LISTEN: Reese, Coughlin Reflect On 2014, Look Toward 2015 With Francesa


NEW YORK (WFAN) — It was a disappointing season for the Giants.

Big Blue started out 3-2, but a seven-game losing streak in the middle of the season did them in. New York finished 6-10 and missed the playoffs for the third consecutive season.

There was speculation during the season that co-owner John Mara would fire longtime head coach Tom Coughlin, but Mara ended up retaining the three-time Super Bowl champion (two as a head coach, one as an assistant).

“The big thing to me was that if I didn’t believe that we could still win with Tom Coughlin, then we would have made the change,” Mara told WFAN host Mike Francesa on Wednesday afternoon “… I do believe that this team will still play for him. I do believe that we can still win with him and that he’s the right guy to lead us.”

The Giants finished strong, winning three of their last four. Many young players — most notably Rookie of the Year receiver Odell Beckham Jr. — gave fans a reason to believe that a bright future is on the horizon.

“We think we have a nucleus in place to be a playoff, Super Bowl-contending team again, and now we just have to go out and prove it,” Mara told Francesa. “We obviously need to add some pieces. We need to have another strong draft. We need to pick and choose in free agency some guys who can help us.

“If we could just get half of the guys that we lost last year back playing healthy in 2015, I think we’ll have a chance.”

Part of that nucleus is wide receiver Victor Cruz, who suffered a torn patellar tendon on Oct. 12 and missed the remainder of the season. If healthy, Cruz and Beckham Jr. would form a dynamic duo.

“As far as our doctors are telling me, and our trainers — Ronnie Barnes and all of our training staff — he is on pace to be back,” general manager Jerry Reese told Francesa. “But you never know with these kinds of injuries. It’s a big injury, and we’re really hoping that he can come back and be a dynamic player for us.

“But I don’t think you can put all your eggs in his basket to be that guy that we can count on 100 percent. We’re hoping, and it looks like he’s gonna be that guy, but we can’t put all of our eggs in that basket.”

Coughlin is currently looking for a new defensive coordinator after Perry Fewell — along with defensive backs coach Pete Giunta — was fired last week.

Steve Spagnuolo, who was the Giants’ defensive coordinator in 2007 and 2008, is considered a leading candidate to replace Fewell.

“I don’t know that it’s a philosophical change,” Coughlin told Francesa in regard to what he’s looking for from his new defensive coordinator. “It’s certainly, depending on who that person may be, going to allow that that individual be able to reflect on his strengths, his experiences and what he has done well.

“We know exactly what we’re trying to accomplish there. And within reason it will be the philosophy that we’ve always had here.”

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