Former New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is still a competitor.
Last season, Coughlin worked for the NFL, but he was away from the sidelines. In 2017, the Super Bowl-winning coach takes on a new challenge, as executive vice president of football operations for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Will his new role impact the New York Giants?
The semantics of last year’s resignation/firing controversy are firmly in the the distance. Back then, John Mara tried to put the happy Big Blue spin on things, as reported by the New York Post on Jan. 5, 2016.
“First of all, I wouldn’t characterize it as a firing,’’ Mara said. “Listen, we had 12 great years. All good things have to come to an end at some point in time. But I can never begin to repay him for everything he’s done for this franchise.’’
The great ones always remember, and Coughlin doubled the number of Lombardi Trophies in Giants-land. And now with a massive rebuilding job in northern Florida on his hands, Coughlin could make life difficult for his former employers.
The grizzled football veteran won’t let a vendetta get in the way of getting the Jaguars straightened out. Coughlin has too much pride to let that occur. But everyone in the tri-state area, with the possible exception of Jerry Reese and ownership, knows he was handed a bag of garbage and directed to make the playoffs in 2015.
Last year’s shopping spree proves that point.
NJ Advance Media indicates the Jaguars could “steal” defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul away from Big Blue.
“The Giants want to bring Pierre-Paul back, but they also have to be realistic. By signing him to a one-year, prove-it deal for 2016, they gave him the opportunity to do just that. Reese and the rest of the front office now find themselves facing a potential numbers crunch,” wrote James Kratch on Jan. 12, 2017.
Pierre-Paul thought he did prove it in 2016, and now the New York Giants should pony up. But under Reese, the G-Men seem to value other teams’ players more than their own. If the Jaguars do indeed steal JPP, it will be done in broad daylight.
When someone signs a “make good” contract, and he fulfills his end of the deal, then the other party is left to blame.
Your move Jerry Reese.
On the other hand, if Coughlin can bolster Jacksonville’s pass rush and tweak his former employer in one swing, he’d be crazy not to do it.
When Coughlin met the media on Feb. 24, he talked about changing his new team’s culture. According to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union, he questioned his team’s toughness in his press conference.
“There is a mental toughness part to this thing, too,” Coughlin said. “You have to finish.”
If nothing else, over the past two seasons, Pierre-Paul has proven his will and desire to play the game of football. Right now, JPP to the Jacksonville Jaguars makes too much sense not to happen.