There was a lingering possibility that former Giants head coach Tom Coughlin would re-join the organization this season in an advisory role, helping to grade personnel and ease the transition for new head coach Ben McAdoo.
But in an interview Wednesday night at a Mike and the Mad Dog reunion to benefit Garden of Dreams Foundation, Coughlin seemed to put that pipe dream to bed.
"I haven't heard anything about that," Coughlin said, via The New York Post. "I don't think I will be with them in any capacity this season."
He added that he was not upset about the team's general manager, Jerry Reese, spending more than $200 million to upgrade a defense that helped lead to Coughlin's ouster in the first place.
"I'm not bitter," he said. "We know we aren't winning a Super Bowl without a good defense. It didn't happen then and now it is."
Hearing Coughlin now reminds us of what Tom Brady's dad said about the legendary quarterback once he reaches the end of his career: "It will end badly. It does end badly. And I know that because I know what Tommy wants to do. He wants to play till he's 70. ... It's a cold business. And for as much as you want it to be familial, it isn't."
Brady and Coughlin are alike in that they're constantly trying to fight off the reality of time. At 69, Coughlin realizes his age but feels like he is young for the profession. He felt like he got into NFL head coaching late and wants the chance to run another team. There is little doubt that he would have remained on board in New York under different circumstances. There is little doubt the Giants expected him to go quietly, even if they parted ways five years from now.
But not accepting the advisory role was probably the best thing Coughlin could have done. The coach does amazing work in the New York/New Jersey community and has a wealth of knowledge that would be invaluable in a job with the league, which Coughlin said he was also thinking about post-coaching. He understood how important it was to be himself, or the best version of himself, when he was leading the Giants to Super Bowls. Ben McAdoo deserves that chance, too.