Originally posted on Big Giants Boom  |  Last updated 3/2/12

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 08: Head coach Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants watches from the sideline during NFL action against the San Diego Chargers at Giants Stadium on November 8, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)


by Adam Carman, BGB Assistant Editor









There are few coaches active today who seem guaranteed to be in the Hall of Fame: Bill Bellichik, maybe Mike Tomlin or Mike McCarthy. To suggest anyone else usually earns a sportswriter the moniker, "Homer of the Year." This has been especially true of Tom Coughlin, since the Giants' most revered coach, Bill Parcells, is still trying to get in. But a survey of Coughlin's remarkable career, capped by a second amazing Super Bowl run, shows that Coughlin is not only Hall worthy, but in fact should be a shoo-in when the time comes.





Let's get the whole outcoached-the-perfect-team thing out of the way because it really is one of the less-impressive achievements. As a receivers coach for the New York Giants in 1990, Coughlin had to keep a run-heavy offense alive with enough threats for a backup quarterback after Phil Simms went down. That Jeff Hostetler was able to keep the Bills ferocious defense honest with strikes to Mark Ingram and Stephen Baker the Touchdown Maker is not only due to Hostetler's athleticism but to Coughlin's input on the team.





Fast forward to Jacksonville: In their second year OF EXISTENCE, Tom Coughlin had them in the AFC Championship game. For several years in the late 1990s, the Jaguars were one of the AFC's teams to beat even though they never made it over the title game hurdle. Anyone who claims Coughlin's teams quit on him never take Jacksonville into account. They didn't have household name playmakers but they just kept winning.





Bringing him to New York was inspired. The Giants were a team on the ropes, a few years removed from a humiliating defeat in Super Bowl XXXV and two years past an embarrassing playoff meltdown in San Francisco. The coaching-QB tandem of Jim Fassel-Kerry Collins had outlived its usefulness. Coughlin got down to work. The Giants signed Kurt Warner to mentor rookie Eli Manning, but Coughlin started Manning early and endured the jeers that accompanied the young quarterback's learning curve. And it paid dividends. Coughlin has coached the Giants to five playoff spots, three divisional titles, two conference titles and two Super Bowl trophies. The Giants have not had a losing record since 2004. Even on years they don't make the playoffs, they're in the postseason conversation until the very end. Eli Manning is on track to the title, Greatest QB In Giants History, and other stars like Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, Ahmad Bradshaw and Victor Cruz are making their marks as well. The players are deservedly recognized for their 4th-quarter comebacks but it is Coughlin who preaches the sort of second-half adjustments that makes victory never out of reach. Yet Coughlin is also the rock that insists on keeping the core the same, rather than change for change's sake. This has allowed him to revive the Giants with the same power running and defense that has always been trademarks with a resurgent and explosive passing attack that is almost unprecedented in Giants history. Fellow Giants fans, WE (not our grandfathers) are experiencing the Golden Age of Giants football, and it is due, among other things, to our steely-eyed coach. He deserves a bust in Canton.


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