New York Giants Judgement Day: When Is It Time To Evaluate Tom Coughlin?

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistMarch 24, 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

"New York, New York it's a hell of a town."  Or so it used to be. 

It's odd to think that the New York Giants are now considered a team "on the bubble" in the NFL; however, with the New York Jets fast becoming the dominant team in the state of New York, there is little room for a Big Blue failing in 2010.

An 8-8 record in hand, and the 15th pick in the NFL Draft, Tom Coughlin has become one of the most questioned head coaches around town. 

Maybe it's his lack of team motivation when the games in hand actually count, or maybe it's due to his inability to lead a once-Super Bowl winning team to a postseason spot, but it has become clear in recent times that the New York Giants just aren't what they used to be.

Recently, Tom Coughlin's criticizers have settled down for the most part. However, I can't help but throw Coughlin into the same category as the Jack Del Rios and Tom Cables of this league. 

With inconsistency and just an overall bad year behind them, the New York Giants are looking at 2010 as more of a rebuilding year, rather than one that they can remain hopeful for in terms of a Super Bowl spot. 

But what improvements need to be made in order for the Giants to go back to their winning ways?

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Well, to be quite frank, the list isn't short.  However, there is one promising factor that still remains with New York—the talent factor. 

Although Eli Manning is often prone to failing at times, people do seem to underestimate number 10's ability to throw a decent ball.  Unfortunately for Manning, people are going to be throwing everything but the kitchen sink at him this offseason, given that a practically season ending toe injury held Manning back for the later part of the season.

When it comes to moving toward the future though, Manning needs to take the old school yard saying of "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words cannot hurt me."

Criticism is a constant with a big city team such as New York, and an "Aww shucks" attitude that we have seen from Manning in the past will only gain him more haters than followers.

Aside from the quarterback play though, it is the running game that has also taken a direct hit. 

Once upon a time, it would have been hard for me to put forward a negative argument when discussing Brandon Jacobs, but his lack of power and yards last season left a lot to be desired for New York, and ultimately leaves Jacobs open for criticism.

His 835 yards last season and five touchdowns simply doesn't cut it for New York, and with a young wide receiver core proving great but difficult at the same time, Brandon can't afford to have "on-again, off-again" type games throughout the season.

Fortunately though for New York, the draft could potentially change that. With a wide receiver, running back, or linebacker needed, New York has a decent shot at acquiring some talent in April.

However, the Giants lack of signing a true playmaker this offseason from the free agency candidates could also prove costly, considering that New York is ranked 30th in points on defense.

As for Tom Coughlin, the hot seat is beginning to heat up.  Gone are the days of the red cheeked head coach that everyone loved to see win and never could find it in their hearts to criticise. 

Yes talent is needed, but in reality Tom is the guy to get it done.  The main question is who will Tom go after?  And will his selection be enough to save the Giants?

Dallas and Philadelphia are still firm contenders in the NFC East, and if Mike Shanahan can revamp the Redskins offense, well it may just be a case of who has the talent to go the distance.  The Giants aren't out of the race just yet, but the NFC East can easily leave them behind.  

The Draft can't come fast enough, and neither can the regular season.  I think I speak for everyone in asking just what will become of the 2010 New York Football Giants?  Loss, failure, or a great turnaround season, my guess is as good as yours.  Let's just hope Tom doesn't muddle it up, and ultimately end his storied career.