So now, Dr. Tom Coughlin wants to play psychologist and counsel Odell Beckham after playing the role of desperate coach last year and enabling him?
Coughlin had his chance last December, when he was actually coaching the Giants, to make a career-long impression on OBJ as he was losing his mind in his fistfight against Josh Norman and the Panthers, picking up three personal fouls when he could have had six.
Instead of teaching Beckham a life lesson by benching him even for one series, Coughlin didn’t punish him even for one play. Maybe he’s looking for a do-over by lobbying to get in OBJ’s ear.
Coughlin is collecting $7 million from the Giants in the final year of his contract after four straight non-playoff seasons got him fired in January. But now he wants to intrude on rookie coach Ben McAdoo’s job. How would he feel if Bill Parcells said he wanted to have a talk with Michael Strahan and Tiki Barber when they were criticizing Coughlin?
In comments to CBS this week, Coughlin praised Beckham as being “a good kid. He’s a team guy in the team room. It’s just when he gets on the field, there’s only one way he knows how to play.”
Coughlin said he needs to learn how to channel his passion. “And I would love to try to help him in this regard because I think so highly of him,” Coughlin said.
Here’s how the conversation between Dr. Coughlin and Beckham should proceed:
Coughlin: “You need to calm down and not let the defense bait you into these rants and damaging penalties.”
Beckham: “You didn’t seem to mind when I was your only playmaker the last two years.”
Coughlin: “Yeah, but I was just trying to save my job. I needed you to win games for me. Now I’m worried about you, kid.”
Even by suggesting he come to the rescue, Coughlin is undermining McAdoo, as if he can get through to Beckham but McAdoo can’t. Where was Coughlin last December when Beckham really needed an intervention?
(Al Bello/Getty Images)
Coughlin was incredulous after the Panthers game last year when I asked him if he considered sitting down Beckham to let him cool off. Beckham’s behavior was embarrassing.
“You want me to take him out of the game?” Coughlin said with a tinge of disgust.
He then tried to cover up minutes later by saying he strongly considered sitting Beckham.
“But it didn’t happen,” he said.
Coughlin came to the Giants preaching discipline. He even alienated future Hall of Famer Michael Strahan by fining him for being early, but not five minutes early, for a team meeting. Although Strahan learned to love playing for Coughlin, by end of his Giants run, Coughlin had changed.
The tough guy was gone. He had escaped being fired at least twice since he was hired in 2004 and knew the only way to keep his job after last season was to make the playoffs. He needed to beat the Panthers. He needed Beckham to help him beat the Panthers. That wasn’t going to happen if his most explosive weapon was on the bench.
Discipline be damned. Principles be damned.
There was a game the Giants needed to win.
Instead, after a comeback from a 35-7 deficit, the Giants gave up the winning points on the final play for the second time last season. It was one of six heartbreaking games they lost. It dropped them to 6-8 and they finished 6-10.
For months after he was let go, Coughlin returned to the Giants offices to use the gym a couple of times a week. The coaches were in the building, half of whom worked for Coughlin. Manning would drop by. Coughlin’s presence in the offices infringed on McAdoo’s territory.
He’s doing it again. This time it’s more damaging. Clearly, Coughlin is having a hard time letting go of the Giants. In fact, he cost himself the Eagles job by spending the interview complaining how he got a raw deal from the Giants.
A referee (l.) separates Odell Beckham and Josh Norman last season.
If Coughlin didn’t lose the locker room when he failed to punish Beckham, it had to hurt in management’s evaluation when they decided to pay him to leave. The NFL, which often doesn’t get suspensions right, did get it right by sitting Beckham one game. He deserved that simply for launching himself at Norman and delivering a helmet-to-helmet hit.
All that being said, the supposedly safety conscious NFL screwed up and failed OBJ by not protecting him in Minnesota on Monday night.
Beckham has developed a reputation as a hothead and game officials have been instructed by the big bosses at 345 Park Ave. to keep him on the shortest of leashes.
Norman set the blueprint last year on how to aggravate Beckham and throw him off his high-powered game and now that players like Minnesota’s Xavier Rhodes knows that the officials have a zero tolerance policy with OBJ, they are going to push him as far as they can until they get flagged.
What happened Monday was a disgrace and I’m not talking about Beckham picking up a 15-yard taunting penalty after a four-yard catch in the second quarter. Beckham was running up field out of bounds deep into the wide white stripe that lines the field.
Boom. Rhodes nailed him.
Two yards away, an official with a whistle in his mouth, must have had had an electric fence around his back pocket because he never reached for the flag after Rhodes lowered his left shoulder and hit Beckham hard. Beckham veered toward Rhodes instead of away, but it didn’t matter. There was no way he was going to avoid getting hit. It was Rhodes who initiated the contact but Beckham who retaliated and was penalized.
Rhodes never tried to pull up and both his feet were out of bounds when he leaned in to smash into Beckham.
Safety first? Where was the flag? Maybe Coughlin knows. He works in the league’s game operations department now. He never did take that Giants consulting job.
“It sure looked to me like he hit him out of bounds,” Mike Pereira, the NFL’s former vice president of officiating told the Daily News. “I thought it was a foul.”
ESPN reported that officials have been instructed to be on the lookout for players trying to bait OBJ.
Chances are — based on Beckham’s history — he might have reacted the same way whether or not Rhodes was penalized, but at least it would have been offsetting.
If Beckham wants to stop being targeted, he’s going to have to grow up pretty quickly. Just don’t be checking out when Dr. Coughlin has office hours.
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News