5 Things We Would Know If Tom Coughlin Agreed To Coach The Philadelphia Eagles
It takes a certain type of idiot to not recognize that professional football is a business, first and foremost. Players play and coaches coach because they can make tremendous amounts of money carrying water for one of 32 billionaires that consider each of them interchangeable cogs in a corporate machine. Why wouldn't the players and coaches consider the teams interchangeable as well, right? The truth is they almost certainly do. That being said, a career in the NFL is a labor of love more so than a similar career in any of the other major American sports, because it's a vastly more dangerous, volatile work environment. Less job security, more unfair scrutiny, way more arbitrary finger-pointing, brain injuries -- it's the only sport where even the coaches get injured. That's how we know the players and coaches aren't in it solely for the money.
There's an emotional investment required to work in the NFL; an investment that implies a certain degree of selflessness. It implies a kind of stubborn virtuosity.
If anyone demonstrates this noble commitment to the sport and their team and its fans, it's Tom Coughlin. Say what you will about his outwardly callous, grumpy demeanor -- he's undoubtedly a principled guy. If he agreed to be the next head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles -- the Joker to the New York Giants' Batman -- he will have defied this perception.
Eagles now have turned their attention to former Giants HC Tom Coughlin, per sources. Yet, there are issues for two sides to work through.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 14, 2016
Here's what we'd know if he actually took that job...
5) Tom Coughlin doesn't get it.
If he's holding a grudge against the Giants for forcing him out, fine -- they definitely could've handled his departure better. But for someone with Coughlin's understanding of the high expectations of an NFL coach to begrudgingly exit after an atrocious 2015 season, rife with play call blunders and egregious time management errors, you can't help but wonder if he even sees just how poor a job he's done. Stay for an improbable Super Bowl run, Coughlin's Giants have made the playoffs once in the last seven years, so in the Giants defense, it's hard to subtly urge someone to resign if they can't grasp the magnitude of their failures -- or appreciate the amount of slack they've been given. Heading to the Eagles -- or any team for that matter -- implies that Coughlin thinks he's still ahead of the curve when it's clear that has not been the case for some time.
4) Tom Coughlin cares more about money than loyalty.
The Philadelphia Eagles are a mess, having been gutted and re-populated with players who Chip Kelly recruited out of high school for his very specific system at Oregon. They're a slight breeze away from having Sam Bradford's ACL disintegrate, leaving them with a projected $56 million on the books and no quarterback. They've got a disgruntled running back who's already chased one coach out of town through the media. Their defense is even worse than the Giants. Coughlin going to the Eagles wouldn't be about his legacy or getting another chance to climb Mt. Super Bowl -- it'd be about money, or worse. Which brings us to #3 on our list...
3) Tom Coughlin isn't what he purports to be.
If it wasn't already clear that someone who screams at players for being undisciplined isn't undisciplined themselves, a move to the Eagles should be enough to tell you that Tom Coughlin does not practice what he preaches. This is a pretty basic point, but it bears mentioning: what kind of 69-year-old coaches a team for 11 seasons, then immediately goes to their most hated rivals the second he's out the door? That sounds less like the behavior of a holier-than-thou adult man and more like the vindictive actions of a 12-year-old girl. Come to think of it, he essentially tossed his hair and rolled his eyes at Giants' CEO John Mara immediately after stepping down from the podium at his farewell press conference. Pious much?
2) The Eagles have nothing better to do than to troll the New York Giants.
I get the logic of hiring a no-nonsense coach whose claim to fame is pulling over the car and making the bad kids walk home, but that's not really the Eagles problem right now. They need a capable game manager to compensate for the holes on their roster. They need someone who has a track record making shrewd personnel decisions to help fill said holes. These are NOT Tom Coughlin's strong suits. He's an inspirational figurehead whose in-game decision-making has been looking more and more outdated every year. More importantly, he'll be 70 at the start of next season, so it's not like Philly would be ushering in the next chapter. Hiring Coughlin would be a short term "fuck you." It'd be flipping the bird while driving by the MetLife Stadium exit on I-95. It'd be the NFC East-equivalent of lighting a bag of dog poo and leaving on front porch of every Giants fan. No wonder this franchise can't win a Super Bowl -- they're more concerned with sticking it to the Giants than actually winning a Super Bowl.
1) The Giants forced Tom Coughlin out of his contract in an unprofessional manner.
Now that we've bashed the other two parties involved in this spiteful triad, let's give the Giants organization their deserved amount of hate. Imagine what went on behind-the-scenes to piss off grandpa Coughlin to the point that he'd sign with a division rival that plays literally 99 miles down the road. Not only did the Giants try to save face by forcing him to resign -- as if it was his decision -- but they did so after signing him to a lame duck, one-year contract extension that had him coaching the team through 2016. That's like inviting someone to a party, turning off the music when they show up, then forcing that person to tell everyone there it was his decision to shut it down. They also did a horrible job hiding the fact that OC Ben McAdoo was brought in to replace Coughlin two years ago. The Giants basically made a franchise legend and future Hall of Famer spend two years watching his successor move their stuff into his office.
-- Thank god...
Tom Coughlin is withdrawing his name from consideration for Eagles HC job, per sources. Not the right fit.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 14, 2016
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