He could be coaching his last ever game with the New York Giants this Sunday, but Tom Coughin doesn’t want his uncertain future to divert his team’s attention away from trying to finish a miserable season on a high note.
Much has been made of what lies ahead for the 69-year old NFL lifer, but Coughlin refused to spend a mere minute discussing his job status when he met with the media on Wednesday.
“I appreciate the sentiments, but that’s not where I want them focused this week,” said Coughlin. “Basically, I said don’t worry about me or my situation. Let’s prepare ourselves to play an outstanding football game and try to win a game against the Philadelphia Eagles team.”
Coughlin’s coaching mortality is on life support as he’s on the verge of leading his club to its third consecutive sub .500 season. The Giants have also missed the playoffs six of the past seven seasons and Coughlin’s two championship runsin 2007 and 2011 seem like eons ago.
Ironically, the team he will be facing, the Philadelphia Eagles, just parted ways with their head coach Chip Kelly prior to the Week 17 matchup with the Giants.
With news coming down that Coughlin’s NFC East coaching rival got the axe on Tuesday, New York’s head man admitted job security is always a question mark in the league but he didn’t necessary expect a coaching change in Philadelphia before the end of the year.
“Quite frankly, I’m not surprised anything in this business, but that one was close,” said Coughlin.
This week the Giants will benefit from the return of Odell Beckham Jr. who served a one-game suspension for his role in fighting with Panthers cornerback Josh Norman in Week 15. New York’s wide receiver underwent a great deal of criticism for his reckless play and helmet-to-helmet hit against Carolina’s shutdown corner.
As Coughlin prepares his team for its season finale, he acknowledged that his star playmaker learned his lesson the hard way and came to work this week with a business-like approach.
“He just attended the meetings and he was very quiet, to be honest with you,” Coughlin said. “Took part in everything. The guys, I’m sure, welcomed him back. He just came in, took his seat like he always does, and we went to work.
“I expect that he’s learned a great deal from this situation. And that he will have taken a little of addressing himself in terms of how that happened, and plan on doing a better job.”