Coughlin has everybody's attention

Aug. 4: Wednesday night used to be the players' night off. Not any longer. This evening was no different from the rest, with Tom Coughlin holding his usual 7:30 p.m. meeting. Each night, Coughlin talks to the team about a specific topic. The coach uses a power point presentation and stresses his points by showing the players tape.

"The players have listened to everything that's being said," Coughlin said. "A lot of the meetings have been directed toward how you win in this league. They've gone all the way from penalties and turnovers to special teams play to field position when the opponent takes the ball over at a certain spot, the time management aspect of how you win and how you lose, and how many teams won games in the two-minute drill, and speculation about what percentage of games were lost in that area. We're really trying to present how games are won and lost at this level."

The players have given the nightly meetings positive reviews.

"I get a lot out of them," defensive tackle Norman Hand said. "I just like to hear him talk. He could work for the president writing motivational speeches. He comes up with great things, and everything is related to football."

"The overall theme of the meetings is winning," O'Hara said. "There isn't anything that we do, or anything he asks us to do, that isn't geared toward winning football games. He tries to get you to see the big picture. It's good stuff. It's stuff that some guys need. We're trying to get the team to come together. The numbers and statistics he gives us demonstrate that it's a game of inches. He shows you why teams win and why teams lose. When you put it in that context, it emphasizes all the little things we do at practice and why we do them."

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The players practiced in the afternoon only. They spent the morning in the weight room and in meetings.

"It gets you that good solid strength program, which you need so badly here in preseason," Coughlin said. "Also it gives you some catch-up meeting time, which they badly need. There's a lot of tape every day and that tape has to be caught up with and looked at. And then your installation goes forward and your situational stuff keeps coming in."

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