Today’s announcement that the New York Giants and head coach Tom Coughlin have signed a contract extension keeping the two-time Super Bowl champion through 2014 will be received with a great sigh of relief by Big Blue Nation.
While not always thought of in the most positive light by players and fans, Coughlin’s tenure with the Giants has brought two Super Bowl Championships since the 2007 season and five playoff trips over eight seasons. His old-school way of getting players to be more responsible for practices and meetings was first considered harsh, but on-field success has muted that criticism.
Even during rocky times, the Mara family has always had a deep public backing for the coach and this extension is not a surprise to anyone around the team. Coughlin’s last contract was set to expire after the upcoming season.
With long time offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride still in the fold and second-year defensive coordinator Perry Fewell still with the team, the main on-field brain trust is in place as the Giants try to become the first team since 2004 to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
Whether or not this is Coughlin’s last contract remains to be seen. He will be 68 after the 2014 season but, especially with two rings, the decision to step aside will likely be Coughlin's alone.
If Gilbride and Fewell remain as well until Coughlin’s contract runs out, then if Coughlin should step aside the Giants will have two in-house candidates that could keep things in place afterwards. Gilbride is currently 60 and was a head coach two seasons with the San Diego Chargers while Fewell will turn 50 this September and was an interim head coach with the Buffalo Bills in 2009.