Barry Cofield has spent many seasons as a New York Giant. Drafted by the Giants in the 2006 NFL Draft, he remained with the team up through 2010. He spent the next four seasons with the Washington Redskins until he returned to the Giants last offseason.
Cofield spoke glowingly about now former coach Tom Coughlin in many ways. When asked what about Coughlin makes him a special coach, Cofield replied saying, “I think its his intensity, his emotion. You know, definitely a guy that is very consistent, brings it every day. A guy that if you look at him have that type of passion and that type of dedication to the game, you feel guilty if your not bringing that type of energy if you are have his age.”
Cofield went on to call Coughlin a disciplinarian, a strong leader, and a father figure. Coughlin’s five minutes early is actually on time attitude rung true throughout the locker room, but through the years he has learned to pick and choose when to display strong discipline with his players. However, many of his players have said that they look back at how he disciplined them, and they claim that it helped him grow as players and people. Greats such as Fred Taylor, from his time with the Jaguars and Michael Strahan have said similar things. Although they may have questioned him at the time, they now understand and thank him for those lessons in discipline. Cofield echoed a very similar sentiment.
“When I was young I didn’t get it. Now that I come back I really get the benefit that he had in my career and in my life.”
Cofield said that Coughlin’s ability to adapt and evolve his style with the times was another benefit that allowed him to be such a good coach and a good leader. Some of the things that were allowed and accepted ten years ago are no longer acceptable. Coughlin, unlike what people would’ve thought back then, has been able to move and change with the times. Yet, Barry Cofield still says that Coughlin still demands discipline.
“I think he has evolved since then, but I still think he is the same guy, still intense," stated Cofield. "Those meetings are still the same. You’re still sitting straight up in your chair, you got no hat on your head, you’re wearing Giant issued gear, your socks are a certain way, all of the type of stuff that he was known for. Everything is five minutes early. He’s still Coach Coughlin. He’s a guy that’s respected, and he’s going to do it the right way so you feel like you should too.”
Coughlin is no longer the coach of the New York Giants, but his impact made on his players and the organization will carry on.