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Thursday, December 30, 2010
Giants players defend their head coach

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin's job security is a major topic as his team fights to keep its playoff hopes alive. Giants players were quick to come to Coughlin's defense Wednesday, but they won't have the final say in this decision.

"I don't think he has lost his voice in this locker room," said Giants defensive tackle Barry Cofield per ESPNNewYork.com. "Guys still respect him and appreciate the mindset and energy that he brings to the table. We don't get to choose our coach but no one in this locker room has fallen out of favor with anyone else. We are still a family and been through a lot and just trying to win a tough game."

And the whole family theme really hits home with Pro Bowl right guard Chris Snee, who is married to Coughlin's daughter. Asked if he thought the Giants were playing for Coughlin's job Sunday against the Redskins, here's what Sneed said:

"I'm not quite sure why we would be," Snee said. "I mean, playing for his job? Two weeks ago no one was saying that. Now two weeks later everyone changes their viewpoint of the guy? It's absurd."

And it's understandable that Snee would be Coughlin's staunchest defender. But the truth is that Coughlin is a victim of his own success. When the Giants won the Super Bowl, everyone viewed him in a different light. The Giants were headed toward another deep playoff run in 2008 until Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself in the thigh at a Manhattan nightclub with a gun that had not been licensed in New York.

In 2009, you could blame a collapse in the second half of the season on injuries. But this current collapse has a "here we go again" feel to it. And like it or not, that might cause co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch to make a change.

But could the current labor dispute save Coughlin's job for at least one more season? That hasn't helped four other head coaches this season. And one of them was coming off an NFC title game. If Coughlin does get fired, keep that loss to the 1-7 Cowboys in mind. The Giants couldn't match the Cowboys' intensity that afternoon in the Meadowlands, and that's ultimately Coughlin's fault.