Surprising Player Support Helped Coughlin Keep Job
Tom Coughlin kept his job in part because New York Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch determined that he had more support among the team's players than one might have believed.
Giants players said after Sunday's season-ending loss in Philadelphia in the first round of the NFC playoffs that they thought Coughlin should be retained as the club's coach. Players delivered the same message to ownership when their input was sought the following day, and Mara and Tisch decided against firing Coughlin. They gave him a one-year contract extension through the 2008 season.
Still, that was only a mild endorsement. The Giants weren't going to force Coughlin to coach next year in the final season of his contract. Instead, they gave him the shortest possible extension.
Some things are changing for the Giants under the guidance of the next generation of the Mara and Tisch families following the deaths last year of Wellington Mara and Bob Tisch. The team is going to move into a new $1.3 billion stadium at the Meadowlands with the New York Jets. But the Giants remain a patient franchise not prone to the sort of knee-jerk reactions that will have at least 15 of the 32 clubs in the league beginning next season with coaches in their first or second seasons with their teams.
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