The whispers always seem to start whenever Big Blue is struggling. They have been particularly loud this year, as GM Jerry Reese has had to give the dreaded vote of confidence half way through the season.
The criticism is usually the same.
Maybe Coach Tom Coughlin is too old. Maybe the game has passed him by. Maybe the daily grind and intense preparation escapes him now.
Coughlin is aware of these theories and he has a simple message for those who think Coughlin can no longer run with the boys. Try and keep up:
“You know, if you pin me down on it and I really knew that [questions about his age] was taking place, I probably would say, ‘Come on out here and get with me at five in the morning and see who works harder in the morning, see who’s able to go,’ ” Coughlin said Monday on WFAN. “‘I’ll challenge you’ kind of a thing.
“People can say what they want to say. You’re in this because you love it. You’ve got a bunch of guys together with you that want to fight and want to battle. Has the game passed us by? I don’t think so.”
Considering that this criticism has followed Coughlin even through his two Super Bowl wins, it may seem quaint and no one has ever said that Coughlin's fire has died down. Coughlin is still one of the sharpest minds in football, but he's been dealt a bad hand this year in terms of injuries to his offensive line, running game, and some choices on defensive personnel have only now begun to work themselves out due to trades and injuries.
What do you guys think? Is Coughlin's schemes and coaching methods antiquated? Is it time to let a younger coach take the reins?