Two items: (1) The playoffs and (2) The Giants.
(1) It pays to have momentum going into the playoffs. Fwiw, the Giants were
5-0 in 1986
3-2 in 1990
5-0 in 2000
3-2 in 2007
2-3 in 2008
This year the
(2) There has been really good quality discussion about the Giants, needs, realities etc..
“When you have that many games where you get blown out, there’s something wrong,” Mara said, “and it means that something has to be done.”
My take on Mara's response (in light of Coughlin and Gilbride staying) is: this is a classic response when you have a need for change and an organization that fundamentally resists it. He wants and instinctively understands that his team needs a major shakeup, yet there he is doing the minimalist dance of (tacitly accepting just) the Sheridan departure. He thinks/hopes this is the end of 2006. He thinks a Coughlin pep talk is going to turn it around, but this is the end of 2009 and it is much more serious. Mara thinks that Coughlin deserves to keep coaching his team, yet his own comments say Coughlin does not.
So he balks.
Gilbride without question had to go. That Washington performance saved his job, but it will end up costing Coughlin HIS, because with Gilbride there, there is
no offensive urgency
no intragame offensive adjustments
no significant intergame adjustments
consistent inability to leverage the personnel correctly
The Giants offense has the ability to carry the team, but Gilbride is almost always unwilling to accept responsibility and put that requirement on his shoulders. Yes, infrequently, we see him attack. But much more frequently we see urgency fade in and fade out. This is why Coughlin fades in and fades out. Add a defense that is anything less than excellent and the result is mediocrity. Barring a truly inspired choice who really delivers for the defense, Coughlin's fate will remain sealed as long as Gilbride is around because the teflon is now gone.