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New York Giants’ Head Coach Tom Coughlin Turning Offseason Frustration into Focus

June 15th, 2013 at 7:06 AM
By Jen Polashock

Since the end of the New York Football Giants’ season in January ended in failure, head coach Tom Coughlin has been in his “focus” mode. For those of you about to lose it over the usage of the expression failure reflect on the great words of former Giant, Vince Lombardi: “Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing.” Kinda goes along with: “If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score?”

'Tom Coughlin Watches Giants' photo (c) 2011, Rajiv Patel (Rajiv's View) - license:

The entire point to an NFL season is to win it all. Not making the playoffs killed a part of Tom Coughlin — especially after he set some pretty lofty goals for his team to start 2012.

"I can't even describe how it hurts. I don’t know what to do," said Coughlin on the WFAN radio back in January. "I’m walking around here like a crazy man. I am. I don’t know what to do with myself. We shouldn’t be doing this right now. The pain of it is almost indescribable."

There are another few quotes from Lombardi that embody Coughlin.

“I've never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn't appreciate the grind, the discipline. There is something good in men that really yearn for discipline.”

“Coaches who can outline plays on a black board are a dime a dozen. The ones who win get inside their player and motivate.”

“Once you have established the goals you want and the price you’re willing to pay, you can ignore the minor hurts, the opponent’s pressure and the temporary failures.”

That last quote is something Coughlin himself needs to be reminded of. The soon-to-be 67 year-old head coach has recently shown some frustration beyond the immediate post-season expected.

The usually non-head coach-related contract situations are forcibly in the forefront of coach’s mind — especially with his top two wideouts not in attendance through organized team activities (OTAs). But that's understandable when all the man lives and breathes at least 360 days of a year is football. He’s watching one of his playmakers trying to lasso-in everything life has to offer now, albeit impossible. For someone who has quite the knack for reaching players and becoming father figure even to older athletes therein must be his ire in the current state of affairs.

It is a good a time as any for Coughlin to heed a few of his own mantras: “Team First. Team Always. Team Forever.” Nothing can be done about one player (that isn’t the entire team, coach). The constant locker room and post-practice queries has its part in the coach’s rising angst, no doubt. As a leader, though, that angst needs to develop into a new type of focus for the New York Giants’ 16th head coach and ultimately for his team — an almost 58% winning record (almost 73% in post-season) while in blue wasn’t achieved on stubbornness.

Lombardi also said, “The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall.” You didn’t fall, Tom.


Tags: Football, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Tom Coughlin, Vince Lombardi

4 Responses to “New York Giants’ Head Coach Tom Coughlin Turning Offseason Frustration into Focus”

  1.  James Stoll says:

    Tom (and all of us) may well be in for another meal of bitter disappointment this year. We’ve missed the playoffs 3 out of the last 4 years. Our combined regular season record over that span 36 – 28. We have a bunch of major unknowns going into the season: O-Line, LB, Corner and Safety, DT. We have an injury to our top defensive player and a holdout by one of our top offensive players. The Skins are now the top dog in the East, and the power in the conference has shifted to the West.

    Hopefully things will turn out for the best; but right now the Giants look like a decided longs OT to make the playoffs.

    •  Dirt says:

      Jim, my dear friend. This is Goddell’s NFL. The only thing that matters is QB. For years, teams have flashed and disappeared. Unless they have a real QB. Then they compete each year.

      The Giants will compete.

      •  James Stoll says:

        Hopefully yes. But you must admit, we seem to compete by languishing at or about .500, hoping for the rest of the division and conference to come to us.

  2.  giankees says:

    James they had bigger qiestions the last 2 sb years. Besides all this the giants have beaten themselves last yr and thecsame people that won a sb are still its all how you look at it. We have a lot of competition on ol line. We have athletes at lb. We have talent at safety and we arent done at cb yet. Cruz will sign and play he has no choice
    I nevrr consider it a hold out till you miss preseason not otas. The league has put in rules to make sitting out pretty rough on the player.
    Jpp i feel like will be back and more healthy than last yr.

    With all the offense we have more talent than i can remember. The wr crew is the

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