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?”
"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.
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