Justin Tuck: 'We didn't like coach Coughlin;' We respected him

The recently retired defensive end gave a tribute to Tom Coughlin and the tough love he showed his players.

Justin Tuck, who signed a one-day contract to retire as a New York Giants, gave a passionate, off-the-cuff retirement speech Friday.

            The star defensive end highlighted his career from its start in 2005, where he felt he wasn’t drafted high enough, to now getting accepted into the Wharton business school to pursue an MBA.

            As the speech was told “from the heart”, nothing was more truthful and honest than when Tuck thanked former head coach Tom Coughlin. The 33-year-old brought to light the one thing his head coach taught him that he carries with him to this day.

            “The one thing I learned from Coach Coughlin is this,” Tuck stated. “I’m going to push you and I’m going to push you. I don’t care if you don’t like it.”

            Tuck went on to say that Coughlin “demanded” the respect of his players which comes as no surprise considering the many stories from former players reiterating the same phrase. The relationship between the lineman and coach wasn’t always the best, but none of the altercations mean anything in hindsight.

            "But the one thing that he demanded and he definitely got because he deserved it was the respect of his players," said Tuck. "I’m not surprising anybody by saying this. We didn’t like Coach Coughlin, but you better not say anything bad about him. Not in my presence. That goes for all the rest of our coaches." 

            Praise was also given to the other coaches under Coughlin as Tuck captured their dedication and preparation for games perfectly.

            Learning and developing under Coach Coughlin his entire career as a Giant, Tuck knew a very unique relationship between player and coach that he believes new head coach Ben McAdoo should adopt in his first year. Tuck gave a warning to McAdoo saying “Coach McAdoo, don’t be a player’s best friend.’

            Coughlin may not have been the buddy his players wanted him to be, and rightfully so. He was the commander in chief. The head coach of a professional football team.

Looking back on it today, no one fully understands the impact that Coach Coughlin has made on his players and the New York Giants better than Tuck. 


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