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Thursday, June 7, 2012
Tom Coughlin vs. Bill Parcells: Who ya got?

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

In the wake of the announcement of Tom Coughlin's contract extension as New York Giants coach, the fellas over at ESPNNewYork.com have thrown together a Hot Button debate. The question: Who's the best Giants coach of all time: Coughlin or Bill Parcells? You can vote if you like. Kieran Darcy picks Coughlin:
Parcells and Coughlin coached their teams in very different eras. The National Football League introduced a salary cap for the first time prior to the 1994 season. That's four years after Parcells left Big Blue. During Parcells' tenure, the Giants were able retain as many players as they wanted from their championship nucleus. Coughlin has not had that luxury, yet has still produced two titles in the past five years.

Plus, the Giants' upset of the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, ruining the Pats' perfect season, is more impressive than anything on Parcells' resume.

And Ohm Youngmisuk takes the side of the Big Tuna:
Parcells did more than win in an era filled with some of the greatest teams in NFL history in his own conference. He helped resurrect the Giants, change the culture by modernizing the franchise and doing things like upgrading the weight room and instilling a winning attitude that carries on today with Coughlin.

Ohm also uses the "different era" argument, only he's arguing that the NFC and the NFC East were tougher in Parcells' day, given the dynastic presence of teams such as the Bill Walsh 49ers and the Joe Gibbs Redskins. As much as I admire Coughlin and rank him at or near the top of the current NFL coaching hierarchy, I have to side with Parcells here. His impact on Giants history, as outlined there by Ohm, sets him apart. And the two Super Bowl teams represented very different challenges. I give the old guy a slight edge in this debate. What do you guys think?