Tom Coughlin has informed his assistants that the Giants are making a head coaching change, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
Schefter adds (via Twitter) that Coughlin will be “stepping down” from his position, though that may be just for the sake of appearances, since the Giants weren’t expected to retain him. According to Schefter (via Twitter), Coughlin made the decision to step down before the Giants had the chance to ask if he wanted to stay.
“I met with John Mara and Steve Tisch this afternoon, and I informed them that it is in the best interest of the organization that I step down as head coach,” Coughlin said in a statement, per Schefter. “I strongly believe the time is right for me and my family, and as I said, the Giants organization.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as head coach of the New York Football Giants. This is a not a sad occasion for me. I have spent 15 years with this organization as an assistant and head coach and was fortunate to be part of three Super Bowl winning teams. A Lombardi Trophy every five years is an achievement in which we all take great pride.”
Coughlin, who previously served as head coach of the Jaguars, led the Giants to a 102-90 record during his 12 seasons with the team. He also added eight victories in 11 postseason contests, with all of those wins coming in two seasons – 2007 and 2011 – during which the Giants won the Super Bowl.
In recent years, however, Coughlin’s Giants have struggled, having failed to earn a postseason berth since that 2011 Super Bowl season. After going 9-7 in 2012, New York has had three straight losing years, finishing 6-10 in a weak NFC East in 2015 and sealing Coughlin’s fate.
The Giants become the sixth team seeking a new head coach this winter, joining the 49ers, Dolphins, Browns, Titans, and Eagles as the clubs in the market for someone new. The New York job figures to be one of the more appealing openings, given the franchise’s history of success, its ownership group, and a talented offense led by Eli Manning and Odell Beckham.
The architect of that offense for the last two seasons has been offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, and he’ll be an interesting name to watch this offseason. There had been speculation that the Giants were grooming McAdoo as Coughlin’s eventual replacement, but it’s not clear if the team believes he’s ready for the head coaching position at this time. Manning has enjoyed two of the best seasons of his career under McAdoo, and figures to want his offensive coordinator to stick around, whether it’s in his current role or with a promotion. The Eagles also reportedly have interest in McAdoo.
Although the Giants’ offense has remained fairly effective, the roster has been plagued by injuries in recent seasons, and a lack of talent is partially to blame for the club’s struggles. General manager Jerry Reese, the man responsible for putting together the roster, has seen his draft record questioned recently, but he doesn’t appear to be in danger of losing his job, as Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network tweets.
Coughlin had been the NFL’s third-longest-tenured head coach prior to today, trailing only Bill Belichick (Patriots) and Marvin Lewis (Bengals). While today’s move was called a resignation, it’s not a retirement. Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports tweets that Coughlin will have interest in coaching again, if the right opportunity arises.