Tom Coughlin was on the radio wrapping up the 2012 season today. He thought he should have been preparing for the playoffs.
“I can't even describe how it hurts," Coughlin said on WFAN of the disappointment of not making the postseason for the third time in the last four seasons. "I don't know what to do. I'm walking around here like a crazy man. I am. I don't know what to do with myself. We shouldn't be doing this (interview) right now. The pain of it is almost indescribable. Because your expectations are so high and as a matter of fact it drives you because of the opportunity that you have. The thing that's most difficult to deal with is losing, and then being out of it. It's difficult to describe.”
The Giants finished with a 9-7 record, the same mark they posted last year when they won the division and, eventually, the Super Bowl. It was the team’s inconsistency that cost them this season, and Coughlin said the team even had him fooled more often than not when solid weeks of practice and preparation did not translate into strong efforts in games. The losses to the Falcons and Ravens in Weeks 15 and 16 of the season were particularly perplexing.
“I'm glad I'm not a betting man, because I would’ve lost everything," Coughlin said. “Games in which I felt like we were right there and then all of a sudden, it just, for whatever reason … we didn't get off to a good start, we didn't rally back, we didn't stop the other guy at the right time, whatever it might be. I'm sure I'll be hashing these things over all winter.”
He’ll have a long one. The Giants don’t reassemble until April 15 to begin offseason workouts. By then some of the immediate pain and dazed confusion from the way the 2012 season ended will have worn off. But not entirely.
“To be the Super Bowl champion and not be in the playoffs," Coughlin said. "If that doesn't bring you down to Earth and create the kind of humility that goes along with getting your nose back to the grindstone, I don't know what does.”