Excerpt: "There are times when Giants head coach Tom Coughlin strides to the podium on Wednesdays and the words that come booming out of his mouth to kick off the next game week sound suspiciously like the basic talking points he plans to give his team. He lays out the opponent the Giants are facing, he mentions whatever lingering predicaments their last game exposed, then he gets into how they can address all of it. And as odd as it seems to say this about a man who has won two Super Bowls, the leadership that Coughlin shows in moments like this is perhaps the most underrated part of what he does.
Coughlin is a coach in the best, most complete sense of the word. Part of the job description is that the good ones sense it's time to show the way in times like this.
The first-place Giants are a perfectly respectable 6-3 heading into Sunday's game at Cincinnati. But in the wake of last Sunday's stinging loss to Pittsburgh, the latest brushfire that Coughlin has to stamp out actually feels more like a bonfire: His quarterback, Eli Manning, has been struggling the past three games.
What to do about it is the question.And Coughlin blinked and looked unabashedly surprised Wednesday when he was asked if Manning has become so good he would just let Manning "fix himself."
"Well, no," Coughlin answered.
That's not how Coughlin looks at it at all.
If you haven't noticed, one of the hallmarks of Coughlin's Giants teams is players develop here. They just do. Players seem to get better after they get to Coughlin's Giants, and it doesn't matter if they're undrafted free agents or the No. 1 overall pick in the draft like Manning was, a freakish but raw talent like Jason Pierre-Paul or a seven-time castoff like backup running back Andre Brown, one of this season's revelations. The common thread is players just seem to rise closer to the players they're supposed to be under Coughlin and his staff. And the answer he gave Wednesday about how he's handling Manning's slump was a little insight into why." Read more...