It sounds as if Tom Coughlin might like to see Pat Shurmur in danger of losing his job.
With the Giants off to an 0-2 start, Coughlin said that one of the ways he knows how to turn a season around in New York is to put the head coach on the hot seat. Earlier in the week, Shurmur referenced a tabloid back page with photos of Coughlin and Eli Manning after their 0-2 start in 2007 with the headline “Will They Survive?” When Coughlin was told about that, he said that sentiment became a good omen for his teams when he was coaching the Giants.
“That was great,” Coughlin said on Friday night at the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Champions for Children Gala in Manhattan. “Every season after that, we would get together and I’d say, ‘Will you guys please print that I’m going to get fired? Because whenever you do that, we win a Super Bowl.’ You did it in ’11, you did it in ’07. Let’s get it out there again!”
It may be too early for that kind of speculation, at least in a serious manner. Shurmur is only two games into his tenure with the team. But after two losses and a decided lack of offense in those first two games, the pressure on him is mounting rapidly — and not just externally.
“Obviously, I’m not happy,” Giants co-owner John Mara said at the event. “But it’s a long season and we’ll see what happens . . . I’ve been through a million ups and downs with this team over the years. I think we have enough talent to be a much better team, but it doesn’t mean anything until we start winning games.”
Shurmur isn’t the only one feeling the heat. Manning has been under fire, too. “So what else is new?” Mara said. “We’re 0-2 for a reason. There’s nothing I can say to defend that. Obviously, we were hoping to do a little bit better, but we’ll see what happens. It’s a long season.
“What can I say?” he added. “Not a lot you can say when you’re 0-2.”
Coughlin, who coached Manning for his first 12 NFL seasons, has faith in his former quarterback. Coughlin saw him play in person in the opener when his Jaguars came to MetLife Stadium and won, 20-15.
“Eli is a talented, talented young guy who will continue to work with his team and his team will improve and get better,” Coughlin said.
Coughlin also thinks the Giants are in good hands with Shurmur.
“Pat’s a good coach and a good man,” Coughlin said. “He’s paid the price, he’s coached his way up to being in this position, and he will get it done. He’s started out with a couple of tough ballgames, no doubt, but I believe he’s an outstanding coach, I know he’s a great man and a great guy, and I believe he’ll get it done.”
Mara seemed optimistic about that, too. “I like the way we’ve practiced, I like their enthusiasm, I like their attentiveness to the coach, he said. “We’ll see if it pays off.”