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  1. #1
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
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    Nov 2006



    "The morning after one of the season’s ugliest losses – a heartless,
    lackluster effort by the Giants against the Washington Redskins at home on Dec.
    18 – Tom Coughlin’s players
    were braced for the worst. Their season was falling apart, a playoff berth
    seemed like a long shot, and their coach’s job was on the line, too.

    were ready for him to scream.

    He had done it before. He was known for it.
    So imagine their surprise when, after their fifth loss in six games, with their
    once-promising season in ruins, with their coach seemingly on the way out, and
    with their crosstown rivals already loudly claiming victory over their city,
    their embattled coach stepped onto the stage in front of them, smiled and said,
    “Get your heads up … Get the frowns off your face.”

    Those words not only
    shocked a Giant team expecting to be ripped apart by its coach, it sparked a
    turnaround that led to two straight wins, the NFC East title and earned Big Blue
    Sunday’s wild-card game against Matt Ryan and
    the Falcons at MetLife Stadium.

    “Quite frankly we deserved to be screamed
    at,” said guard Chris Snee. “I’m
    pretty sure he did that after the game. I’m sure that after watching the tape he
    wanted to do it again. But you also have to be honest and lay it all out in
    front of us, man to man. We had more games to be played.”

    “Since I’ve
    been here apparently Tom has calmed down quite a bit,” added veteran defensive end Dave
    . “He really has. It’s composure. This game is a stressful game and
    it’s really about staying composed, understanding what you need to fix,
    understanding what you do well and just moving forward.”

    They did that
    and likely saved the 65-year-old coach’s job with two stellar performances
    against the Jets and Cowboys that featured more passion and energy than the
    Giants had shown in their first 14 games.

    It wasn’t all because of
    Coughlin, of course. But he got the credit from his players for doing what he’s
    done so often ignoring the circling vultures, brushing off the pressure, and
    getting his players to focus on their jobs.

    “I think he’s done a great
    job of that,” left tackle David Diehl said. “With
    everything that happened, he had us stay on course. He had everyone

    “To be honest, I don’t think anyone really cared what was being
    said that’s what I’ve always loved about being part of this team,” Snee added.
    “We don’t worry about what people said. We just listen to Coach and the obvious
    fact that we were still in position to win the NFC East by winning the last two

    They would need more than just Coughlin’s focus, though, to pull
    the season back from the brink of the “historical” collapse that Justin
    warned about after the Giants finished the first half of the season
    with an encouraging 6-2 record. A big reason for the late-season revival has
    been a return to good health. Tuck, after a season of battling injuries, is
    finally playing like his old self. Even Osi Umenyiora
    returned for the finale after a four-week absence and chipped in with two

    When the Giants play their first playoff game since the 2008
    season, this team that has been battered all year – it had a ridiculous 23
    players either placed on injured reserve or waived with an injury settlement
    since August – will be as close to being in one piece as it’s been all season.
    All 53 players on the roster could be healthy enough to be on the

    “The last two weeks it seems like we kind of put all that behind
    us,” Tuck said. “We’re healthier one way or the other. We’re healthier either
    mentally or physically. I don’t really know which one it is right now, but the
    playoffs kind of give you a rebirth. The aches and the bruises don’t hurt as

    Don’t underestimate the “mental” part of that. During the Giants’
    second-half swoon, there were plenty of opportunities for this season to
    unravel. There were moments where it sure sounded and sometimes looked like
    players in the often-confused secondary were pointing fingers at each other.
    There has been an underlying uneasiness all season with the oft-angry Brandon Jacobs about
    how he is used.

    And then there is Antrel Rolle, the
    mouthy safety who admits he’s hardly a “Coughlin player.” He did a seemingly
    un-Coughlin-like thing, too, after that loss to the Redskins when he criticized
    injured teammates for not practicing during the week – what appeared to be a
    shot at Tuck, the oft-injured team leader. Rolle said it wasn’t.

    But even
    Coughlin has noticed that Tuck and almost everyone else has been out at practice
    every day since.

    Rolle is a great example of how Coughlin perseveres and
    endures, despite all the struggles and the unending speculation. He didn’t waver
    in his principles, beliefs or rules, even as the volatile Rolle chafed under him
    last season. He bit his tongue and waited for Rolle to come around. Eventually
    he did.

    Now, Rolle is much more of a “Coughlin guy.” And though Coughlin
    likely would have preferred that Rolle hadn’t taken his concerns public, he
    admits Rolle’s postgame rant had a positive impact on the team.

    “Oh yeah,
    there was some impact,” Coughlin said. “It just brought it out. It just pointed
    out that we need all hands on deck. Everybody’s got to go with this thing. … I
    asked for more positive peer pressure from the players.”

    That was another
    key part of this turnaround. He wanted his leaders to lead and his players to
    act like men. That’s a big reason why he was willing to risk so much during the
    first half of the first game against the Cowboys on Dec. 11 by benching his best
    running back, Ahmad Bradshaw, for
    violating team rules. Leave the chaos, broken rules and the bad chemistry to the
    Jets. Coughlin wasn’t going to let one irresponsible player spoil the whole

    That’s the Coughlin Way. He wants everybody on board. One team,
    one goal, same rules for everybody. And even when he gets furious at an
    inexcusable performance, he never loses sight of his only objective winning the
    next game.

    And sometimes he knows it’s best to look at the task that lies
    ahead without even glancing back.

    “No one’s going to wait for you,”
    Tollefson said. “He always says that. ‘No one’s waiting.’ You’ve got to stay on
    that even keel because this game is such a game of ups and downs. It’s about
    moving forward and not falling down.”

    When asked this week about that
    pivotal after the Redskins debacle, Coughlin, true to form, was dismissive of
    the question. His only response to being asked why he chose to smile and give a
    pep talk when his battered team was bracing for a verbal storm was short and

    “Because I know the team,” Coughlin said. “I know the

    And those people, in turn, know their coach.

    “I think he
    has a good feel for this team, a good understanding that when we are up against
    the wall and things seem bad that seems to bring out our best play,” Eli
    said. “He knows how to get our best football and how to get us ready
    to play that next week and the players have done a good job responding to

    They always have, at least since Coughlin’s survival instinct
    kicked in after his tumultuous 2006 season, when he nearly lost the locker room,
    lost any goodwill he had earned from the media and fans, and almost lost his job
    because of all the chaos. He changed after that, at least a little, and listened
    a little more closely to the pulse of his team.

    The result was the
    Giants’ miraculous Super Bowl XLII championship. Now, four years later, with his
    finger again on the pulse, Coughlin has also somewhat miraculously put them in
    position to make a run again. And all he had to do was keep his team pointed in
    the right direction.

    He knew that was all they would need.

    guys don’t understand what you have at stake, they’re not going to get it by
    raising your voice at them,” safety Deon Grant added.
    “I have to say that approach definitely worked because it got guys back focused
    and ever since then we’ve been playing good ball.” Read more...
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

  2. #2


    TC has Giant Pride

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