Tom Coughlin never talks of retirement, rarely even breathes a word about the end of his coaching career being near. But on Tuesday, one of his players did that for him.
Giants defensive back Terrell Thomas, in an appearance on the NFL Network’s “NFL AM” show, said that he once believed that 2012 would be Coughlin’s final year in the league. Now, Thomas said, he thinks 2013 could mark the end for the 66-year-old coach.
“I think he has one more year in him,” Thomas said. “We have a great nucleus of guys, and I don’t think he wants to give that up. That passion is still burning within him. . . . So I think he wants to go out on top.”
Coughlin has never spoken of retirement, and Giants co-owner John Mara did not seem to buy Thomas’ theory about the veteran coach.
“I mean, I don’t see him going to Florida to play shuffleboard anytime soon,” Mara said. “I think he’s still got a lot of fire left in him, and he’s still a great coach, so hopefully he’s going to be around for many more years.”
Coughlin could have gone out on top after the 2011 season, when he guided the Giants to an improbable Super Bowl title. It was the Giants’ second Lombardi Trophy in five seasons, and afterward Coughlin signed a contract extension that runs through 2014.
But that success was followed by last season’s stunning collapse, a playoff-less season that the Giants still struggle to explain. “We really don’t know,” Thomas said of 2012’s late-season swoon. “Talking to the other players, we were 6-2 at the midpoint and kind of went downhill after that. I think a little bit of the youth movement kind of took a toll; we had a lot of young guys that had to step up and fill in for injuries.”
Thomas added that he hopes that if 2013 is Coughlin’s final year, the Giants can give him a proper sendoff. “Hopefully, we can get it right,” Thomas said, “and bring a Super Bowl home in Giants Stadium.”


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