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Tom Coughlin Has the Support of His Players

The New York Giants' unraveling over the last couple of weeks has led those who like to speculate to, you know, speculate on the future of their coach, Tom Coughlin. The assumption is that, should the Giants beat Washington on Sunday and (with help from the Bears) make the playoffs, Coughlin's job is safe. But what if the Bears fail to cooperate, or worse, what if the Giants lose? How the front office will react is anyone's guess. The Giants themselves, though, have made their case.

Guard Chris Snee was among the most vocal in backing his coach (and father-in-law, so that was probably wise). Safety Antrel Rolle and linebacker Keith Bulluck spoke up as well, insisting that the blame for New York's collapse against the Eagles and spanking in Green Bay should fall on the players themselves. Most important, Coughlin has the Eli Manning stamp of approval. The Giant quarterback (capitalization is everything. He's just six foot four) voiced unequivocal support for his coach:

"So far, we haven't played up to our potential," he said. "It's not on the coaches. He may get blamed for it. That's on the players. We are well-coached, we are well-prepared."

So, the message is pretty clear. The Giants want no part in the speculation that their coach might be fired, although, as Josh Alper mentions, actions would have spoken louder than words:

That's the problem with hearing all this outpouring for Coughlin. If these players, who know what happens to coaches of teams that underperform the way the Giants have underperformed the last three years, really care about Coughlin, why the hell have they refused to heed his instructions on the field the last two weeks?

Better execution in the last two games could have spared us these rumors entirely. Either way, should Coughlin end up losing his job, we can be pretty certain the call came from above and no place else. If the Giants beat the Redskins, or — better yet — make the playoffs, all of this might well be forgotten.

Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images