On WFAN: Coughlin Says Changes Must Be Made, But Giants Can Make Them
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NEW YORK (WFAN) — It was a maddening season for Giants head coach Tom Coughlin.
His team improbably started off the season with six consecutive losses before righting the ship and winning seven of the next 10 games.
But despite the strong finish, the 7-9 Giants missed the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons, and the three-time Super Bowl champion — two as a head coach and one as an assistant — suffered his first losing season since 2004.
The 67-year-old will, by all accounts, return to East Rutherford in 2014 for his 11th season as Giants head coach. The veteran leader isn’t quite ready to hang them up, and he’s looking forward to getting his team back to the postseason.
One thing that will need to be addressed in the offseason is the offense, which co-owner John Mara recently said is “broken.”
“I would hope that the entire organization senses what John Mara said the other day, and everybody’s up on their toes,” Coughlin told WFAN host Mike Francesa on Friday. “…Do we have to change things? Sure. We’ve gotta get some things back in perspective and in order and start doing things with the execution and the efficiency that we’ve had here. And I believe we can do it.”
Big Blue was hit hard by injuries in 2013, but stars who stayed healthy — Eli Manning and Hakeem Nicks, most notably — underperformed. New York finished 28th in the NFL in total points with just 294.
“Well, the production was not there,” Coughlin said. “‘Broken’ is a term that can lead to many things. There’s no excuses for anything, but there (were) certainly a lot of pieces missing, and the pieces that were there, some of them did not perform at the level that we wanted to … We did not accomplish what we set out to. We didn’t play as well as we would have liked to have played.”
Former offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, who many thought might be fired in light of the Giants’ struggles, announced his retirement on Thursday. Gilbride had been with the Giants since 2004, first serving as the quarterbacks coach and then as the offensive coordinator beginning in 2007.
Coughlin said that in no way was Gilbride forced out by the organization’s higher-ups.
“To think that there’s any one individual who is responsible for the circumstances that we found ourselves in, that’s crazy,” the head coach told Francesa. “Kevin Gilbride is an excellent football coach, he’s an excellent teacher and communicator. His players do respond to him. He works very, very hard at his trade … He has made his mark on this organization.”
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