Ignore the Tom Coughlin retirement talk

February, 19, 2013
2/19/13
5:31
PM ET
I respect the fact that Terrell Thomas is happy and excited to be back with the New York Giants after all of his knee problems. I like the guy. I like interviewing him, I like following him on Twitter ... he's interesting, and interesting is good. I have no idea, however, what he's talking about with regard to Giants coach Tom Coughlin.
The cornerback was asked about Tom Coughlin's future and whether this could be the season -- win or lose -- that the 66-year-old head coach hangs up his whistle and retires.

"I thought it was this (past) season," Thomas said on NFL Network. "But I think he has one more in him. 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, he’s in that facility all day every day, he’s going crazy not being able to coach and watch film.

"He lives and breathes football. He has everybody in there all day everyday in the offseason. I think he wants to go out on top, hopefully we can get it right and bring a Super Bowl home in Giants Stadium."

Hey, Thomas could be right. Every year for the rest of Coughlin's career, someone's going to say they expect it to be his last year coaching, and eventually someone's going to be right. But don't take Thomas' assertion as evidence that he has inside information on this.

People close to Coughlin will tell you that he's going to coach until he's completely sure he can't do it anymore. He has no hobbies, they say. He's not eager to retire so he can play golf or fish or build model ships. There's nothing he's eager to do that his current life and job keep him from doing. He appears to be in good health and good shape. He's also just one year removed from the best season of his coaching career, so if there's proof that he can't do this job anymore, he hasn't seen it.

The fact is, there's no evidence anywhere to indicate that Coughlin's even considered retiring. All we have is the speculation of the outside world, which perceives "NFL head coach" to be an unusual job for a man Coughlin's age. But everyone's different, and that includes Coughlin. I'd have been stunned if he'd retired at the end of this past season, and I'll be fairly stunned if he retires at the end of 2013. Especially if the Giants have a winning record again.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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