New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin hates fumbling. It was a point of contention between he and retired running back Tiki Barber, and it landed rookie David Wilson — who fumbled in his first NFL game — in the doghouse only a season ago. And on Saturday night versus the Pittsburgh Steelers, it was Andre Brown who coughed up the ball despite being untouched, leading to a turnover. Needless to say, Coughlin was not at all happy.
“Naturally it concerns me,” Coughlin told the New York Daily News. “It concerns Andre too, because it really was careless. I don’t care how much and how long you’ve played the game, there are certain things that have to happen before you run the ball. You’ve got to look the ball in… you’ve got to catch the darn thing and put it away and cover it up before you can go on to the next objective."
As Brown headed to the sidelines, he was met with a red-faced Coughlin. And if you're good at lip reading, you'd know the head coach was far from pleased. "That was the worst f—–g play I've ever seen," the heated Coughlin remarked.
Brown was promptly consoled by his teammate, and the very man he had consoled a year earlier, David Wilson.
“Dave is mature beyond his age,” Brown said. “And he’s a good guy. So for him to come over there was great. We’re going to feed off each other this whole entire year and we’re going to need each other. So as long as we still have each other’s back, I feel that we’re going to be a very tough running back corps.”
The question now becomes: will Brown find himself in the most famous doghouse in sports? And although some would lead you to believe it's a likely and even realistic possibility, it's probably not. Coughlin may be displeased with the fumble, but he's not about to punish his team by punishing their back-up running back and goal line specialist.
“I’m sure he’s going to learn a lot from that and to his credit he went right back in and did some good things," Coughlin said.
The mere fact that Coughlin plugged Brown right back into the game speaks to the fact that Brown escaped … this time. Should it happen again, it may be a different story. But that's a bridge Brown has no intention of crossing, promising his coach "it won't happen again."
Photo Credit: Mike Gannon
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