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Could Major Shakeup Be What’s Needed for New York Giants’ Future?

October 7th, 2013 at 6:45 AM
By Doug Rush

In Week 3, it was bad. Then in Week 4, it got worse, but after Week 5, things for the New York Giants have gotten down right ugly. Ugly enough to where change might be in order for the entire foundation of the organization.

It was ugly for the players, the coaches, front office and most of all; the fans, especially the 75,000-plus who sat in MetLife Stadium and watched their football team fall to 0-5 for the first time since 1987. With the 0-5 record, the Giants have the unfortunate honor of sole possession of last place in the NFC East, although ironically, are somehow only two games out of first place in the NFC East, but that's beside the point.

The fact of the matter is right now in the land of the Giants, it's not a fun place to be in or a part of You could tell it was really bad when Giants co-owner John Mara refused to speak to the media and had the "extremely angry" look as some of the Giants beat writers called it and he is certainly fed up with what he has witnessed through the first five weeks of the season, and fortunately for the team, they simply can't sit and mope around on this loss because in four days time, they have a quick turnaround into Week 6 as they will have to get on a plane and head to Soldier Field to play the Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football; a game many do not expect the Giants to win and eventually, fall to 0-6 on the season.

After the Week 6 game, the Giants are going to be returning to a lot of questions, even more scrutiny from the media and fans, and with an extremely angry and maybe even impatient owner who has to be fed up with the losing with the team, and not likely going to just allow the losing atmosphere to continue. So the question is, what happens?

Whether people want to admit it or not, the cold hard fact is that a major shakeup is likely in order for this Giants team, and for a lot of people involved with the Giants, nobody is exempt from it.

Starting with the people who actually took the field, the players were all put on notice by general manager Jerry Reese in the summer, as he wanted to see them improve from the 9-7 mark from last year; but unless some miracle touches down on the Giants, that miracle isn't making them a 10-6 team and the Giants will likely see another playoff-less season. Some of the veterans may not be back come 2014 and that list could include: Chris Snee, David Baas, Kevin Boothe, Antrel Rolle, Corey Webster, David Diehl, Keith Rivers, Aaron Ross and Justin Tuck, as either these players are free agents with expiring contracts, or players who could be candidates to be released due to salary and/or poor play. Hakeem Nicks is also a free agent too, but because he is the team's best receiver, the team may try to find a way to lock him up long-term and after his play on Sunday, definitely showed why he is their number one receiver.

For those looking for Eli Manning on that list, franchise quarterbacks don't exactly grow on trees in the league. They don't have Andrew Luck sitting in their back pocket, waiting to take the reigns, so this is still Manning's team and Manning's town. All quarterbacks are bound to have bad stretches and even losing seasons and fortunately for Manning, he hasn't had to encounter this kind of losing up until now, but it was bound to happen. But for anyone to suggest Manning be cut and sent out of town is simply crazy because there will be a dozen teams with open arms waiting to try and sign him once he hits the open market. 

Moving along in the blame game; is to the actual architect of the current team in Reese, whose player signings, talent evaluations and lack of recent championship and playoff success has been brought into question, especially from some of you the readers on the site. It's very rare to see a general manager get shown the door after two Super Bowl victories, but it's hard to defend some of the draft pick failures and free agent flops that have come through the doors of MetLife Stadium, which falls on Reese, so if he got fired, it would be shocking, but at the same time, one of those ground-shattering moves to alter the franchise that shows the organization that a new direction is in order.

And last, but definitely not least, the coaching staff. This is where it gets difficult to figure out, because for the last five weeks, everyone has been screaming for the heads of offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, but they are also two of Tom Coughlin's long-time assistants and friends, and coaches that he will likely not fire when it comes right down to it. But everyone is sick to death of them and their inept efforts on the field in leading their respective units, so how would they be able to be relieved of their coaching duties?

That would turn it over to the main man himself in Coughlin, who has been here since 2004, has only had one losing season in New York, won three NFC East division titles, two NFC Championships and two Super Bowls in his tenure with the team and likely, headed to the Hall of Fame whenever he's done in the league, which may be coming soon for him. Coughlin had a terrible coaching day out on the field and was out-coached by Chip Kelly on the field, leading to people discussing if the 67-year-old has lost that zip on his fastball and really has the pulse of the team? The players think he does, but the media and fans are thinking otherwise now. Coughlin has one year left on his current contract and the team does not believe in the "lame duck" coaching philosophy, which brings the coach and organization at a crossroads if they really feel that Coughlin is not fit to lead in the future.

Would they actually fire a man who has brought two championships to New Jersey? It's extremely unlikely, but you could see Mara discussing more of an "encouraged retirement" of sorts, but either way, the Coughlin voice and overall guidance and direction hasn't been getting through and considering the Giants have missed the postseason three out of the last four years and after this season, four out of the last five, maybe it's time for Coughlin to ride off into the sunset. Maybe Mara doesn't fire him, but gives him a team consultant job of sorts as a peaceful way for Coughlin to still be a part of the organization, yet still spend more time at home with his family.

Coughlin leaving as coach, whether it be by choice or by force, and which if ever did actually happened, wouldn't come until the end of the season, would really be the ultimate shake-up in New York and one that would likely send the biggest message to the team and to the fans that losing will not be tolerated, nor will it be accepted going forward.

Photo credit: Rajiv Patel (Rajiv's View) / Foter / CC BY-ND

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Tags: Eli Manning, Football, Jerry Reese, John Mara, Kevin Gilbride, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Perry Fewell, Tom Coughlin