There’s Joe Paterno, too, who was written off three or four years ago as too old to get the job done, and then returned to near the top of the Big Ten.
But there aren’t many more. Usually, once you’ve lost your ability to connect with the players, you’re history.
Give the Giants credit for not listening to those — myself included — who tried to point that out. Give them a big round of applause for sticking to their belief that Coughlin could change his nitpicking ways and fix not only the team, but also himself.
The man who made the rules and expected everyone to follow them — including feet on the floor and sitting up straight during film sessions — set up a team leadership council to keep him in touch with how his program was going over. He lightened up on the silly stuff without backing off his demand that they be disciplined where it counted — on the field. And this coach so famous for not being a man of the players rides to away games in the coach section of the team charter – with the players – instead of in first class with the coaches and executives.
He got rid of his offensive coordinator, John Hufnagle, and replaced him with former Chargers coach Kevin Gilbride. Then he raided Philadelphia to get Steve Spagnuola, the Eagles’ linebackers coach, to come in and take over the Giants’ defense.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
It doesn’t matter what happens against Green Bay this Sunday; with two wins in the playoffs – the first two postseason wins for the franchise since they went to the Super Bowl after the 2000 season – Coughlin has done what he promised. The new coordinators are a vast improvement, there hasn’t been a peep of discontentment from the locker room, Manning is playing the best football of still young career, and the Giants are back among the NFL’s elite teams.
At this time last year, it was a shock when the team’s owners gave him one more year. Now, it will be even more shocking if, when the Giants’ run is done, he doesn’t get a long-term deal. And the way he’s done things this year, the longer the better.
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2013 SNF Schedule
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