Tom Coughlin stepped down as head coach of the Giants on Monday.
More specifically, the 69-year-old did not retire. That leads many to wonder whether his time on the sideline is over or if he will find another team to coach and prepare, all the while insisting that they arrive five minutes early.
The only other Giants head coach to win two Super Bowls — a mentor of Coughlin’s and a guy who knows a thing or two about scratching the coaching itch after walking away — said he would not be surprised if Coughlin coaches again.
“I was the poster boy for not being able to get off the train,” Bill Parcells said on ESPN on Monday afternoon. “No, it wouldn’t shock me. But there are not many guys our age doing that anymore. A few, but not many. I think he’ll adjust. That’s what coaches do. They adapt to whatever happens, whether it be injuries or salary-cap problems or player issues. They adapt. He’ll do that. I don’t have any concerns personally about him. I think he’s a terrific guy, and I enjoyed my time with him very much. I’m proud to call him a friend.”
Parcells said Coughlin will be fine in the coming days and weeks as he is surrounded by family and friends, receives innumerable calls from former players, and possibly even interviews for a position or two.
“It’s not today,” Parcells said. “It’s when you’re alone at night with your own thoughts, by yourself, and there aren’t any family members around. There aren’t any of your coaches to talk to. Or the players to think about. And you’re not positive what’s next. That’s when your mind wanders. And you wonder, ‘Hey, what is next?’ Because they’ve always put ‘foot ball coach’ after your name. Right now, or temporarily, or maybe forever, they’re never going to put that after your name ever again. But that’s what he was. And I tell you, the league will miss guys like him.”
Or maybe they won’t for very long.