New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin was set to head into the 2014 season as a lame duck coach, coaching in the final year of his contract. All that changed on Friday when the team announced that the veteran head coach and the team had agreed to a one-year extension of his current deal. Coughlin, 67, is currently the oldest head coach in the NFL.
New York finished the season 7-9, but the near .500 record is not an accurate description of how poorly the team performed on the field. The Giants started the season 0-6. To his credit, Coughlin did manage to get the Giants back into the NFC East playoff picture around Week 13, but lost the following two games by a combined 60-14, to slip back out of the running.
QB Eli Manning, in his 10th season, posted a career high 27 interceptions and committed a total of 31 turnovers. The running game, something the Giants have been known for in recent years, finished a mere 29th in the league as the team averaged just 83 yards on the ground per game. Offensive struggles this season by the Giants led to the firing of longtime offensive coordinator Kevin Gillbride.
2014 will be perhaps Coughlin’s toughest challenge. The offensive line is a mess. RB David Wilson continues to underachieve and is coming off injury. WR Hakeem Nicks and DE Justin Tuck are both free agents this offseason.
The extension gives Coughlin a one year audition to remain with the team after 2014. Given the amount of work that needs to be done with the current Giants roster and their struggles in 2013, there was some speculation that Coughlin might have retired this offseason. In the end, he returns and perhaps facing the biggest challenge of his coaching career. Then again, the reports of Coughlin’s coaching demise have been reported in the past.