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Former Giants QB Coach Mike Sullivan to Interview with Army for Vacant Head Coaching Job

December 20th, 2013 at 9:00 AM
By Douglas Rush

Current Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan has his sights set on becoming a head coach, even if it means that it happens at the college level.

The former New York Giants wide receivers/quarterback coach will interview for the vacant Army head coaching job, as Jordan Raanan of the Newark-Star Ledger reported on Thursday afternoon.

Army recently fired their head coach Rich Ellerson following their loss to Navy this past weekend, and Sullivan, a former Army player and assistant coach, will interview for the job on Friday.

What makes this an interesting case for the Giants is that many felt that Sullivan could have been a potential replacement and future heir to Coughlin for the Giants' head coaching job whenever the 67-year-old decided to hang it up; some have even wondered with the Giants disappointing 2013 season, if this year would be the final one for Coughlin and maybe Sullivan gets a call for an interview.

Sullivan was with the Giants first as a wide receivers coach and then the quarterback coach most recently in 2011 before getting hired by Greg Schiano to take over as the Buccaneers offensive coordinator in 2012.

Some also thought that if Schiano had gotten fired in the middle of the season when the team was winless and looking like they would run him out of Tampa Bay, Sullivan could have taken over as the interim head coach and maybe even as a replacement as a permanent head coach, but the Buccaneers have shown some life over the last few weeks and have been able to allow Schiano to keep his job for the time being.

Before being on staff with the Giants, Sullivan was also with Coughlin when he was the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, as he served as Coughlin's offensive quality control coach in 2002 and was there in 2003 after Coughlin was fired by the Jaguars and then joined Coughlin with the Giants in 2004.

Photo credit: STVM75 via photobucket


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Tags: Army, Football, Greg Schiano, Mike Sullivan, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tom Coughlin

17 Responses to “Former Giants QB Coach Mike Sullivan to Interview with Army for Vacant Head Coaching Job”

  1.  jb322 says:

    This is one coach the Giants definitely miss. Eli has not been the same since he left. And the wide receivers under Gilbride’s son, have been a joke.

  2.  GOAT56 says:

    I thought this deserved a repost:

    jb322 says:
    December 19, 2013 at 8:23 PM
    I guess I am in the minority here when I say I don’t think things are that bad. When I look at our situation, I see a terrible offensive line and a damaged, out of shape, #1 wide receiver that has essentially crippled our offense. I also see a team that has played one of the hardest schedules in the NFL. The winning percentage of teams on our schedule is higher than every other team except St Louis. We have played Carolina, Seattle, Kansas City and Denver. People like to talk about how we caught a break playing all those teams with back up quarterbacks, but they fail to mention that in our first 4 games we faced 3 of the top 5 teams in the NFL with our offensive line and backfield in shambles. Simply put, Fix the line, you fix this team. That can be and will be done. We have the cap room and the draft choices to do it. Do this and we are a 10 win team. With a decent line, we win the Chicago game, the first Philly game and both Dallas games. So whether people want to admit it or not this team is close to contending again.

    That said, I do think there is a serious disconnect between JR and TC that is starting to be a major impediment to the success of this team. Half the draft picks brought in have never gotten any playing time. There seems to be some kind of struggle going on between the two. Does anybody else get the impression that Wilson was not TC’s first choice in the draft room? It is obvious to me that they have a very different philosophy as to the type of player required for this team to be successful, I see it over and over, Beckum, Barden, Wilson, Robinson, Jernigan, Brewer just to name a few. And before anybody jumps on the ” oh these guys had no talent” bandwagon, remember there is a very fine line between success and failure in the NFL. If you need an example look no further than Andre Brown and Jon Beason. Brown was cut loose 5 times, Beason was riding the bench in Carolina.

    Sooner or later one of the two has to go. If TC truly does plan to stay on longer, then this has to be Reese. He can have all the talent in the world as a GM, but as long as TC is here, he will be constrained in what he can do. It doesn’t matter what talent he brings in. We either need to bring in a coach that buys into Reese’s philosophy or bring in a GM that can get the kind of players Coughlin wants.

    LUZZ says:
    December 19, 2013 at 9:56 PM
    This is a very good point. The struggle between JR and TC is an untold story, but one that is hurting our player development in a big way.


    •  GOAT56 says:

      Two excellent points. The strength of our schedule has been overlooked. Though it doesn’t excuse our performance in some games.

      The disconnect between JR and TC is probably something we have underplayed. We have been winning so it hasn’t been a big deal. But it seems that TC almost goes out of his way not to play rookies. Let’s not forget that Pugh was a backup before Diehl got hurt. I can’t recall one rookie that was a starter day one excluding Pugh. Even Nicks was backup that just played a lot.

      •  BigBlueGiant says:

        First off, going into this season, everyone on this thread was saying how soft our schedule was. Not me. The only surprise of the teams we played was Carolina.

        I said 7-9 going into this year. looks like 6-10. I was off by that Carolina game.

        But, do we beat the Skins last game in the battle of the “who cares” to get that ONE last win, knocking back two picks in the draft? We shall find out.

  3.  JimStoll says:

    Given the state of the team, it is hard to know whether it is more productive tio look back at the injuries and how that has effected the team or forward to replacing what appears to be a very untalented roster.

    Dan’s point on injuries is of course true – there have been a lot. The question is whether the starters were all that good to begin with or whether they can ever be healthy again.
    As to the latter point, the poster children are Baas and Snee. Baas has been injured in each of the 3 seasons he has been here and has never approached expectations. Snee was last fully healthy in 2008. Both are around 32. The likelihood they will ever be fully healthy again seems remote. If they are not, how good can they ever hope to be? And they cost a bunch. Seems like the smart move would be to release them and start anew.
    Webster and Wilson are the poster children for the first issue. Corey’s had a weird career. Always seemed to be a guy suited for press coverage but forced to play the cover 2 and thus very up and down. Terrible in 2012 and played so little in 2013 it is hard to say whether he would have been good or bad had he stayed healthy.
    Wilson, for all his raw speed, has the look of a great college player who could never make the transition to the NFL. I know his sample is small, and the neck injury may mean that the question can never really be answered, but other than the NO game last year and a handful of KO returns, the guy has looked lost, scared and not very good. The Matt Dodge of RBs. s

    The biggest problems heading into 2014 are Eli and JPP. They are suppose to be our two most talented players yet both have been terrible for the better part of the last two seasons. We can legitimately put a lot of blame on others (Eli’s o-line; JPP’s DT-mates in 2012), but bottom line they have both stunk for a disturbing length of time.
    With JPP we think it is injuries; but the question now presents itself whether those can be overcome. On the positive side we have the example of Justin Tuck, which gives hope; but injuries take a toll and players don’t always come back. that’s why the average NFL career is less than 5 years.
    As for Eli, is he getting old? is his arm strength deteriorating (a meme that is presently finding currency)? is he playing scared? or is it just a biblically bad offensive line (with a healthy dose of his no 1 WR going awol)?
    again, these are imponderables that will take next year to discover answers for.

    But is does boil down to Krow’s observation: the healthy, reliable, talent does seem lacking

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I’m not so sure it’s an injury curse. Injuries to older players like Snee, Bass, Rodgers and Webster is not expected but also not surprising given their age. But I think how we are training our athletes is the issue. Last year was the only year we stayed fairly healthy. We have dealt with a mass of injuries over this entire run. Only great roster depth has saved us in other years. We really need to look at what Philly has done with it’s players because they have stayed extremely healthy since a few injuries in training camp. This has long been a problem that we have just over come.

      Wilson reminds me of Reggie Bush. I think if he’s healthy and able to play he will eventually be a very good NFL RB. But he has to learn how to run in the NFL and we have to learn how to use him.

      I agree about Eli and JPP. I’m much less worried about Eli. He will be fine. Old QBs play just fine. McCown is 34. JPP is troubling but he’s still young and in a contract year.

  4.  jb322 says:

    It does come down to talent on the field, which is why i suspect that there is a problem with our strength and conditioning program. The Giants are a consistently injured team. To the point that a we may have squandered some of our gems such as Nicks, Phillips, JPP, and others that could have been contributors. I read somewhere that Justin Tuck had stopped following the Giants offseason routine this year and went back to a more strength based approach, it seems to have paid off for him. I wonder if the problems with Baas can be attributed to that too.

  5.  jb322 says:

    Teams like Philadelphia, Minnesota San Fran and Pittsburgh that are noticeably stronger always seem to have less injuries

    •  JimStoll says:

      I never know if it is really possible to connect the dots the way you are doing.
      so many injuries are the product of contact to the head, to the knee, etc.
      No amount of strength or conditioning insulates a player from that.
      I’ve always thought — without having any facts to back it up — that the strains and pulls could be the product of too much weight training, too much sprinting, too many supplements (whether they be PEDs or just vitamin overloads) and not enough strtching.
      Other than that I can’t really appreciate what the strength and conditioning program we utilize does or does not do in relationship to injuries.

      •  jb322 says:

        I agree, its hard to read too much into this, but you can look at patterns and see if there are prevailing trends. I looked at the injured reserve list for every team over the past five years and the Giants are one of the teams that are consistently injured. I don’t attribute that to luck. Something has to be factoring into this, the only thing I can come up with is the training staff.

    •  BigBlueGiant says:

      Hey, i’ve been the leader of the “FIRE JERRY PALMERI” group for a few years now.

  6.  fanfor55years says:

    Well, OF COURSE it is mainly the offensive line and injuries. Some of us were pointing at the offensive line a few years ago as a future problem, and by the third game this season it was obvious that the O-line was either going to be fixed or take this team down with it (look at some of the comments from the early parts of this season after seeing two games).

    But just as it takes a lot of things to create a winner of a ring, it takes a lot of things to take a team that DOES have some real talent on the roster down toward the depths of the league. Injuries, bad schemes, bad play calls, untimely penalties, bad bounce of the balls, lousy officiating, lack of depth at critical positions, bad karma in the locker room, a few too many passive personalities, coaches that may have been around a bit too long for their message to keep getting through, tough schedules, etc. It ALL contributes. None of us are going to be able to fully understand what has happened. I doubt the coaches and players fully understand it.

    Analyze it all we want, but recognize that the place from which to start building is to recognize where the strengths are (there are plenty of them) and build around those. Too many of you are focused on the rocks in the river and why they dictate against a good ride down the rapids when you ought to be focused on how to avoid those rocks and move swiftly downstream. This is what happens when the voices of doom start to dominate a discussion. They move the discussion by ‘setting” a standard for reasonableness that is not, truly, accurate, and they use the fact of a very poor season to blast away at anyone who thinks there are actually any reasons to feel that hope remains for the future.

    Well, I see big problems. But I also see some large talents. I see a General Manager who has made some mistakes but is very good, young, and probably going to get even better. I see a quarterback who didn’t become a bum overnight and has a number of good seasons left in him as one of the premiere players in the NFL. I see a mix of young and veteran talent that can be built around. I see a solid draft position coming in April.

    I think it takes until 2015, but I don’t know why this team cannot get competitive.

    •  BigBlueGiant says:

      It’s going to take another year at least.

      My concern is with this offense and what they’re going to do about fixing it. It seems that we are a long way off now. The O-line, RB’s, TE’s and now WR’s.

      That’s a lot to fix in one or two years.

      Say Nicks goes. And now with Cruz’ Knee injury (which very well might be related to an osteoarthritis), Seems likely that WR will be our 1st round pick. Especially since we won’t be in the top 4 picks, WR just seems the likely choice.

      O-line can be addressed in FA as we did with McKenzie a few years back, and TE can possibly be addressed too. The problem is the salary cap and who JR decides to keep on this team.

      •  jb322 says:

        I really think either TC or Reese has to go before we are successful again. And I hope it is TC but I suspect it will be Reese. And for my 2 cents worth I will put it out there that I would resign Nicks rather than draft a WR

    •  JimStoll says:

      you are both right and wrong
      of course lots of reasons converge to produce an outcome — good and bad
      but putting it that way masks more than reveals the problem with this team
      we are a bad team – barely competitive most weeks; some weeks not competitive at all
      and one can declare all day long that the team has lots of talent but where is it on sunday?
      one can say eli’s been good in the past and will be good in the future, but its been 24 games since he’s played consistently well and he isn’t getting younger
      one can say JR’s a really good GM, but other than the instantly (and singularly as it turned out) contributive 2007 draft, his body of work is not impressive

      given how bad the team is right now, I think it more dangerous to persuade ourselves of all the great pieces we have than it is to err on the side of criticizing everything

      that said, eli obviously remains the QB for now and at least the next 2 years
      Coughlin and his staff remain in place (regrettably in my opinion) for that period too
      obviously, if TC stays, Mara’s not going to blame JR because he bathes in the same sunlight cast by the two trophies

      all there is to talk about is which players other than Eli stay and which go and who gets added given cap restrictions

  7.  GOAT56 says:

    The NFL changes too much every year to give up on 2014 before it starts. Our division sucks. The Philly system over the offseason will be figured up better. Dallas and the Redskins have as many or more issues than we do. There’s a lot to do for us to return to being a good football team again but I think we definitely need some new energy. Whether that comes from just new players or coaches I don’t know but I don’t think we have had great energy since we won the SB. What made the 2011 team was the fight it always had. You never felt a game was over because we always were in game until the end. We need to get that back.

    I do think JR is a quality GM. I think some are missing the depth that he has provided every year until this year. Given the mass of injuries we have suffered every year until this year it’s been because of JR’s depth we have still be able to win. But what he did this year didn’t work. It was a disaster giving Cruz and contract while making our #1 WR play out his deal. It didn’t work having all these players on one year deals on the field or from a team chemistry standpoint.

    I think for JR next year is easier as a GM because we had a bad year so he’s free not re-sign someone like Nicks and to let go of vets like Snee and Kiwi (or Tuck). we had been winning so the thought has been just add a few pieces but don’t rip the core apart. After a year like this everything gets re-examined and that’s probably a good thing.

    I think JPP should be locked up long term if we re-sign Joseph. I worry about having Joseph being paid and JPP not turning out like the Nicks, Cruz situation. I understand JPP is a risk now but by signing him we should be able to get a big discount over what it would have cost a year ago. We need to take care of our core guys. The Nicks situation has to be used as a learning experience.

    And finally I’m coming to the point that I think removing TC would be best. The latest reason is that JR didn’t hire TC and if he’s going to be here long term as it appears he should be allowed to bring in his guy. While TC was winning there was no way you could make a change just to appease JR. But now it makes since. There is just too much disconnect with personnel and how players are used. I think only because it’s the Giants we haven’t heard whispers but I think our young guys not playing is TC not being on board as much as it is being old school. It seems that the team just needs new leadership. We at least need a new voice in the room between the HC, OC and DC.

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