INDIANAPOLIS — Moments after Tom Coughlin’s final news conference with the Giants to announce his resignation after 12 seasons, he walked off the stage inside the team’s meeting room and walked right past team president John Mara, who appeared to be ready to shake Coughlin’s hand.
Coughlin then walked out of the room, setting off a torrent of speculation on social media that the former coach was sending a not-so-subtle message to his former boss that he wasn’t happy about stepping down.
Not so, Coughlin says.
“No, of course not,” Coughlin said Wednesday morning at the Scouting Combine, where Coughlin is participating on a Coaches Advisory Committee to discuss several topics related to player safety and game operations. “When I exit, I exit. I didn’t pay any attention [to Mara].”
Coughlin said he was more preoccupied with his wife, Judy, his son, Tim, and his son-in-law, former Giants guard Chris Snee, who were also at the news conference.
“Quite frankly, I was more concerned with Judy and Tim and Chris Snee. Eli [Manning] was sitting over here. I was just headed out of there as fast as I could.”
Coughlin met with Mara after the meeting, and were seen talking and laughing. So there was no hidden message from the former coach involved with how he left the news conference.
“Of course not,” Coughlin said. “There was no intent there.”