5 Questions for New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Tom Coughlin: 5 Questions for New York Giants Head Coach
At 67 years of age, New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has been coaching the game for 44 years. To put this in perspective, the NFL's oldest coach began his first head coaching job at the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1970 when The Beatles were still a group and Richard Nixon was the United States' President. Since that time, Coughlin has held a myriad of coaching positions at both the collegiate and professional levels, witnessing first-hand as the game evolved over dynasty-filled decades. Coughlin's breadth of NFL insight surpasses that of even the most knowledgeable football historians.
Coughlin's three Super Bowl rings with the New York Giants (two as a head coach and one as a wide receivers coach under Bill Parcells in the late 1980s) make him one of the most decorated current coaches. When he finally does retire, Coughlin is a very likely candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Most impressively, Coughlin's passion for the game ceases to falter. He reportedly spends sleepless nights on the couch after heart-wrenching losses, and his players uniformly agree that their coach is a fiery spirit with a unrelenting will to win.
A stickler for details, Coughlin pays meticulous attention to fundamentals and the technical aspect of every position. Upon arriving in New York in 2004, Coughlin notoriously required fumble-prone running back Tiki Barber to carry a football whenever he stepped onto the practice facility. Barber responded to Coughlin's old-school method of teaching with the two most productive years of his career.
Here are five hypothetical questions every Giant fan would love to know from their wise and storied coach.
5. How Much Longer Do You Plan on Coaching?
Coughlin recently signed a one-year extension, extending his current contract through 2015. When asked in the past, the resilient coach says he has no thoughts about future retirement. But Coughlin would like to walk away on his own terms. Is he hoping for one more Super Bowl victory first? Is the game of football really so engrained in his blood that he will continue coaching until he is no longer physically capable of standing on the sidelines? What are Coach Coughlin's honest thoughts on the matter?
4. Where Do You Think the Game Will Be in 10 Years?
Coughlin has seen the total evolution of the game from a league fresh off an NFL-AFL merger to a multi-billion dollar business looking to expand into London. He has seen NFL styles progress from smash-mouth to west-coast to wildcat. With his experience comes a lot of wisdom. I'd be curious to hear what direction he thinks the game is heading in.
3. Was Super Bowl XLII the Best Game You've Ever Been a Part of?
Coughlin has coached the New York Giants through two epic Super Bowl victories over the New England Patriots. The 2007 victory at Super Bowl XLII was one of the most surprising championship upsets of all time. The Patriots, who cruised through the season with a perfect win-loss record, entered the game 12-point favorites over the Giants. An improbable fourth-quarter comeback orchestrated by quarterback Eli Manning led the Giants to their third of four NFL Championships. Was this Tom Coughlin's most rewarding victory ever?
2. Who Was The Most Talented Player You've Ever Coached?
Coughlin has coached extremely gifted physical specimens. From Fred Jackson and Jimmy Smith with the Jacksonville Jaguars to Eli Manning and Michael Strahan with the Giants, Coughlin has been around Hall of Fame caliber players. However, as a member of the Giants coaching staff under Bill Parcells, Coughlin was able to watch NFL-legend Lawrence Taylor, a unique talent who forever altered the linebacker position, practice and play every week. Was Taylor the most talented player he's ever coached?
1. Who is the Better Quarterback, Eli Manning or Phil Simms?
Both Eli Manning and Phil Simms have led the Giants to Super Bowl victories. Simms, historically known as more of a game-manager than a gunslinger, put together a 150.9 QB-rating in Super Bowl XXI, the highest ever recorded QB-rating in a Super Bowl. Manning has won two Super Bowl MVPs, an impressive feat matched by only four other players in NFL history. Who would Coughlin prefer to lead his team over a sixteen game season?