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  1. #1
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
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    The Coughlin Corner: Stop The Rush

    http://www.giants.com/news-and-blogs...b-8be5f6eec035

    Excerpt: "The Coughlin Corner, Giants.com’s exclusive weekly interview with head coach Tom Coughlin

    Q: You were asked Monday about how you prioritize the issues you need to address and you first mentioned the run defense – so we’ll start there. In the last six weeks, the opposing teams’ rushing totals have been 191, 84, 80, 248, 19 and 158. Why are you seeing these inconsistencies?

    Coughlin: “You have to recognize who the opponent is and what their conviction is. Sometimes people are not inclined to stick with the run. The teams that obviously are committed to the run, it doesn’t mean they’re not going to throw. There are many times they throw and then run and other times the run comes later in the game. So you have different types of strategic concepts in terms of run and pass. “I just say (the run defense is a priority) for a multitude of reasons. The first thing is that when you state you have to stop the run, you’re also declaring a physical mentality and that mentality is ‘I don’t care whether there are six men in the box seven, eight - stop the run.’ It’s so critical to every other thing that you want to accomplish in terms of being able to force the pass or force the pass rush and have more opportunities to turn the ball over and that type of thing. You’re making a statement about who you are. There’s too much evidence of being able to mush it in there. Now the thing that I did disagree with is people kept saying that this kid (Pittsburgh’s Isaac Redman) that ran the ball against us the other day was the third-string back. He was a starter coming out of camp, so he’s a good player. They have some good runners and two or three of them are exactly the same. They’re stocky. They’re thick and then they come at you with the real quick hit. From a mentality standpoint, you have to be a team that committed to stop the run, because it’s also an indication of your physicality.

    Q: You said yesterday Chris Canty and Rocky Bernard are working their way back into shape, but you also didn’t have your middle linebacker Chase Blackburn last week. Was that a factor?

    Coughlin: “Sure, it was. The run fits were critical. You’re looking at a style of team – in the AFC North they’re all built like this, so you’ve got the same thing. You’ve got big, big offensive linemen and a lot of times it’s not fancy. It’s just mush, come at you and knock you back. The back powers in behind there and all of a sudden it’s four yards. But you can’t get knocked out of there and you have to be able to get off the block. I don’t care who you are or what position you play or what your technique is. If I’m playing a technique and the ball is being run on the opposite side, I have to squeeze it or mush it down in there or separate or get rid of the blocker and make the play. You just don’t stay in that gap and sit there and let the ball go through. You can’t do that. You’re not going to tackle these good backs with an arm tackle. You may slow them down and allow other people to get engaged, but you have to remember that guy is going to fall forward for three or four yards with an arm tackle. So you have to get there. You’ve got to get the hole plugged. You plug the holes with bodies. Stack it up.”

    Q: You mentioned there were 12 missed tackles last week. Was that the first time tackling was an issue?
    Coughlin: “It’s always an issue. It’s just a number. A number like that jumps out at you and you can easily say how critical it is, but once again it’s professional football. You’re a long way from training camp. You’ve had games where you’ve tackled better and the key is get a bunch of people to the ball and you’ll tackle better. Don’t leave space out there and expect a guy to be all by himself and then make a miraculous play. You visualize a 230-pound, six-foot runner and there’s a lot of mass to try to get down.”

    Q: When things go well for Eli, he’s very good at putting it aside and focusing on the next task. Is he also that way when things don’t go so well for him?
    Coughlin: “I think so. I think he is. It’s the great thing about our game. You get a chance to line up again and go. So let’s go fix it and move on. He’s mentally tough.”

    Q: Do great players sometimes need a pat on the back?
    Coughlin: “Sure, everybody does. Everybody needs to know that everyone is totally behind them and that we believe completely it can be resolved. I always told Eli when he was just a young player, ‘Look, understand this - the head coach and the quarterback are going to receive way too much praise and way too much criticism. So if things are going well, you’re the greatest thing that ever walked the face of the earth. It’s not going well, where else are people going to look to place the blame? Right at the same spot, so you’ve got to learn how to deal with that.’ Then when you couple that with John Wooden and the way he felt about it, it makes it very simple. He said, ‘You’re going to be praised. Some of it is warranted and some not. You’re going to like it. You’re going to get criticism. Some of it is warranted and some not. You’re not going to like that. But if you let that affect you in any way in terms of your preparation, then you’re wrong. It’s a mistake. You can’t fall into that trap.’”

    Q: You did some one-on-one drills with Eli and the receivers in practice yesterday. When you’re not doing as well as you want in an area is it good sometimes to go back to the fundamentals?
    Coughlin: “Sure. It’s all about fundamentals. We always associate certain drills with certain things. As you get into the season and you make your adjustments according to health issues, for example, practice opportunities, sometimes you have to adjust that. So in this regard in discussing this with Eli, I already knew what he was going to say, because that’s something that he looks forward to on a full-time basis. He has the ability to do some one-on-one work with the receivers, so we were able to get back to that yesterday and everybody looked forward to it and looked at it as a positive.”

    Q: Victor Cruz said teams are being more physical with him in coverage. Are you seeing that?
    Coughlin: “Yes, everybody knocks you around. It would be derelict in their duty if they didn’t. They’re not going to let you go where you want to go within that concept and also the rules. You have five yards to do it.”

    Q: How much confidence do you have in Lawrence Tynes ?
    Coughlin: “Outstanding, and he deserves it. Do I wish he would have made the 51-yarder the other day? Of course. But he’s been tremendous. The operation has been tremendous.”

    Q: You brought up the lack of first downs (the Giants have 24 in the last two games). How much of that is a third-down conversion problem?
    Coughlin: “Big time, it’s a part of it. You get 11 drives normally. What you do with those drives is critical. You don’t make third downs, you’re not going to have any first downs, and so you have to convert. We haven’t done that. We have four in the last 20. That’s ridiculous. We’ve got to get going.”

    Q: You often talk about your 8 a.m. Wednesday meeting with the players when you begin the work week and introduce the upcoming opponent. How important to you is that meeting and how much time do you spend preparing for the meeting?
    Coughlin: “I spend a lot of time on that. I spend a lot of my Monday night and Tuesday just researching the opponent and digging and, admittedly, I spend a lot more time at it than we did 20 years ago. But that’s the message that starts the week off. “You have to have a theme, and I usually give them early keys, in addition to all the information we give them. We do a video. We do a highlights video and late in the week we do lowlights, so we introduce them - here’s Joe Shmoe with a 57-yard touchdown run and then late in the week we’re showing them fumbling or something like that. In the meantime, we throw all the information at them, the players, the injuries, the statistical basis of their offense, defense and special teams, who is playing very well. All that and anything else we come up with and then we always have three or four keys for each spot that they can focus on, what they have to do and have to get done. And we follow it up the next day and we analyze the games so that all three sides can understand how special teams contributes - like Denver with the 105-yard kickoff return (last week against this week’s opponent, Cincinnati). And then the end of the week we finish up with, in conjunction with short yardage, goal line, red and green zone, two-minute, all the statistical stuff and things that we really believe in - the penalties, the turnovers, where we rank in our division and who our division is playing that weekend.”

    Q: A.J. Green stands out when you look at Cincinnati’s offense. Is he a top shelf receiver in your mind?
    Coughlin: “No question. He’s gotten so much better. He’s targeted on 30 percent of their passes. He’s fast, physical, has outstanding hands. Can go over the top of people, makes big plays. They opened the Washington game with a gadget big play to him and it was a 73-yard touchdown.”

    Q: Defensively, (tackle) Geno Atkins is a guy that stands out.
    Coughlin: “I think (Michael) Johnson is pretty good, too. He’s 6-7. Atkins is good. The entire front is. They’re physical. They don’t give up much.”

    Q: What do you think of their return specialists, Brandon Tate and Adam Jones?
    Coughlin: “Both of them are very dangerous. One guy (Jones) is really physical and Tate is very quick on change of direction. Tate is back there on kickoffs. It’s a big-time challenge.”
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


  2. #2
    nice read.....but the thing that stood out to me was him admitting that
    practicing the tree with the actual receivers that are going to play is essential.

    and i'm sure its the same in the run game.
    we have got to stop practicing with player B and using "injury rested" player A in the game.
    when the aliens finally come to conquer us ....
    i hope that their weapons of choice are Gibsons and Fenders

  3. #3
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    The quote that interested me was the comment: “I spend a lot of time on that. I spend a lot of my Monday night and Tuesday just researching the opponent and digging and, admittedly, I spend a lot more time at it than we did 20 years ago."

    I find that very intriguing. Clearly as the Giants WR Coach, or even as a college head coach for Boston College, he wouldn't spend as much time as he would as a NFL head coach doing that research he mentions. However, I wonder if there's more to that comment than that. Under Parcells I wonder if it was one of those things where his players didn't need that type of in depth exposure as these players do today. Of course it isn't due to less intelligence or worse preparation but perhaps it is more because of free agency and how teams are drastically different year in and year out in some instances. 20-25 years ago there was no free agency so you knew who these teams were going to be for the most part every year. There were always cuts, draft picks and such back then just as there is today but maybe researching the opponent back then as much as is done today per Coughlin just wasn't necessary.

    Shows you how a coach has to continually adjust his style when he has been around as long as Coughlin has and it is just very clear to me that Coughlin has known how to apply different coaching techniques over an incredible time span.
    Over 5500 posts, advanced member, joined March 2002. 1st post (as anonymous) was the day after Super Bowl 35

  4. #4
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by repeatchamps View Post
    The quote that interested me was the comment: “I spend a lot of time on that. I spend a lot of my Monday night and Tuesday just researching the opponent and digging and, admittedly, I spend a lot more time at it than we did 20 years ago."

    I find that very intriguing. Clearly as the Giants WR Coach, or even as a college head coach for Boston College, he wouldn't spend as much time as he would as a NFL head coach doing that research he mentions. However, I wonder if there's more to that comment than that. Under Parcells I wonder if it was one of those things where his players didn't need that type of in depth exposure as these players do today. Of course it isn't due to less intelligence or worse preparation but perhaps it is more because of free agency and how teams are drastically different year in and year out in some instances. 20-25 years ago there was no free agency so you knew who these teams were going to be for the most part every year. There were always cuts, draft picks and such back then just as there is today but maybe researching the opponent back then as much as is done today per Coughlin just wasn't necessary.

    Shows you how a coach has to continually adjust his style when he has been around as long as Coughlin has and it is just very clear to me that Coughlin has known how to apply different coaching techniques over an incredible time span.
    I think his work ethic is part of what get the players to buy into his game plan.
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


  5. #5
    All-Pro joemorrisforprez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stormblue View Post
    nice read.....but the thing that stood out to me was him admitting that
    practicing the tree with the actual receivers that are going to play is essential.

    and i'm sure its the same in the run game.
    we have got to stop practicing with player B and using "injury rested" player A in the game.
    So true....if you can't practice, that tells me you need to get healthy.
    “Losers assemble in little groups and complain about the coaches and the players in other little groups, but winners assemble as a team,”

    - Emlen Tunnell

  6. #6
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joemorrisforprez View Post
    So true....if you can't practice, that tells me you need to get healthy.
    In Bradshaw's case, he's never going to have healthy feet and, I am guessing, will never practice more than one day a week the rest of this season. Brown got a few more snaps in the last game so I am hoping that's a sign that they are looking to share more of the load.
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


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    So logically guys like Nicks, Bradshaw should not be starting, but why does that not ever happen? Barden had a 100+ yard game in his only start, and he doesn't get back on the field because they either start Hixon, a hurt Nicks or Randle ahead of him. Not saying Barden or any of them should be a starter long term until they prove they are consistent. Seems like any of these guys that are healthy are better than a hurt Nicks, because they are able to practice which was mentioned above as being somewhat important. Same goes for Bradshaw.

  8. #8
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yo-ho View Post
    So logically guys like Nicks, Bradshaw should not be starting, but why does that not ever happen? Barden had a 100+ yard game in his only start, and he doesn't get back on the field because they either start Hixon, a hurt Nicks or Randle ahead of him. Not saying Barden or any of them should be a starter long term until they prove they are consistent. Seems like any of these guys that are healthy are better than a hurt Nicks, because they are able to practice which was mentioned above as being somewhat important. Same goes for Bradshaw.
    I can only speak for the minority of members who feel the coached know more than we do.
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoanokeFan View Post
    I think his work ethic is part of what get the players to buy into his game plan.
    No doubt about it.

    So just thinking about that 20 years comment some more I decided to come up with this. I was blessed to fully recall the Parcells era 20-25 years ago or so and I am thinking about the teams around the league at the time. For the timeframe from about the mid 80's to early 90's I can recite like a book team by team what you could expect. So here's my cute little take on why Coughlin said that 20 years ago you didn't need to research teams as much as it's done today.

    You could count on this every season for most of the 80's to early 90's.
    AFC East:
    New England Patriots: After their 1985 Super Bowl embarassment at the hands of the Bears they basically had no run game, no passing game and no defense. QB changes were a regularity.

    NY Jets: Could run the ball well at times and O'Brien could even make some plays in the passing game when protected and healthy which was a rarity. Defense could pressure the QB and contain the run at times but couldn't cover a team of grandmothers.

    Buffalo Bills: Jim Kelly had nothing around him for years on all sides of the ball. When they had talent around him he did well (see 1988 and obviously the 4 year run of Super Bowl appearances). They really started kicking tail when they got a defense.

    Miami Dolphins: Slow down (not necessarily stop as no one ever really could) Marino and the "Marks" brothers you would be guaranteed a win. Couldn't run the ball and couldn't play defense to save their lives. Shula was a great coach though and he always had them competitive.

    Indianapolis Colts: Awful team. Much like the Patriots. Could run the ball a little but their pass attack was anemic at times even when Jeff George came along it still was inconsistent and turnover friendly. O-line and defense was an atrocity for years.

    AFC Central:
    Cleveland Browns: They were mainly a winning team under Shottenheimer's watch. However, you could always count on their defense just not being good enough to do much in the playoffs and their offense did a lot of good things but come playoff time they never could lift their production to the level they needed to against top defenses. Good special teams but they were also shaky when the playoffs came around.

    Cincinatti Bengals: Solid defense especially up front and difficult offense to deal with under Esiason. Problem was they were missing that game breaker WR for Esiason's entire career with them and their defensive backfield was garbage for the most part. You can count on a good run stuffing defense and a top notch run game (Icky Shuffle
    ) and Esiason's lethal play action passing but they just never had enough to overtake the 49ers when they had their chances in the Super Bowl. When it was time to play this team for a few years in the 80's you dreaded it. They were very physical and a nightmare to deal with. I hated when the Giants had to face them which was only a few years here and there.

    Houston Oilers: Run and shoot nightmare. Passed all over most teams. Had a serviceable defense but never elite. There were times where their defense played elite though especially at home. They called the Astro Dome the house of pain for the Oilers' opponents for a reason. If you could cover the slew of WR's they had you had a shot but few teams ever could. Great pass-blocking O-line until towards the end of Moon's career there when the O-line disintegrated, average run blocking. Like the Bengals a nightmarish team to face was never a walk in the park. Physical defense up front, decent secondary but not very physical in the defensive backfield, more finesse cover guys that you could out muscle with TE's and the RB's in the passing game. Offensively at times a physical run game but never enough to go on the road and run down team's throats which is why I think they always faltered later in the season and in the playoffs when the weather went downhill.

    Pittsburgh Steelers: Weren't very good in the 80's. Noll lived too long off his three Super Bowls quite honestly. Their defense was average at best post-Steel Curtain. Had a decent passing game but were a turnover machine and could run the ball once in awhile but never consistently.

    AFC West
    Denver Broncos: Great team obviously with Elway. I always felt though that their run game was easy to stop and their defense was kind of soft. Until they improved both areas in the mid-90's they couldn't win the Super Bowl and they got whooped every single time. They were the definition of choke artist until the Bills took that title from them, lol.

    Oakland/LA Raiders:
    Lethal offense when on the rare occasion the QB's figured out how to not miss the broad side of a barn and hit his track stars at WR, RB and TE, good defense up front and their secondary was talented but inconsistent as hell. Never could figure that out. Crazy talent at corner and safety but they often fell short of their talent. Obviously Marcus Allen and later Bo Jackson were just sick. Anyone who ever played Super Tecmo Bowl knows what I am talking about lol. O-line was inconsistent though and undisciplined and penalty-proned. Denver always edged them out because they were a more disciplined team.

    Seattle Seahawks:
    Bad defense, putrid at times. They could do some things on offense especially in the run game but overall just not a very good team particularly during the Dave Krieg (puke) years. Poorly coached too. One of the worst coached teams in the league during that time.

    KC Chiefs:
    Great running attack, nasty. Nigerian nightmare (Okoye) was impossible to deal with in his prime. Problem is they did everything else badly. No passing attack. Mediocre at best O-line. Defense didn't get decent until the Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith years. Best special teams for years in the NFL probably.

    SD Chargers
    Had talent, could run the ball fairly well but inconsistently and had a serviceable defense but not always. When Fouts was the QB they did some great things offensively. They just had no QB after Fouts, I mean none.

    NFC East
    NY Giants (with no bias of course, lol
    ):
    Dominant defense, dominant run game and a darn good complimentary passing game, best TE in the NFL of course. With the 49ers as the best coached team in the league under Parcells and his legendary all star staff. Secondary struggled some years as did the passing game on offense. Solid special teams year in and year out.

    Washington Redskins:
    Giants owned them but few other teams ever did. Great passing game, solid running game with that counter tre but shaky QB play hurt them after LT terminated Theisman. Arguably the best O-line in the NFL. Defense was inconsistent but was very talented. I always felt they shrunk in big spots especially defensively against the Giants and 49ers in those big NFC regular season and playoffs contests. Won 2 Super Bowls in the same time frame as the Giants but only did so in a strike season and when the Giants had Handley as the head coach (oy vey). Did win one in the early 80's but lost one too. With the Giants and 49ers as one of the best coaching staffs during that era year in and year out.

    Dallas Cowboys:
    Played the Giants tough but no one else really. Defense was shameful until the Jimmy Johnson years and until Aikman, Irvin and Smith came their offense was pretty shaky. Bad o-line, had Dorsett though so they could run the ball. Not enough weaponry back then to scare anyone.

    Philadelphia Eagles:
    Nightmarish to play against. Gave the Giants fits. Ridiculous defense that the Giants never seemed to have an answer for. Some teams though that were more adept at passing offense and pass blocking than the Giants ever were exploited their defensive backfield aplenty under Buddy Ryan. Giants had their way with this team most of the early-mid 80's when Jaws was QB but then came Randall. Quite honeslty offensively, Cunningham and his running backs were the most difficult to defense. Keith Byars killed the Giants for years. Their WR's stunk but for some reason Fred super slow Barnett ate the Giants alive. Back then Cris Carter was not a big threat except in the red zone. "All he does is catch TD's" Keith Jackson was an animal at TE but was not the best blocker which is why I always gave Bavaro the edge as best all around TE. Plenty of teams had Keith Jackson types (Raiders, Chargers, Browns come to mind first) at TE, none of them blocked as well as Bavaro though.

    St Louis/Phoenix Cards:
    Pitiful team. Had some ok running backs and ok run blockers but everything else was pitiful. Ricky Proehl was nothing more than a gimmick guy. He hurt the Giants many a time but didn't do anything but gimmicky type plays. Defense may as well not even suited up each week and let opposing teams just play against air.

    NFC Central:
    Chicago Bears:
    Had a ridiculous defense. Were animals throughout the entire squad. Great defensive coaching. Offensively not good coaching wise which is why Ditka and his staff are lower down the totem pole than Walsh, Parcells, Gibbs, Shula. As years went on secondary fell off a bit and the rest of the squad didn't age well. Offensively, putrid except for Walter Payton and Neal Anderson after him. QBs were a joke until Harbaugh's later years. WR's a disgrace. TE was serviceable at best. Pass blocking was inept. Special teams were solid.

    Minnesota Vikings:
    Good defense. Good running game. Ok at WR/TE. Hideous QB's and hideous O-line. You could expect that Viking O-line to disgrace themselves weekly for years. There's a reason why Rich Gannon finally did well in Oakland because he got pass protection!

    Detroit Lions:
    Speaking of O-line comedy, no one was a bigger joke in that area than this team for Barry Sanders' entire career. Best RB I have ever seen what a shame he never had an O-line and had to retire too early. The only thing more pathetic than the O-line was the QB situation on this team for years. It didn't help that O-line couldn't block but good lord, some miserable QB play here. Rodney Peete finally did something late in his career with the Lions to at least have something positive happen from the QB standpoint of the Lions. Defensively they had a few decent players Clay Matthews, Alan Ball, Chris Spielman but good lord the rest of that defense was an atrocity for years. Just a real bad team.

    Green Bay Packers:
    Pre Favre it was ugly. Had some decent players like Sterling Sharpe but little else. Couple of ok players on defense but little else. Running game was non-existent except when Don Majkowski was running for his life and made some plays with his legs. Other than that, they were an easy win each time you played them.

    Tampa Bay Bucs:
    Considering they were the laughing stock of the NFL until Dungy and Gruden came along, that pretty much sums it up. No offense or defense in any aspect. Testaverde was a massive bust and Steve Young ran away to backup the best QB ever in Joe Montana as soon as was humanly possible. That tells you all you need to know.

    NFC West
    San Francisco 49ers:
    What needs to be said. One of the best teams in NFL history. A true dynasty in the 1980's. Everyone knows all about these guys so I will leave it at that. One thing I will say their defense was never ever as talented as the Bears, Giants and at times the Eagles. They had a very good to great defense some years but not every year. I always felt their 4 Super Bowl wins were when their defense had it's best years. The O-line was not a great squad every year either and at times struggled to run the ball well and almost got Montana killed especially, as we all know, against the Giants. This would show up again later on when Young took over and is why he had to retire when he did.

    LA Rams:
    Tough team. They fought and clawed at you. Weren't always the most talented but had some key guys in the skill positions. We all know first hand about Flipper Anderson's tunnel play. Could run the ball well some years not always. Could pass block well some years but not always which is why Everett became a wimp in the pocket as the years rolled on. Ellard and Anderson were tough to deal with at WR. Defense showed flashes but never was good enough to make the noise in the big games or in the playoffs.

    Atlanta Falcons:
    Strange team. A lot of talent on offense, struggled with QBs a lot though. Defense was pathetic and why the team always stunk for the majority of the 80's. O-line most of the time was bad, just, bad.

    New Orleans Saints:
    Bags on the head were born out of this era. They had a good defense though especially up front. LB'ers rivaled the Giants set if not surpassed some years. Secondary was not very good though. Offensively, goodness what a mess. No QB, no o-line, no WR's, no TE. Later on they did some good things with ironhead Heyward and Dalton Hilliard but they just couldn't stay healthy anyway.

    These observations are what you could expect year in and year out because there was no free agency to make key improvements. Also coaches coached longer during that time than they do now. Draft, trades (rare) and cuts were all you had so the dynastic nature of the 80's and even early 90's happens because of this. All this makes it clear to me that Coughlin is alluding to 20 years ago as the pre-free agency era where over-researching teams really wasn't necessary. You knew what you were going to get each week for the better part of 10-12 years in the 80's and 90's maybe with a new wrinkle here and there but little else each season.
    Last edited by repeatchamps; 11-09-2012 at 09:58 PM.
    Over 5500 posts, advanced member, joined March 2002. 1st post (as anonymous) was the day after Super Bowl 35

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