Tom Coughlin Press Conference: 10-26-05

We gathered as a team this morning. We stood, we devoted a moment of silence to our beloved owner, Wellington Mara. We asked God to accept his soul. We talked about honoring Mr. Mara in death and celebrating his life. We talked about what his expectations would be for us, and the words and the phrase that I have used is that, he would expect us to carry on.

I don't think he expects us to walk around with our lower lip down to the floor. We all are very much aware of this week. There is no real script for this week. Our emotions are literally all over the place. We do know that Mr. Mara, right now, is scheming somehow to try to beat the Redskins. We have to follow his lead and his example as always, and move on. And so while, on the one hand our hearts are heavy, on the other hand we celebrate his life and recognize and what he meant to all of us. We shared some of the personal experiences that we have had and we prepare for the Washington Redskins.

Q:  What are the first thoughts that come to mind of Wellington Mara and the relationship you had with him?

A: Benevolence. Great example. An individual who seemed to have a tremendous capacity for saying and doing the right thing at the right time. When I first was hired, he would literally come by my office every day and if he missed a day, he would come by to tell me, Coach, I haven't forgotten you, I was busy for a day or two and I didn't get down here. He would come by on his walk and just see how I was doing and how we were doing, and if there was anything more that he could do. I just look at what he meant to us all - this organization. I still see the glitter in his eye. I see the enthusiasm. Eighty years of going to practice every day, being involved in every draft meeting, literally knowing the details about every player, taking great pride in it. Knowing the players on an individual basis, being there for them and if their families or they needed any help of any kind. A great example that he gave to us all  extended to us all  was his own family, with his job, with his God. It doesn't get any better than what he provided for all of us. Like I said, this is a day, a week, in which our emotions will be all over the place. But as I also reminded our team, the young, the old, no one has a script for this. But we have to find a way to focus and concentrate on the job at hand, knowing full well that is what he would want, this is what he would want us to do.

Q:  When you came back to the Giants, was it special knowing that you would work for Mr. Mara again?

A: Without a doubt. That was the great attraction, to be honest for you. Mr. Mara treated every person that had ever been a New York Giant in any capacity as still being a New York Giant. And you were one of the family. And that is the way he treated you. The first thing he said to me was  I didn't get to see him until after the process was all over and I came to the stadium to formally accept the job  but the first thing he said was, Welcome home. And that is what he meant.

Q:  Could you recount the first time you met Wellington Mara?

A: It would have been as an assistant when I was first hired. I knew so much of him, just historically. He quickly put me right at ease, like he did everyone else. There was no pompous air about him; there was no arrogance about him. It was just the opposite. He always tried to go out of his way to make you feel comfortable. He always knew exactly who he had put in charge of a circumstance or a situation. He worked with that individual, perhaps behind the scenes, and then he would be extremely supportive of the position that they would take in issues. And that is the way that he operated.

Q: Meeting Welllington Mara for the first time as a coach, football man, what was that like for you?

A: It was a great privilege. It was an honor. When you go to practice, as a young guy when I first came, I didn't realize that this owner was at every practice, two-a-days, everything, and was into it, too. He was into it.

Q: It has always been a sense in the locker room that young players might not know him very well, but they did not want to let him down.  Why do you think he had that effect on players?

A: Because he cared so much. He was sincere. He was devoted. There was not one phony thing about him. He never said anything just to say it. If he said it, he meant it. And there was a great sense of that. He was a tremendous stabilizer. He could be in that locker room and just be there and you felt better because he was just there. He wasn't going to say anything. He wasn't going to say anything to anybody. He would pick a moment before a game to shake hands to wish you good luck. He would a pick a time that wasn't especially busy time - he would always do that. Great strength, just by virtue of his presence.

Q: This is a difficult time with an important game  how do you treat this like a regular game and get prepared for it?

A: I hope it isn't, but the thing that we need to do is to focus during our work hours and then let our emotions be what they may be once the work is done. And that is great lesson and a most difficult one. It doesn't matter how old you are, what you age is, that is a hard lesson. Maybe that is something that we can learn for this.

Q: RE: Brunell's success this year.

A: He is playing extremely well. He seems to be very accurate. He is in total control of the offense. He has a strong arm. He has been able to deliver the deep ball, the short ball, the crosser. They have picked things up well for him, they have protected him well. He is making plays with his feet again, with his legs. He has some outstanding weapons around him that he is using very well. They have the ability to run the ball as well as throw the ball. They certainly have amassed some outstanding statistics, some outstanding numbers at this point in the season. So, Mark is playing very well.

Q:  Have you made any roster moves?

A: We are going to, yes. We are making that move this afternoon. Alonzo Jackson will be put on the roster and Barrett Green will go on IR.

Q:  I assume the consultation on Barrett Green's ankle didn't go so well?

A: There was no conclusion drawn as to what they were going to do immediately. So it seems as if there was more extensive review and work that would have to be done. And the timing is just not very good for us to continue to wait.

Q:  How is Emmons?

A: He feels better today. He will not work today but he does feel better. We will have to see as this goes forward (about this week). But he feels better today.

Q: The MRI showed no tear?

A: No, he has a slight tear.

Q:  Nothing serious?

A: Well, it is serious enough to be a slight tear. It's something where we do have to make sure that the strength is where it should be and take precautions. If he can resume those things, the strength, he can continue to play.

Q:  Could he continue to play as soon as this weekend?

A: We will see. That is what we have to find out. He probably feels better than he thought he would feel, to be honest with you.

Q:  Any other injuries?

A: Plaxico won't work today and that is a day-to-day thing as well.

Q:  Will the team attend the funeral as a group?

A: Yes.

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