Lawrence Taylor is the greatest New York Giants player of all-time. He is also the greatest defensive player of all-time. So, when he talks, people listen. That doesn’t mean he knows what he is talking about, for what it is worth. The Hall of Fame linebacker spoke with the NY Post while attending a charity golf tournament, and delivered his opinion on Giants head coach, Tom Coughlin.
“Tom Coughlin has done wonders for the Giants. Personally, I don’t know if I could play for him, but the guy is a winner, he is a fighter. But I think it is time for him to take his talents on the road.’
“He’s done all he can do for the Giants. If he wants to coach, I think he needs to take his philosophies to another team.
“After a while, the players just stop listening. I respect the man, but it’s time. As much as I like Coughlin and the job he has done, it’s time for a shakeup.’’
This is just one man’s opinion, and it shouldn’t be something that people get too excited about. Taylor really has no involvement with the Giants. He shows up when they honor him or one of the team’s he played for at halftime. That being said, nobody receives a louder ovation than him. But is Taylor right? Is it time for Coughlin to go?
The Giants are set to miss the playoffs for the third time in 4 years. Of course, the one time they did make it, they won their second Super Bowl under Coughlin’s direction. Yes, the team has not played well this year, and are in danger of finishing under .500 for the first time since Coughlin’s first year as head coach. But, how much of this is to blame on Coughlin? I think it is less than it seems.
There have been year’s in the past where Coughlin could have been fired due to the team faltering down the stretch and wasting talent. But this year was different, as this team didn’t perform out of the gate. That wasn’t really due to poor preparation. It has more to do with roster they have. Sure, you can point out some names, some Super Bowl heroes, but the names you normally don’t talk about are why the team has struggled, and it isn’t that the team tuned out Coughlin, like Taylor and others may suggest. Three starters on the offensive line went down with injuries at the start of the season, and only David Baas made a short, one drive return, before his season ended. Chris Snee is a Pro Bowl guard, and wasn’t there all year. Not surprisingly, Eli has been sacked more than any other year. Over on defense, the team has continued to ignore the linebacker position in the offseason, thinking they can rely on their pass rush. However, Jason-Pierre Paul wasn’t ready when the season began following back surgery, and is now out with a bad shoulder. Osi Umenyiora, their best pass rusher, left in the offseason. Justin Tuck is old, and they didn’t have a threat all year. More blame needs to be dropped on the guy who puts the team together, and not the guy is in charge of making those pieces work.
Taylor is as much of a Giants fan as anyone else. He just wants to see the team do well, and like many fans, his reaction isn’t surprising. However, it is wrong.