NFL Black Monday Survivors
Coughlin’s status isn’t as secure as is implied. General manager Jerry Reese and owner John Mara have said they Coughlin back, but Coughlin is intensely loyal to his coaches. If there’s an ultimatum that offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride needs to go and Coughlin tries to save Gilbride’s job, it could be a “you fire him, you have to fire me too” situation. Then the front office will have to decide whether they’d like to sully the two Super Bowls the Giants have won under Coughlin with a grisly divorce.
This isn’t about the team giving up on the coach or his age. The team didn’t quit even when they were 0-6 and wound up with a respectable 7-9 record. I don’t see why Coughlin’s age should even matter. The game hasn’t passed him by; he’s mellowed from his glowering, humorless disciplinarian act; and if he was 57 instead of 67, no one would bring up his age at all.
If Coughlin tries to save Gilbride, he could wind up going down with him. Gilbride might simply resign to save Coughlin the risk. This isn’t over yet.
Mike Munchak – Tennessee Titans
Munchak brought the Titans to a 7-9 record after losing his starting quarterback Jake Locker. Wins in their final two games made the record somewhat respectable. They came against the woeful Texans and Jaguars. The team played hard for Munchak and as a Hall of Fame player in his own right, they certainly respect him.
The Titans got blown out of one game this season against Peyton Manning and the Broncos. They weren’t expected to be a playoff team and with Locker entering his fourth season, Munchak should get another year. It’s hard to fire the coach when he loses his starting quarterback and keeps the team competitive with limited talent and expectations.