He may not be on the Bill Walsh level when it comes to ingenuity or the Don Shula level of generation-spanning success, but he's otherwise situated among the biggest names in the profession. There's talk of a bust in Canton when all is said and done, although it's probably premature to have such conversations until we know what Coughlin's entire record looks like as an NFL coach.
There's been no such talk about Marvin Lewis, even though he's now in his 10th year as coach of the Bengals. Lewis has a 72-79-1 record as Bengals coach, he's never won a playoff game and he's the owner of a new contract extension that takes him through the 2014 season.
Coughlin never enjoyed that kind of job security until after he won a second Super Bowl, something that probably says everything you need to know about why the Giants are the Giants and the Bengals are the Bengals. There are plenty of other ways, including the Bengals' refusal to employ a general manager or much in the way of scouting, but their happiness with the job that Lewis has done speaks volumes.
Making a fetish of mediocrity is the surest way to guarantee that your team continues to reside in that neighborhood and the Bengals do it like few other teams in football. There are some star players in Cincinnati, but the roster drops off tremendously after the first few names and that leaves them eternally vulnerable to the opposition.
And they didn't even get started on Mike Brown, really.
Of course as I have pointed out, without FAN PROTEST in NYC in the 1970s, the Giants would be a lot more like the Bengals than most of their fans of today realize.