Tom Coughlin: Playoffs or Not, New York Giants Coach Should Not Be Fired

Mike OsterbergCorrespondent IDecember 23, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 27:  Head coach of the New York Giants, Tom Coughlin watches on from the sideline against the Carolina Panthers at Giants Stadium on December 27, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Wade Phillips. Brad Childress. Tom Coughlin. One of these three is not like the other. 

The answer, of course, is Tom Coughlin. 

Phillips and Childress were unceremoniously canned by the Cowboys and the Vikings respectively, and rightfully so. Their players had quit on them—the worst thing that can happen for a head coach.

When that happens, it's time for a change. In New York, that is simply not the case. 

The Giants have not quit on Tom Coughlin and to fire him at this point would be a terrible move. When a head coach is fired, there is instant turmoil which takes away from the task at hand: playing winning football. 

New coordinators on both sides of the ball.

New practice schedules.

New locker room atmosphere; the list goes on and on.

Those kind of changes are good for struggling teams, but not for teams that are playing winning football every season.

Coughlin has proven that he can sustain a winning team and run a respectable organization in a frenzied New York media market.

He runs the team with class and respect; the Giants are rarely fodder for the back page of the New York Post and they stand in stark contrast to the team they share their stadium with. They are a model of consistency, producing a quality product year in and year out. 

Coughlin has cultivated the atmosphere of winning that a proud and traditional franchise like the Giants have come to expect. 

Besides that, he's one of the best game managers in the NFL today. That may be a pejorative term when applied to quarterbacks, but it's an accolade of the highest degree for a head coach. 

He never wastes timeouts, he manages the clock extremely well and he has the best challenge percentage of all time. When he throws that red flag, he's usually right. His talent in that aspect of coaching cannot be overlooked or overstated. 

Sure, the Giants had their doors blown off in the fourth quarter against Philadelphia, but that alone should not cost Coughlin his job. 

One bad quarter should not negate the years of dutiful service and strong leadership that Coughlin has brought to the organization. 

I can already hear the naysayers; "What about Bill Cowher? What about Jon Gruden?"

Everyone wants a high profile name running their team. Fans are under the illusion that someone with a big name and top notch credentials will automatically carry the team to the Super Bowl. 

That is simply not true.

The most successful teams are the ones with stability at the head coach position. This isn't college football where a flashy head coach will bring in recruits. It's the NFL. Winning comes from the system the head coach employs and the attitude that his team reflects, not to mention the requisite stable full of talented players.

That being said, do the resumes of Cowher and Gruden really look that much different from that of Tom Coughlin's?

They've all won one Super Bowl, they've all won multiple division titles, they've all played in multiple conference championship games and they're all well above .500 for their coaching career. 

Is all of the turmoil associated with a coaching change worth it? The Giants have a stellar head coach in Coughlin and swapping him out for Cowher or Gruden wouldn't even be an upgrade. 

The Giants need to stick with Coughlin. He's a major reason for their success and to fire him after the season would throw the team into a tailspin. Consistency is the key to winning and with Coughlin, the Giants have stability and continuity at the most important position on the sidelines. 

Mike Osterberg is a student at Penn State University and Featured Columnist for the New York Giants. Follow him on twitter @Mike_Osterberg.