What They’re Saying About Tom Coughlin
With Adam Gase off the board, the most intriguing name surrounding the Eagles’ coaching search is Tom Coughlin, former steward of the division rival New York Giants. Here’s what they’re saying about Coughlin as he gets set to meet with the Eagles Monday night.
Jordan Raanan of NJ.com outlines what Eagles fans can expect if Coughlin becomes head coach.
• A unified locker room
Say what you want about Tom Coughlin. The bottom line is that from Monday to Saturday, he has total command of the locker room. Players respect him. They play for him. They’ll run through a brick wall for him. They’ll believe in what he’s selling.
This isn’t Chip Kelly alienating those he needs to perform on Sundays. Coughlin preaches unity and family and the entire organization will buy his shtick. It’s what he does. He’s a quality leader of men.
• Questionable late-game decisions
If you watched the Giants play in 2015 you realize Coughlin’s in-game coaching was questionable, at best. The opener in Dallas — when the Giants tried NOT to put the game away and Coughlin didn’t know about it – was just the start. There was the passing up of a field goal against the Jets and not noticing three quarters worth of fighting between star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Panthers cornerback Josh Norman as well. And there was more.
Coughlin’s in-game coaching was subpar over the past few years. It’s unrealistic at 70 years old for it to suddenly improve.
• Cranky press conferences
Andy Reid may have been dull. Chip Kelly may have been combative. Coughlin may be more useless in this area than either. He doesn’t provide much to the fans and is unhappy just about every second he’s forced to spend at the podium. Be prepared for a cranky old man.
According to Philly.com’s Rob Tornoe, former Dallas head coach Bill Parcells endorsed Coughlin as a potential candidate for the Eagles.
“I know guys Tom Coughlin’s age who know a whole lot more about football than some of the 30-year-olds who are coaching it,” Parcells said. “I think his record pretty much speaks for itself.”
Parcells also noted that other than Coughlin, the list of candidates available for the various head coaching vacancies around the league leaves a lot to be desired.
“The talent pool is a little bit thin right now,” Parcells said. “The debate is always between the experienced coach vs. the hot coordinator. Nobody knows which of this hot coordinators are eventually going to be successful.”
Tom Coughlin, Eagles head coach? It sounds wild, writes the New York Post’s Steve Serby, but it’s not as far-fetched as it seems.
When Coughlin sits down with Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and his flock of decision-makers Monday over a cheesesteak and hard pretzel, he immediately becomes the most coveted prize on the head-coaching market.
A Hall of Fame coach on the open market!
John Mara and Steve Tisch granting their former coach permission to enter the Eagles’ nest is more a classy move and sign of gratitude — it would have reeked of pettiness had they not — than any lack of fear Coughlin can come back, at age 70 next season, and haunt them in his next coaching life.
But they have every reason to fear him.
Gary Myers of the New York Daily News also thinks Coughlin could be a perfect fit for Jeffrey Lurie‘s Eagles.
In so many ways, he’s a perfect fit for the Eagles. He’s a blue-collar coach with no hidden agendas and Philadelphia is a blue-collar city with tough sports fans who have a lifetime love affair with the Eagles. Coughlin will bring discipline and accountability — he got high grades on both until giving Odell Beckham Jr. a pass against the Panthers — and has the ability to be caring like a grandfather off the field but tough and demanding on the field. Other than at quarterback, the Eagles have more talent than the Giants.
“He can still coach. That’s a given,” a source who knows Coughlin well said Saturday. “Who else is out there? I would say ‘Why not?’ I think he ran his course with the Giants. They waited a year too long. Whatever karma he had with the team was gone. Coaches run their course, they hit walls, it’s time to move on. If he’s still passionate, which he seems to be, being in a new place, there is no reason why he can’t be successful.”
With Coughlin, writes Forbes’s Jerry Barca, the personal relationships always came first, and always will.
In 2004, Coughlin’s first year as the Giants head coach, McConkey brought a guest to the team’s training camp. George Bodine had played football at Syracuse when Coughlin was a graduate assistant coach for the Orange. Bodine never figured Coughlin would remember an underclassman who had yet to become a letter winner. McConkey attempted to make the reintroduction, but it wasn’t necessary. Coughlin extended his hand first and asked George, by name, how he was doing.
“I mean, more than 40 years later. Just unbelievable,” said McConkey, who is now the president of Academy Securities.
At that final press conference with the Giants, Coughlin said as he grew in the coaching profession, relationships became the primary objective in his career.