New York Giants Rumors Run Rampant, But No Concrete New News: Today’s newspapers are filled with conjecture and speculation about the fate of Head Coach Tom Coughlin and the yet-to-be-determined new general manager of the Giants. But there is still no official word on what may actually transpire. The truth of the matter is that everyone appears to be just guessing at this point.

What we do know is that Coughlin is currently scheduled to enter the final year of his original 4-year, $12 million contract in 2007.

Many in the Giants’ organization were preoccupied yesterday with a memorial service for Roy Posner, a financial advisor to the Giants for the past 15 years. Press reports indicate that Coughlin met with his staff in the morning. Then most of the coaches, much of the front office, and many players attended the memorial service. Afterwards, Newsday says the coaches returned to the stadium to evaluate players.

Sportswriter Ralph Vacchiano of The Daily News said yesterday in his blog that “numerous Giants sources” had told him that reports that the Giants had promoted Director of Player Personnel Jerry Reese to the general manager position and that Coughlin had been signed to a one-year contract extension were not true – at least not yet. Newsday says Coughlin’s fate has not yet been determined.

Giants’ Vice President of Communications Pat Hanlon said that yesterday’s media story about Dallas Cowboys’ Head Coach Bill Parcells contacting the Giants about the general manager position and being turned down by the team was inaccurate. “Parcells did not contact us and, as a result, he was not rebuffed,” said Hanlon. Parcells also denied the story. Vacchiano said in his blog that one source told him that Parcells was considered by the Giants, but he was never a serious option due to his age (65) and his penchant for changing jobs after three or four years. The Giants’ owners are said to prefer a younger candidate who will be with the Giants for a long time and bring stability to the front office.

The Bergen Record says there are reports that the Giants may be seeking a big-name executive to become the new general manager. One league source told the paper that neither Jerry Reese nor Giants’ Vice President of Player Evaluation Chris Mara would get the job and the Giants would search outside the organization for their man. The Record speculates that Patriots’ Vice President of Player Personnel Scott Pioli may not be out of the picture yet. The Daily News reports that the Tisch family may be resisting hiring the general manager from within the team.

Meanwhile, is reporting that the Giants are likely to retain Coughlin, but a media conference call originally scheduled yesterday to discuss his status was postponed as meetings continued within Giants Stadium. ESPN says that a source close to Coughlin said he expects Coughlin to be retained and his contract extended. The Star-Ledger is reporting that a source told the paper that Coughlin is likely to return for at least one more year and have his contract extended to avoid the appearance of being a lame duck coach. ESPN also reports that one unidentified Giants’ assistant coach said the staff does not know what is happening behind the scenes. Most papers say that Coughlin is likely under pressure to fire assistant coaches.

Article on Giants’ President and CEO John Mara: As Giants Wait, Mara’s On His Own for Tough Calls by John Branch of The New York Times

BBI Editorial –- If Tom Coughlin is Retained, It Will Be 1996 All Over Again: Could John Mara and Steve Tisch really be this stupid? Rumors are running rampant that Tom Coughlin will be retained and have his contract extended one or two years. If true, the new ownership will have proved itself incapable of providing the leadership this troubled franchise so desperately needs. This situation is reminiscent of the decision made in 1996 by Wellington Mara and Bob Tisch to retain Dan Reeves despite the fact that everyone knew that Reeves was a goner with another poor season. The 1996 ended up being a disaster – a wasted season. Could the Giants seriously be considering heading down that path again? Don’t they care about their paying customers and the product they put on the field? Maybe they just don’t get it.

Injuries were not the only issue. Poor game plans and in-game coaching decisions cost the Giants a number of contests in 2006. When was the last time you felt the Giants out-coached an opponent? Coughlin is already on weak ground with players who have not responded to his coaching style. They are not buying into his program. During the 2-7 finish in a terribly weak conference, the team lost confidence in itself and its coaching staff as team morale was shattered. They are a worn down and defeated group. Despite Coughlin constantly preaching discipline and playing smart football, the Giants were an undisciplined and stupid football team. The players do not respect Coughlin and obviously do not fear him all that much because they repeatedly have challenged his methods and capabilities in the press. In three years under his tutelage, supposed franchise quarterback Eli Manning has regressed. The Giants run the real risk of permanently damaging the psyche of their young quarterback, who will now quickly become a salary-cap albatross.

The defense was atrocious. Special teams got worse. Coughlin has clearly demonstrated that he is not capable of selecting quality assistant coaches. If ownership forces him to hire a new coaching staff, this will only weaken his image further with a roster that has watched him dangle in the press for weeks. Even if Coughlin is retained and his contract extended, they know he was almost fired and will be on the hot seat from the get go. To most, he will be viewed as being in a lame duck situation. Coughlin does not work well with the press and they smell blood in the water. That will continue. The fans have also turned on him. Don’t forget that during the last game at Giants Stadium, the home crowd chanted “Fire Coughlin!” and most left before the third quarter was over. You can bet that will start early in 2007 if he returns. And why would top quality assistant coaches looking for stability sign with the Giants if it is widely considered that Coughlin is vulnerable heading into the season?

Don’t do it Mr. Mara and Mr. Tisch. Your franchise is at the crossroads. Don’t make the same dumb mistake your fathers made in 1996. Bringing back Coughlin does not add stability to the franchise – it will make an already unstable situation worse. Many of us fans won’t put up with it again.