The 2009 New York Giants: Was The Season a Blessing In Disguise?

Kyle LanganAnalyst IJanuary 12, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS - JANUARY 03:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants walks off the field in the first quarter agianst the Minnesota Vikings on January 3, 2010 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

I hesitate to call anything as horrific as the New York Giants 2009 season a blessing. New York Giants co-owner John Mara said it best: "It felt more like 2-14." In the end though, what took place this past season may bode very well for the future.


What occurred this season showed the organization exactly who this team is and what they are made of from top to bottom. Not only that, but it finally put the 2007 title season in the rear view mirror. It's time to recognize that very few aspects of that 2007 team remain.

In examining the cause of the 2009 collapse, the first two individuals that come to mind are Head Coach Tom Coughlin and General Manager Jerry Reese.

On one hand you have Reese—I am a huge fan and think that few are better than him on draft day—who spent as much as the Giants have in years on free agency to improve the defense. Supposedly the idea was to add depth.

Let's just say that didn't pan out. Going into the season with only three safeties—one being C.C. Brown—was a huge mistake. Every team in the NFL has injuries, and Reese simply failed to provide the Giants with enough depth to overcome what injuries they had.

On the other hand, you have Tom Coughlin.

Every head coach has their blind spots in this league. In his tenure with New York, Coughlin has shown that one of his major blind spots is not playing young players.

Criticize Reese all you want, but young players like Bryan Kehl, Clint Sintim, and Ramses Barden all rode the bench this season. Couple that tendency with a lack of ability to motivate in any manner of speaking, and it's no wonder this season turned out so poorly.

Mara's comments today all but assured me that this season will turn out to be a positive thing.

"I'm not pleased with anybody right now," Mara said. "Obviously, our roster isn't as good as we thought it was. So we need to take a look at that. We are going to have to discuss everything at this point. I don't think we can take anything for granted after the way this season ended."

So many, including myself, were guilty of overestimating the Giants. One break here or there, which could have resulted in a better record, might have clouded Mara and Reese in their perceptions of the talent on this roster.

It can't be anything but a positive that management is ready to make major changes.

The Giants need it.

One of the changes has already been made: the firing of Defensive Coordinator Bill Sheridan.

Another change which I think needs to be made—but won't be—is Coughlin relinquishing his duty as head coach and moving into another position in the organization.

The reason is two-fold.

The first reason: I think Coughlin is done. Burnt out. Beat. Finished.

At every press conference he doesn't even look like he wants to be there anymore. I don't believe that he has enough corny slogans left to motivate the team come training camp.

The second reason is the big reason. The Giants are prepared to completely over-haul their defensive staff, and offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride's contract is up. He will likely interview for the head coaching position in either Oakland or Buffalo.

That would leave Coughlin as the oldest coach in football, who will have one more year left on his deal, with a completely new staff.

That doesn't accomplish much. What can Coughlin be expected to do with dozens of new faces around him in a two year period?

Get a new head coach and let Coughlin leave the headset behind. It doesn't look like he wants it anymore.

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