Excerpt: "Shortly before Tom Coughlin was to take the podium for his introductory press conference with the New York media in 2004, I remember reaching out to a colleague who, at the time was with the Jacksonville media and who had covered Coughlin as head coach to the Jaguars to ask him what the New York media expect from the Giants’ new head coach.
His response?“Good luck dealing with that crusty old son of a b—-.”
I won’t lie – it was tough at first. The liberties the media enjoyed under former head coach Jim Fassel– year-round access to the assistant coaches, admittance to the full daily in-season practices, and courteous responses to even the most ridiculous of questions–were all about to be yanked away from us, and, by extension, our readers.
Yet as I watched this feisty gentleman come in like a lion, intent on restoring pride that he felt had somehow gotten lost, any trepidation I had about him working out in the toughest media market in the country soon dissipated.In his book, Coughlin provides the logic behind his one-time headline grabbing rules and practices that he has employed throughout his coaching career–the little things that have resulted in two Super Bowl championships with the Giants.
He shares stories from his early days growing up and as a coach; many motivational quotes from leaders such as General Patton, John Wooden, and Abraham Lincoln; and he does so in such a way that is not condescending, as was his style earlier in his career as Giants head coach, but which is more like that of an old sage trying to share his life experiences with anyone willing to listen.
As I was going through the 210-page book, I thought, “Oh I remember hearing this story.” But the stories that he shares, some of which may be new to the casual observer, drive home more than what makes him tick.
Yes, winning football games is important, and that was clear when he spoke about how he disciplined players who broke his rules, regardless if they were starters or backups. But there’s a bigger picture that some people don’t fully understand and that is sticking to one’s principles to achieve success and making sure that you don’t cut corners if you want to be the best.
He talks about being a stickler for detail and we learn the reason he obsesses with every little thing. For instance, when MetLife Stadium was finally completed, he and his assistants charted every little detail about the winds, the angle of the sun throughout the day, and other items that would ultimately factor into key coaching decisions such as when to defer on a kickoff, which end zone to defend, and when to try for a long pass or field goal." Read more...