Monday night was the last straw for me! As a die-hard New York Giants fan, I am at the end of the slack that is the rope I have extended to Head Coach Tom Coughlin as a fan. I’m not being ungrateful and I certainly understand the effect of injuries to a team but what I saw last night as a whole just made me cut the rope.
Tom Coughlin has been extremely successful as Head Coach of the New York Giants. Two Super Bowl titles and a competitive team in the NFC East every year. I’d have to think he’s a Hall of Fame coach and there is no doubt he has given his all to the franchise. But this season, though riddled with injuries on both sides of the ball, has not been a step forward. To me, the Giants have regressed.
On offense, the Giants brought in a new offensive coordinator in Ben McAdoo; previously in Green Bay. The Giants wanted to help Eli Manning be more efficient and get the ball out quicker rather than relying on the big play ball that the Giants relied so heavily on in the past with Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks. The new offense has, in my estimation, wasted a prime year of Eli Manning’s career. I know Cruz is injured and that takes something away but Cruz wasn’t even that efficient or even comfortable in the offense. Couple that with the carousel that has been the starting offensive line, being forced to start a rookie running back and a very young group of wide receivers and it’s just chaos.
But even with all that, the coaches need to show better organization and preparation. This is where I’m laying the most blame. Too many times this season I’ve seen Eli Manning audible and make hand signals to guys at the line of scrimmage only to result in a turnover or a complete miscommunication. Eli has been so frustrated this season and he has every right to be. The receivers may be young, but at week 10 in the season they shouldn’t be making the same mistakes. I put that blame on Coughlin and McAdoo for poor preparation.
What also irks me is the playcalling that is solely McAdoo. I loved the idea of getting the ball out quicker and helping Eli be more efficient. It seemed to be a very logical approach to help the offense gain a fluidity or rhythm. But for that type of offense to be successful you need an established tight end. The Giants did not address this need enough. Larry Donnell and Daniel Fells are not threats at tight end. Donnell has shown some flashes but he’s not the staple the Giants need at the position. Remember the Giants had Martellus Bennett previously and was a favorite target of Eli Manning. How could they let him walk when he was so important and productive?
Defensively, I’m not going to complain too much because the injuries are that significant. When guys like Amukamara, Pierre-Paul and Beason are hurt you’re going to struggle. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has done, I think, a pretty good job with the parts he’s had to replace and work with. The linebacker position has been in question for years and the Giants don’t seem to address it. This is why I put the defensive struggles on Coughlin and GM Jerry Reese, not Fewell.
In the past NFL Drafts, the Giants have been offense hungry taking guys like Rueben Randle, Odell Beckham Jr., Jerrell Jernigan, Ryan Nassib and David Wilson. The Giants take the approach of “best player available” when it comes to the draft. Beckham, only a rookie this season, seems to be the only guy worth his taking. All the other aforementiond players you could justify or grade as below average. If you go back and look at the Giants’ draft history there are a lot of other players that would have suited their needs more appropriately; especially on defense. Coughlin obviously has a large influence when it comes to that decision making and I have to say I don’t agree with a lot of those picks. I have to point the finger again.
So what do the Giants do? It’s simple….START OVER! I’m forever going to be a fan of Tom Coughlin as coach of the New York Giants but you have to recognize when good things come to an end. Two spectacular Super Bowl wins against the Patriots of Belichik and Brady will never be overshadowed or forgotten. But right now, at this point, it’s time to part ways and start anew. The Giants need to maximize the last good years they have left in Eli Manning.
I could handle Coughlin’s signature blank-face with his hands in the air once a game. Now, it’s more like five times a game. That’s your indicator right there. It’s time for a guy like Bill Cowher or John Gruden to take over the storied Giants’ franchise and turn it back into a perennial contender.