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Top Five Off-the-field Stories of 2015

Posted Jan 13, 2016

Giants.com ranks the best plays and moments of the 2015 season

COUGHLIN STEPS DOWN; COACHING SEARCH BEGINS



After 12 seasons, two Super Bowls, three NFC East titles and 110 total victories, Tom Coughlin stepped down as head coach of the New York Football Giants. A capacity crowd filled the auditorium of the Quest Diagnostics Training Center last Tuesday for his farewell, which included a speech from Coughlin as well as remarks from president John Mara and general manager Jerry Reese.

“It's been an honor and a privilege for me to be the 16th head coach of the New York Giants,” Coughlin said to the gathering of his family, coaching staff, current and former players, media, and members of the Giants organization. “You only dream about it as a kid. There's no way it can possibly happen. I'm from a little town, Waterloo, New York, up the way here, five thousand people, black and white television when I was a kid, watching the Giants and the Browns. That's about the only two teams we could get.

“So for me to stand here as the 16th head coach of the Giants, at the conclusion of a 12-year term, it's quite an awesome experience, to say the least.”

It’s the end of an era for Big Blue, which is now in the process of interviewing candidates to replace Coughlin. So far, the Giants have interviewed Mike Smith, Doug Marrone, Adam Gase (hired by Dolphins), Teryl Austin and Coughlin’s most recent offensive and defensive coordinators, Ben McAdoo and Steve Spagnuolo.

>> GIANTS HEAD COACH CANDIDATES | 10 DEFINING COUGHLIN MOMENTS





THE RETURN OF JPP



Jason Pierre-Paul, a two-time Pro Bowl defensive end, had his season -- and career -- put in jeopardy when he suffered serious hand injuries during a Fourth of July fireworks accident in his home state of Florida. The Giants had designated Pierre-Paul as their franchise player, but he had yet to sign his one-year tender offer, meaning he was without a contract and not technically on the roster until coming to an agreement with the team on Oct. 27. More than seven months after the accident, Pierre-Paul made his season debut in Week 9 in Tampa Bay and registered two solo tackles and two quarterback hits in a winning effort. Pierre-Paul finished the year with 26 tackles (four tackles for loss), six passes defensed, two fumble recoveries and a sack, in eight games.

“First off, I’d like to thank God and all the people that supported me—my family, my friends,” Pierre-Paul said when speaking to the media for the first time since the accident.

“And the Giants organization supported me throughout the whole process. Fortunately, I was able to come back from this injury and now I’m ready to play football.”

>> JPP MIC'D UP VS. JETS | JPP ON PREPARATION FOR OFFSEASON





25TH ANNIVERSARY OF SUPER BOWL XXV



Throughout the 2015 season, the New York Giants celebrated the silver anniversary of the Super Bowl XXV championship team.

It began with the unveiling of an interactive website dedicated to the iconic 1990 team and culminated in a halftime ceremony during the Giants’ home opener. Former head coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Parcells, along with Giants legends Carl Banks, Ottis Anderson, Jeff Hostetler and Lawrence Taylor, headlined a long list of players and coaches from the 1990 squad who were in attendance.

“For all these players and coaches, this championship trophy represents a very memorable day in our lives and occupies a big place in Giants history,” Parcells said to the fans at MetLife Stadium.

“We’re glad to get back together, share it with each other, celebrate it with you, and we thank all you Giants fans, me personally, for your undying support, for all the years.”

>> 25 STORIES AND ARTIFACTS ABOUT 1990 | CHRONICLES: INSIDE THE CHAMPIONSHIP





OSI RETIRES AS A GIANT



After receiving a counteroffer to continue playing in the NFL for an unnamed team, two-time Super Bowl champion Osi Umenyiora instead settled on a one-day contract with general manager Jerry Reese and hung up his cleats.

On Aug. 26, the defensive end, who ranks fourth on the Giants’ all-time sacks list and first in forced fumbles, was feted at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center with a retirement ceremony that began with a video tribute in the team auditorium. The 33-year-old Umenyiora delivered a speech in front of a capacity crowd that included former teammates, coaches, staff members, friends and his wife, Leila.

“Effort is everything,” Umenyiora said.  “I’m not going to cry, first of all. I made that decision early on. Watching that video and coming back and seeing all these coaches and everybody, it’s tough.”

>> "THERE'S NOTHING LIKE BEING A GIANT" | WATCH: VIDEO TRIBUTE





GIANTS INDUCT FOUR INTO RING OF HONOR



The Giants inducted four former members of the organization into the franchise’s Ring of Honor during a special halftime ceremony in their primetime game against the 49ers in Week 5. The inductees were retired offensive lineman Chris Snee, Umenyiora, athletic trainer John Johnson and World War II hero Jack Lummus, a two-way end who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. There are now 39 honorees in the ring.

“Honestly, it caught me a little off guard,” Snee said. “I know Mr. Mara said that when I retired I would be going in, in the near future, but it still was something that kind of overwhelmed me when he told me. I think in large part because I feel somedays I wake up and I should be going to practice. I’m not that far removed from the game. But to be going up there with the names that are up there, it’s overwhelming.”

>> VIEW FULL RING OF HONOR | GIANTS VIRTUAL LEGACY CLUB