The Giants have created a Ring of Honor that will be flashed up throughout every home game at the New Meadowlands Stadium. They conducted interviews with Frank Gifford, Tiki Barber, and Bill Parcells, three of the 30 members whose names will be displayed.
Here are the transcripts for your enjoyment.
Q: What does it mean to you to be inducted into the Ring of Honor?
A: It's pretty fantastic. I was out there the other day and I walked out onto the field. I looked around and said, ‘Wow, this is a long way from the Polo Grounds,' and believe me, it is a long way from the Polo Grounds. It'll be nice. Of course, being selected as one of the members of the Ring of Honor is no question really a hell of an honor to be quite proud of. I'm looking forward to seeing how they do it. I hope they spell it right.
Q: For years, John Mara has wanted to do something like this. How do you feel being honored like this by the Mara family?
A: I've been so close to the Giants all of my life really, and I still go to all the home games. I sit with Mrs. Mara. As you're all aware, when I went into the Hall of Fame, Wellington Mara was my presenter and I was honored when he went in that he asked me to present him. I have a close relationship with the Maras and the Giants. I went to see a preview of a Broadway show, Lombardi, and it brought back so many memories, one of them being that when I met Vince Lombardi that he and Wellington were good friends when they went to Fordham. I guess that's when Wellington decided to take him out of high school football and put him into professional football. It's been a memorable week for me and I'm looking forward to Sunday.
Q: Is the Ring of Honor something you wanted the Giants to do in the past?
A: I think it's a wonderful thing they're doing. Like I said, I don't want you to think that I'm not proud of it because I am. I quite frankly never thought about it, though. Somebody mentioned it to me and I said, "Yeah, what a really great idea this is." So I am, it's definitely unique to contribute to the history of the Giants, how far they go back and my association with them, my closeness to the Mara family, and to the Tisch family. I knew Bob Tisch for many, many, many years. My association with the Mara family is something I'm very, very proud of. I'm proud of the fact that this is the only team I've ever played with. I'm very proud of the time in the history of pro football when I played because it was vastly different. We didn't have agents, didn't have to worry about finances other than as soon as the season was over, we had to go to work because we couldn't afford not to. That's not the case anymore. The game is vastly different and it's better game. Do you think these guys are better than we are? You bet they are. They work at it all year long. We had a 35-man roster, and they have a 53-man. Everything has become a specialty thing. So, the game is different but to be remembered as one of the Giants who made it all happen, I'm very, very proud of that. I played in the Polo Grounds, and I played in Yankee Stadium. I have season tickets to this one. My association is long, and very, very strong.
Q: One of your coaches and Ring of Honor inductees, Jim Lee Howell, is often overlooked because Lombardi and Landry were on his staff. What do you remember specifically about Jim Lee Howell?
A: He had enough good sense to stay out of the way. I'm not demeaning him with that, either. I don't know how many people would have enough common sense or whatever would be the word, strength, to turn it over to two guys who knew a heck of a lot more than he did. He used to kid about it. He said, "All I do is blow the whistle and pump up the balls." That's about all he did, so he was right. I bet none of you could get on the ring with that. Nobody. I'm not the one who picked him for the ring, either.
Q: What are you proudest of about your Giants career?
A: I think playing for one team, and playing in a period of time where football was just happening. We played in front of really sparse crowds in the Polo Grounds, and with the advent of national television, I was right around the beginning, the game really began steamrolling to the top of the sports world because it's perfectly suited for television. You have the natural timeouts, you have the time between different plays, you have the halftime when people can go to the head, eat, whatever they want to do. It was almost designed for television, and it's made a huge impact. I don't know if one of the largest audiences to ever watch anything was one of the Super Bowls, if not the largest it was certainly one of the largest. Now, it's even bigger nationally with multi-lingual announcers and it's really phenomenal to watch the growth and be part of the growth. Having 27 years on Monday Night Football and see the use of television, I have been honored to be part of that and some of our people at Monday Night Football were very active and it was kind of special.
Q: Has it bothered you that you are remembered as much for being laid out by (former Eagles linebacker) Chuck Bednarik as you are for your success with the Giants?
A: I got over that a long time ago, and I get that all the time. I guess I've kept him kind of famous. He's one of the great players to have ever played the game. I've tried to explain this so many times but what I had was a spinal concussion. I turned around, caught the pass, and hit me in the chest. It snapped me back onto the semi-frozen field and it was years later, maybe 1997, I was getting numbness in my fingers and my hands, and I tried to explain this to people but they'd never heard about it. I went into the doctor, and I had stuff they did not have in 1997, and they gave me a cat scan of my neck. The technician asked, "Have you ever been in an automobile accident?" I didn't tell them that Bednarik wasn't the model of the car, but that's the only thing I could think of. That's probably when I found out I had the multiple fractures in my neck. Fortunately, after that injury, I didn't play anymore that season. A lot of people who are young sports writers and commentators are not aware of, was that I took a year off after that not because of the injury but because I had joined the evening television and I was working in that direction and was busy with the network radio show. I had played nine years, and it was very difficult to do what I was doing and still play football. I took a year off and I realized, look, the one thing that I had loved to do in my life was play football. I said I can do this, the reporting, television, and radio, for the rest of my life but I can't play football the rest of my life. I went back and played three more years, and they had moved me out to wide receiver and I went to the Pro Bowl as a wide receiver, the third position that I went to the Pro Bowl, having gone once before as a defensive back and then numerous times as a running back, and then one other time as a wide receiver. It didn't terminate me, but a lot of people thought that was the end. When they think and read a lot of things, they thought it was the end of my career, which is not the case as I said. I played three more years and had pretty good years.
Q: Do you remember players questioning the coaches or play calling or anything like that?
A: The only time I ever questioned myself is because Jim Lee Howell always made the third down decisions. Other than that, Charlie Conerly, our quarterback when he was in the game, would call the plays himself. We had a lot of things that went on in the huddle that didn't happen today because everything is done from the side lines. Charlie might come into the huddle and say, "Who has something?" and you better be ready with something. Alex Webster or myself, I guess more Alex than me, would come up with and had to be ready with a play. He said something like, "What do you have Frank?" assuming we had a third-and-two or third-and-three, and I would say "How about a 49 sweep?" He would say "OK, bottle left, 49 sweep, R-split, on three", and that's how we determined it. It's almost like kinetic, and Charlie had no sense of anyone trying to upstage him. He was just looking for help all the time. He was a great quarterback. Y.A. Tittle became the same way when we played later with him. He always wanted to know who to beat, what you think you can do. We didn't have the guys who signaled the play into the quarterback, we just did it by committee almost.
Q: The coaches never yelled at you or said, "What were you thinking running that play?":
A: Not really. Not that I can recall. When you think about it, defense was the same way. Same thing calling the defense and Tom Landry would signal a lot of plays in. It was so different, and I had a lot more fun, quite frankly, because we played the complete game. Sam (Huff) would call all the defenses, and the only reason I know that is because he didn't talk to us for years because he thought we were awful. He had a great defense, and most of history, everything is credited to the defense. It was actually when there were only two beat writers: David Eisenberg and Bill Wallace from the New York Times. They were the beat guys. In the early days, they would come into the locker room and knew nothing about the game. Now, you guys are there all the time, and you know the players, their lives, what they do, when they get in trouble and when they don't. We were kind of anonymous. Like I said, the game grew up while I was here. The real turning point was when we went to Yankee Stadium, and I know for me I was awestruck when I walked out of the first dugout and walked onto the field at Yankee Stadium. I just couldn't believe it, having played in the Polo Grounds, which was a mess. It was like a stable, and as a matter of fact they did keep horses in there. It was a major step up and I couldn't help but think of the new stadium when I went last week. I looked around there, went to the museum, walked around and said, "Holy cow, what is this? We came a long way from the Polo Grounds."
Q: What it means to be named to the Ring of Honor…
A: It's an honor. I have a lot of pride for what I accomplished when I was with the New York Giants and I was happy to be able to play my entire career with such a storied franchise but I'm also humbled because of all the other great names that are going up there and all of those people who have done so much not only for this team, but the league – in particular Mr. Mara and Mr. Tisch, who you all know that I was close with both of them. That I had a chance to get to know them and play under them is something that I'll never forget. This weekend I'll be coming to the stadium for the first time and taking part in the Giants legacy that I helped build and I'm excited for it.
Q: In modern day football guys rarely spend their whole careers with one organization. How much does that mean to you to have been a Giant for your whole career?
A: That meant a lot and I never really wanted to leave New York, even when I became a free agent after 2000. I tried as best as I could to stay and keep it under the radar – my contract demands – because that wasn't what was important, it was important to rebuild who I had started as as a New York Giant. As you guys know, I had lots of ups and downs from being injured early to having success in the Super Bowl season and going to a fumbling problem and then ultimately becoming who I was at the end of my career, so I was glad that all of those people who supported me along the way were there for me to see me be successful.
Q: What kind of reception do you think that you'll get when you come back?
A: I have no idea. I know that I get individual receptions from people on the street – it's always gracious and thankful for the memories that I have provided and I would expect the same, but I don't give people grief for their opinions. You guys know, I've had plenty of mine. We'll see. Only time will tell.
Q: Do you take pride in being outspoken? Any regrets that you were perceived as a spokesman and a critic?
A: It's part of being in a leadership role, part of being someone who is very honest and will answer any question that is asked of me. I never hid – I never hid from my mistakes, I never hid from the games that I had contributed to losing and at the same time, if you're going to take my opinion there, you also have to take my opinion when I have something controversial to say – never meaning to be controversial, just really trying to tell the truth as I experienced it.
Q: Do you see some of the fumbling problems that you had in Ahmad Bradshaw and can they be fixed?
A: Of course they are. Fumbling is all about ball awareness and having a sense of, not only mentally, but physically where the ball is. It's not just Ahmad, it's every back in the NFL. You've seen Ricky Williams over the last couple of weeks put a few on the ground. It happens when you don't have a dedicated focus on keeping the ball in front of you and, more importantly, keeping your elbow to your side. It's easily fixable and he has the best coach to do it – Jerald Ingram was instrumental in fixing my problem.
Q: How do you see the leadership on this team?
A: Well, I'm nowhere near the locker room, so I wouldn't have a clue, but it presents itself when you have the kind of the mistakes and lack of discipline amongst the players that we've seen over the – that we particularly saw last week there – and this is a young…not a young team, they're a veteran team, but they're a young group together and it takes time. It's still early in the season, we're only three weeks in, so you can't pass ultimate judgment. There are still opportunities for guys to step up, but it's hard to do unless you start making plays. Playmaking ability is what gives you credibility as a leader and when they get are doing that consistently, that's when the leaders will emerge.
Q: Do the captains – Eli, Tuck, Blackburn – have the personalities to lead this team?
A: Different people lead in different ways. I wasn't a fiery type. In fact, before games, you could find me in the training room. Michael Strahan was that guy, Antonio Pierce was that guy who were vocal and loud and aggressive, but you need both types. So, like I said, it's hard to find those guys until they gain credibility as playmakers. Jim Skipper, my rookie year, he used to tell me all of these things and I think that most of them stuck with me – one of the things that he always said was, "I have no prejudice against any player except for non-ballers." And when you find a baller, that's when you find a guy who can be a leader for your team and I became a leader because I started playing well. Early in my career I wasn't one.
Q: You've said that you think Coughlin is losing control in the locker room. How does he fix that?
A: I don't know if Tom – I'm not in the locker room, so I don't know. I don't talk to the players as much as I used to, so I don't know what the feeling is. Tom can get the locker room back by having guys disseminate his message correctly. Tom is a great coach, we all know that. He's been one since his days at Boston College and now he has to rely on the truth that he knows, being able to get it to guys that can disseminate it to rest of the team and have them believe in it. That's how coaches become successful. It's not about…it is about the Xs and Ox, but it's not so much about the Xs and Os for the head coach, it's about finding ways to motivate 53 different personalities.
Q: Who were those when you were there?
A: It was obvious. It was the guys you just mentioned – Jessie Armstead, even though you could half understand him, Keith Hamilton, even though he was cussing every other word, it was me, trying to be intellectual and reason with guys, it was Strahan with his fiery temper, and Amani, basically led by example. Amani wouldn't get up and yell at you and scream at you and say we've got to do this and that, but he'd pull you aside and say, look, man-to-man, one-on-one, this is what we need to do to win and when you have a collection of guys that can do all of those things, not just one – I mean, you can't get lost in looking for one or two leaders – it's got to be five or six or seven guys who have a strong confidence in themselves as players and everyone around them believes that they're going to carry them to success. That's when you become leaders and it's not just one guy.
Q: Any sense of who could do that now?
A: There's a lot of guys that could do that. Obviously the offensive line has been together for a long time. I think that Shaun O'Hara is that guy, but oviously he's been on the shelf, which is counter to what I've been saying. Eli is certainly that guy. Justin Tuck is that guy. Mathias Kiwanuka – I mean, the playmakers, the guys you can see – I think Corey Webster at this point has to find a way to be a leader because we know that he has the ability and the personality to have influence over the rest of the team.
Q: How talented is this team?
A: I think it's very talented. They're not losing for lack of talent. They're losing from lack of execution and consistency. And again, it's early in the year, three weeks in, they've played two bad games in a row, but it doesn't make the season, particularly given what the NFC East is doing right now. Save the Eagles, the Giants have as good of a chance as anybody.
Q: What makes you say that Coughlin is facing a crisis?
A: He's at a crisis because the perception is that he's losing his team. I mean, we all know that – especially in New York – once the media…the perception becomes reality and you start fighting against it. When you're fighting against something that's not necessarily real, you make it real. That's why he's at a crisis. He needs to figure out a way to get control of the situation, whether it's playing better and not making mistakes, whether it's having a group of players like he did in previous years stand up and take accountability for what's going on, not pushing the blame by saying we should've, we could've, we didn't, just coming out and saying, we played poorly, we need to take responsibility for it.
Q: Last week there were five personal fouls in the game. Is that a reflection of the players or the coaches?
A: I think it's a reflection of the player. You can't let the other team one-up you and I think that against the Titans, that's what happened. We all know how Jeff Fisher coaches. We know the mentality of his playmakers. When Pacman Jones was there, all he would do was yell and agitate you, trying to get into your system emotionally and that's how the Tennessee Titans play football. It's how they always have played football. So, that's on the players to control themselves.
Q: Are there any parallels between this and what happened to Jim Fassel toward the end of his career.
A: Well, I think that Jim…there are some parallels, but Jim's biggest downfall was the lack of healthy players. It's hard to win when your starters are sitting on the sidelines and especially once the pressure hits you, it's almost impossible to win when your starters are on the sideline and you have sub-rate players having to save your job. It's frustrating as a coach because you almost feel helpless.
Q: What type of evolution have you seen in Tom Coughlin?
A: I've never – and I would challenge anyone to this – I've never said that Tom is a bad coach. I think he's a great coach. My issue with him – and he knows what it is because we had plenty of discussions, some civil, some not, about how you treat people. I think his biggest evolution has been in how he has respected his players and how he's gotten them to play for him. That's why they won the Super Bowl in 2007 and I think that now the team and he need to find that mutual center of respect and success will come their way.
Q: Doesn't it fall on the players to take control of the locker room?
A: Players are accountable insofar as they can tell the right message. Teams that have divided messages, meaning one guy is saying this, two guys are saying this, fifteen guys are saying another thing – that's when teams get lost. That's when locker rooms get lost. But, when you have a coach who has players who can disseminate one single message – it's simple, it's to the point, it's direct – that's when a coach "takes control of a locker room." It's a hard thing to pin down and put your finger on, but that's essentially what it is. I think that in 2007, Tom and his players had that. I can give you a perfect example: When my brother's team won the Super Bowl in 2002, we used to talk and we'd have these conversations and I'd listen to him and I'd say, "What are you talking about? This doesn't sound like you. It sounds like you're just regurgitating everything that Jon Gruden has told you." But it was true and everyone in that locker room had that same mantra and lockstep rhetoric and that's why they were successful. That's what needs to be gained, at least in my opinion, with the New York Giants.
Q: What does it mean for you to be a member of the Ring of Honor?
A: I'm certainly very, very honored and very appreciative, and I'm thankful to the Giant organization for considering me for this. It's certainly something that I will cherish, I know that. And I would say that I was very fortunate to come along and just be in the right place at the right time with strong ownership with the Mara family for the most part and then right at the end there with the Tisches, and then of course a good GM in George Young. And then I was very fortunate to have hired some great assistant coaches. Four or five of them have gone on to be NFL head coaches and a couple other college coaches. And that was certainly a great help to me. And then the players that I had there were - I had some of the very, very best players that a coach could want, and we were able to collect enough of them and keep them together for awhile in those days. So I think it's just a tribute to all of those people, and I'm just happy to receive this. I really am genuinely happy.
Q: Coach, are you coming on Sunday night?
A: I'm not going to be able to. I had a previous, long time ago, planned something and I just cannot get there. But I do hope to get there at some point in time to, one, see the new stadium which I haven't seen, and two, to kind of go through some of things that they have there. I'm anxious to do that, and I'm going to do it as soon as I can.
Q: You mentioned George Young. How great a role did he play in your success with the way he supported you, especially through that first year?
A: Well he certainly was a big help to me. I think the main thing that I can say that worked well for George and myself was that philosophically - and the personnel acquisition - we never really had any strong difference of opinion about what to try to do. Now obviously there's an individual thing here or there that we discussed and maybe one of us thought one thing and the other thought another. But overall the philosophy of what we were trying to do and how we were trying to build a team and the critical factors for the players that were going to be on the team, we were very, very much on the same page on that along with the personnel department, which obviously he was in charge of. So that was really a big help because the scouts and the front office people were bringing me the type of players that they knew I would like. They knew I wanted to work with a certain style of player, and we tried to fit that into the philosophy that we were using. And when you're there for awhile, they get used to knowing what you're looking for and they're able to get it for you. And that's really what happened.
Q: Having coached the Giants and Jets, can you lend perspective on what's unique about coaching in this market?
A: Well, I think first of all the Giants is one of the flagship franchises - certainly, arguably one of two flagship franchises - and coincidentally they'll both be in the stadium Sunday night, in the league. And so it has a great history, and then of course the Jets have come along and done a good job as well. But I just think that New York is a big stage, and it's a place where people are interested in professional sports. I think that's one thing that's unique about New York. It's certainly much more of a professional sports town than a college sports town, and some of the other cities around the country have kind of varying degrees of interest in pro sports as opposed to college sports. But New York is definitely a pro sports town.
Q: You of course have to study all 31 teams, but do you read up on the Giants more, or is it just too far in your past at this point?
A: Well, it's not so much that I don't have interest. I grew up very close to that stadium there and was a Giant fan as a young boy, and I remember going to the games in the Polo Grounds and Yankee Stadium and listening to them on the radio and watching the Giants Quarterback Huddle on TV and all those things. So I always have an interest, but you're just not able to keep up with really what's going on, on a daily basis. So you know whether they win or lose like you know what every team in the league wins or loses, but on a day-to-day basis, no I can't say that I can keep track.
Q: There's been a lot of talk about the Giants' leadership and sort of the direction they're getting from up top. I'm curious, from your personal perspective in coaching, how did you try to talk specifically with your leaders or captains to disseminate a message to the team or speak through them? What was your philosophy on that?
A: Well I think it was a little bit of a different generation in this respect that the players that I had were able to stay together. There wasn't such a transient nature to the business, and so the leadership on the team was pretty consistent for a number of years. And I was very fortunate to have George Martin and Harry Carson and of course Phil Simms and Lawrence (Taylor), and these guys were together all the time - Jim Burt - and they were together for a long time. So a lot of them, there wasn't any transition in leadership. Everybody knew who was doing what, and nowadays it's a little more difficult process for teams because the continuity is so much different.
Q: Are you still in regular touch with Lawrence Taylor?
A: I wouldn't say "regular touch." I have seen him quite a number of times since I've been in south Florida because he was living down here. I haven't seen him in quite awhile maybe I would say probably four or five months.
Q: Back on the question of leadership, how did you see it manifest itself differently with different people? I know Phil wasn't necessarily a vocal guy, but was it possible for each person to reach the locker room in their own unique way?
A: I don't think there's a set pattern of leadership, and there are no rules and regulations that you can follow. I think of a person that has the ability to kind of lead and people follow or listen, but it's an acquired thing. It's just not built in. You don't just come in as a high draft choice or a free agent from another team, and you just don't come in and completely take over a new situation because you're not well known enough. So I think it takes a little time, and I don't know, quite frankly, how the whole evolution goes. What I do say, I think leadership is important but I don't think it's something that teams are totally without. I mean there are guys on every team that have that ability that people respect, and they should be the ones that go forward with it.
Q: People say that the coach isn't on the field to make the plays, but in your case, how much did you do to set a tone for how things should be done on the team?
A: I tried to do what I thought was right to give my team the best chance to win. And I tried to teach them as probably almost every coach does. The things that allow you to win are the things that cause you to lose, and you just try to emphasize them enough to where in key times the players respond favorably to that. But there are certain players that no matter what you do at the critical time and under pressure, you can't make them behave a certain way. It has to be ingrained, and it has to be something that they understand and are aware of. Sometimes guys just aren't. I've always been a big thing - everybody said "penalties." Well, as a coach, I never really believed penalties were my fault. I always believed that all penalties could be eliminated with concentration or good judgment. So you try to create a situation where the players concentrate, and you try to create a situation where the players use good judgment. But you can't make them do that. They have to do that. Things like that I think the coaches get stuck with - and of course I'm prejudiced because I was a coach - I think they get stuck with, 'Oh, well penalties are their fault.' Well really in reality, I don't think they are. There is no coach teaching his team to commit penalties.
Q: What was your happiest day as a Giant?
A: Well that's a good one now. That's a good question. I would say, probably the two happiest days I ever had as a Giant was when Matt Bahr kicked the field goal in San Francisco to win the NFC Championship game, 15-13, because that was a game that many people didn't think that we had a chance. We had our backup quarterbacks. San Francisco was going for a three-peat. We were on the road. It was pretty gratifying there. And then I think our rivalry with the Redskins. There were a couple of those games down at RFK. One night Raul Allegre kicked the field goal on a night game down there on the last play of the game, and that was a pretty gratifying thing. I'd be remiss if I didn't say the Super Bowls because they were - certainly the second one was right to the wire. And I always felt like that it would have been a shame had we lost that game, and we could have. But I always felt like it would have been a shame because I really think that we did a better job in that game and our players did a better job than the opponent did. And it would have been sad for us to lose that one, bur fortunately we didn't. I would say that NFC championship in San Francisco was one of the best times, and certainly the plane ride to Tampa, which was about five hours, was one of the happiest times of my whole life and is certainly vivid in my recollection. And I think anybody who was on that plane, it's pretty vivid.
Q: Can you give us any stories of what happened on that plane?
A: Well, I wouldn't say it was a party atmosphere, but it was euphoric. I'm not saying we didn't have a couple of drinks because we did. It was just a kind of a euphoric time for all of us, and I think everybody who was on that plane felt a great sense of accomplishment. Then of course the trip ends, and my secretary, Kim Kolbe, is waiting for us in Tampa and she's got our keys. That plane ride ends and we go right to work. But it was a happy time.
Q: How much does it mean to you, how proud are you that a big part of your Giants legacy is the fact that so many of your assistant coaches have gone on to be successful head coaches, including Tom who has won a Super Bowl?
A: I've always felt that being able to have good coaches and good assistants in every industry has proved to be very important. And you know what, I have a couple other guys that after I left the Giants have gone on and have become NFL coaches, and coach Sean Payton was one and having been a former Giant himself that's won a Super Bowl. So I do take a lot of pride in that because I think one of the things you have to be able to do to succeed in this business is get good people to help you. And I think you could make a case that that coaching staff that I had with the Giants there had to be among the very best. I mean I don't think anyone could dispute the fact that there were some talented coaches on that staff, and I was very lucky to have them.
Q: There's been a lot of talk up here about losing control and lack of leadership. I think Tiki Barber even said Coughlin is in a crisis mode right now. What's your take on Coughlin?
A: Well you're asking the wrong guy because I'm a big Tom Coughlin man. I'm a big fan of Tom's, and I know what kind of coach he is. Nobody has to tell me, I know. And I'm not interested in what the naysayers or other people say about him. I think he's a good man. I think he's proved to be a sound coach over the years. He's taken the team to a championship. Hey, we all come on rough times once in awhile, but I have every confidence in Tom.
Q: Now that you've relinquished the day-to-day control down in Miami, what's next for you?
A: Well that's a good question. I'm not a "sit around the fireplace" guy. I don't know. I'm not certain about it. We'll see what happens when the time comes, but I know I want to do something even if it's not day-to-day or something like that. I know I want to do something. I don't like sitting around. I like to get up and get out and go do something. So we'll figure it out when the time comes.
Q: You talked about how the league has changed, how before you were able to keep that core group of Giants together for a good number of years. Have the players themselves changed? Towards the end of your coaching tenure, did you have to find different ways to reach them?
A: No. No. What I think has changed is the number of people around the players. I don't think the players have changed. I think they're young guys, they want to know what to do. They want to compete. They want to win. They want to do those things, and I think the players are not much different. The people around the players and the people around the league are different. There are a lot of different venues and agendas and motivations exercised by people in regard to the players that sometimes are not in concert with trying to win. So I think all of us have been faced now with this volume of additional people around the players and talking to them and telling them things. A lot f times those things aren't accurate.
Q: How is your health?
A: I'm doing pretty good. I'm doing pretty good. I've got my weight way down and I'm feeling pretty good. I work out good. So I've been pretty fortunate. You have little things here or there, but when you're my age that's what happens. You've just got to keep the truck moving if you can.
Q: Since you're not going to be able to make it up here on Sunday, is there any message you wanted to relay to the fans?
A: Yeah. Go Giants! That's all. I'm appreciative of them as well obviously because no one ever got better support than I did in that stadium. It was just unbelievable.