W. McDonough/SI)

It is often said the measure of a coach is how hard his team plays for him. By that criteria, Tom Coughlin may have done the best coaching job of his career in steering the 2011-12 version of the New York Football Giants to Super Bowl XLVI. If nothing else, the Giants late-season run has only managed to make a mockery of the “hot seat” discussions that seemingly swirl around Coughlin annually. Maybe Coughlin’s hold on the lead position will firm up for just a bit with this second trip to the top of the NFL mountain. Regardless, the man deserves his due.

Even in the media hype-driven New York market, Coughlin’s always seemingly tenuous grip on the head coaching duties for the G-Men is confounding. Coughlin’s regular season record now stands at 74-54. Aside from his 6-10 debut season, he has never experienced a losing campaign in New York. He’s led the Giants to three division titles, four playoff appearances and two Super Bowls in eight seasons. He’s already got one ring and can cement his legacy on this long-tenured franchise with another title.

For comparisons sake, Coughlin’s “numbers” are strangely reminiscent of Bill Parcells, who achieved somewhat cult-like status for his his time success leading Big Blue. Should he steer the Giants to victory over New England, Coughlin’s numbers would looks strikingly similar:

8 seasons
3 NFC East titles
8-3 playoffs
2 Super Bowl Championships

8 seasons
3 NFC East titles
5-3 playoffs
2 Super Bowl Championships

Not too shabby for a stubborn “old-school” 65-year old. Coughlin has adjusted with the times (albeit in his own way) and managed to achieve something fairly rare – becoming a consistent, successful head man for the Big Blue Wrecking Crew for the better part of a decade. A win over Belichick and just maybe he’ll get the kudos he deserves…or at least a season or two vacation from the hot seat.


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