New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin's future was very much in doubt following a tough 2013 season, but the two-time Super Bowl winner is now in line to coach the team through at least the 2015 season after signing a one-year extension, according to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post:
Coughlin said he's agreed to a 1-year extension.— Bart Hubbuch (@HubbuchNYP) February 21, 2014
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported more details of the extension:
My understanding of Tom Coughlin’s extension is, it’s simple. Just added a year at similar salary of at or around $7 million per year.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 21, 2014
At 67 years of age, Coughlin is the NFL's oldest head coach. Despite that, he expressed a desire to continue coaching for as long as he can. Following this past season, Coughlin said he could work "far beyond" the 2014 season provided he and his wife Judy remain healthy, per ESPNNewYork.com.
I certainly do, and I'm blessed with good health and good energy and a routine that I think puts me in the maximum opportunity to stay healthy. The other issue, of course, is Judy. If Judy's healthy, and so on and so forth, and we both feel good about continuing ... then no doubt will we feel that way.
Although Coughlin's extension has yet to be finalized, the deal was agreed upon earlier in the week, according to Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News:
Paperwork for Coughlin's extension hasn't yet been signed, but decision was made earlier this week.— Ebenezer Samuel (@ebenezersamuel) February 21, 2014
Was extending Coughlin the right move by the Giants?
Coughlin's tenure in New York has certainly been an interesting one. He has experienced great triumphs by twice winning the Super Bowl, but it has essentially been all or nothing. The 2013 season qualified for the latter category as Big Blue went 7-9 and missed the playoffs.
Even so, there seems to be optimism heading into 2014. The Giants started 0-6, which doomed them early in the year, but they finished 7-3, including wins over the Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins to close the campaign.
Extending Coughlin shows some confidence in his ability to turn things around, but there may be a bit of apprehension, so a one-year deal makes sense considering it would be easy to get out of if things go south.
Per Samuel, Coughlin's plan and desire was to sign a one-year extension, so both parties were on the same page:
Coughlin said the plan was always a one-year extension. Said he had "great confidence" it would get done.— Ebenezer Samuel (@ebenezersamuel) February 21, 2014
Coughlin is seemingly on the hot seat perennially, but he figures out a way to get the job done. He was on the verge of being fired prior to both of his Super Bowl wins, so perhaps that bodes well for New York in 2014 and 2015.
The Giants still have plenty of talent, although quarterback Eli Manning will have to be much better for noticeable team improvements to be made.
Defense has been the Giants' hallmark over the past several years, and New York ranked in the top 14 against both the run and pass in 2013, so that is something that can be built upon.
The NFC East was up for grabs this past season, and if that is once again the case in 2014, then Coughlin may have the goods to return to the playoffs.
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