Tom Coughlin has always been known around the league as one of the toughest guys to play for. But most players who have followed him to the promised land say “I’ll never play for another coach.”
In this NFL history lesson, we take a look at Tom Coughlin, who knew from the time he was a young boy he wanted to coach at the highest level.
From his days as an assistant coach at Syracuse when the head coach was let go, and subsequently Coughlin was let go as well, he spent a brief period as an insurance salesman so he could spend more time with his family.
But he wasn’t happy.
Coughlin and his wife Judy made the decision to get back into coaching. He landed several NFL assistant jobs and a head coaching job at Syracuse before scoring his first head coaching job with the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars in ’94. After 8 years with the team, he ultimately landed at his current home, the New York Giants in 2004.
After his 2006 season with the Giants, in which Coughlin made the playoffs the first two years of his tenure, Coughlin felt he needed to repair his tough image within the media. He held closed-door meetings with media members, formed leadership councils within veteran players and for the first time, held organized team activities outside of the football field to let players see his more “human side.”
It was during this time that really changed Coughlin and his perception on the football field. Which paid in huge dividends.
In the final game of the 2006 season, many expected Coughlin to rest his starters against the Patriots and their infamous undefeated season.
When the Giants lost the close game, Coughlin went into his office the next day to hear a voicemail from John Madden saying, “I think you are the best thing to happen to the NFL in the past 10 years. Football is about competition at a high level everyday.”
Coughlin played the message for this entire team and it was this season the Giants went on to play the Patriots and beat them in the Superbowl on the sack avoidance and eventual throw by Eli Manning, ending the Patriots dreams of a perfect season.
This is Tom Coughlin’s football life and it’s well worth the watch.
Part 1 of 3
*Note: the NFL took down part one of this video, but the other two parts intact. To watch the first part, you have to go the NFL’s site because they don’t allow sharing of their videos (ugh).
Part 2 of 3
Part 3 of 3