Initially, Tom Coughlin had his work cut out for him as a disciplined, old-school football coach succeeding the player-friendly Jim Fassel. Players spoke out against his “rules” and the media then grabbed hold and ran with any morsel of negative news on the New York Giants’ new man in charge.
Some introspection and self-propelled change led Coughlin to then get on a level with his players that earned both sides a mutual respect. He wasn’t too stubborn to realize that if winning and pride were going to return to Big Blue, he was going to need to approach his football passions differently -on a more personal level- much like owner Wellington Mara did. No one is above team.
There were a few ways that Coughlin let the team know what he was about and quotes and mantras were and still are a huge part of what coach uses to motivate and remind his staff and players of what is important and what possibly lies at stake. Since the announcement was made that he was named the 16th head coach of the New York Giants on January 6, 2004, Coughlin began placing his axioms in visible places -like the Giants locker room- starting with reminders such as: “Giants Pride,” “Team First” (which was shortened for “Team First. Team Always. Team Forever”) and “Have Something To Prove.”
Quite a number of them have shadowed over the years: “Talk is Cheap, Play the Game” (circa 2007). “Run the Ball, Stop the Run” & “Get Physical” were two that pertained to practice and game day gridiron focus and linger in coach’s speeches. Some are even thrown back at him: “No Toughness, No Championships!” – was the running joke after the game against the New York Jets in December of last year when Coughlin sustained a left leg injury when running back D.J. Ware was shoved (out of bounds) into him.
A fervent motto that will always remain with TC: “Humble in Victory” is one which he utters before having an actual kneel-down team prayer in-season.
“Respect All, Fear None,” "Humble Enough to Prepare and Confident Enough to Perform," the ever-palpable “All In,” “Keep Your Eye on the Prize” and “Finish” rounded out this past 2011 season. They’re all classy, tough and passionate-about-football adages. Nothing more, nothing less and all Giants-like.
Perhaps the most significant and shadowed fact here is that the Giants players are All In behind their head coach and his reachable beliefs. Recently, there has been a deluge of comments regarding Coughlin:
QB Eli Manning:
“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 Manning 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 that.”
DE Justin Tuck:
"(Coughlin) deserves to be the number-one paid head coach in this league. I've had an opportunity to play for only him in my NFL career and hopefully that stays the same."
S Antrel Rolle:
"I used to always wonder, I felt like he was always trying to turn us into men," Rolle said. "Does he not know that we are men before we ever step on the football field here as a Giant? I used to ask myself questions like that. Once I matured enough and I took a step back, he's not trying to turn us into men. He's trying to help us become better men."
Most recently, P Steve Weatherford:
“I think a lot of your motivation and the direction of your energy is controlled by the head coach, and we got the best coach in the game. The most difficult thing for a defending champion team would be the motivation to do it again. I think Tom Coughlin is the greatest coach in the NFL to be able to defend it. You look at the team he was able to put together the year after the ’07 Super Bowl, just an incredible team…Coach Coughlin will really kind of mentally prepare us for how to deal with it (repeat)…”
All of this on top of winning his second Lombardi as Head Coach of Big Blue (3rd with the organization), finally getting his contract extension, winning the Outstanding Civilian Service Award (the 3rd highest public service honor the U.S. Army can bestow upon a civilian) and an ESPY for Coach of the Year. 2012 has been very good to Tom.
Oh, let us not forget the talk – of Coughlin surpassing his mentor, Bill Parcells as the greatest New York Giants Head Coach of all time. The debate forum is still open, but many feel the opportunity is more than there for TC’s taking; it’s just a matter of when.
- Be sure to "like" Giants 101 on Facebook and to follow Giants 101 on Twitter
- Text "oneteam" to 20222 to donate $10 to the One Team for the Lights charity initiative.
Related VideosReturning Soon!!!!
No related posts.
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/hnm