What a Difference a Year Makes for Coughlin

Last year at this time, Giants coach Tom Coughlin showed up at the Combine in Indianapolis having barely retained his job. This year, he's the king of the weekend, as Coughlin is being congratulated and greeted by everyone on hand. What a difference a year makes. Obviously, those who know Coughlin know that this instant celebrity won't change him a bit.

That's why as much as he's enjoying being the coach of the Super Bowl champions – and a coach about to receive quite a hefty raise – he's already looking forward to the 2008 season, when Big Blue will attempt to defend its throne.

Here are some of the highlights of Coughlin's meeting with the media during the Combine:

On the Giants being the team everyone will want to beat: "I haven't obviously sat down and spent a lot of time about the formulation of the theories and context that I'm going to approach in terms of opening training camp with the players. But one of the things this team did very well was they continued to look forward. They never sat and overanalyzed the last game, for example. They always looked forward. And having something to prove is always something that we challenged them with. And the fact that we are Super Bowl champions is not going to change that. We have so many new teams that we're playing next year, so much preparation that has to be done. This is a team that I hope will grasp that concept as well."…

On whether competing in the NFC East helped the Giants in the playoffs: "No question about it. No question about all the difficult games we played, all the different scenarios – playing the night games, the late games on Sunday afternoon, adjusting to all of that with our players. The London experience, the disruption of your schedule and then the quality of the teams we played week in and week out. That all prepares you. As I've said before, if you're going to do something difficult, you definitely have to prepare yourself in the same way – preparing with the most difficult opponent."…

On working with Jerry Reese, who is entering his second year as general manager: "Jerry came into that position with both feet on the ground, running full speed ahead. Because of the position that he held (Director of Player Personnel) he certainly had a great feel for the organization, for the players, for the coaching staff, if you will. And the thing that Jerry brings to the table is great energy, great passion, very, very positive – very positive – aggressive, aggressive with the roster, very supportive. So the idea that we both work together and the New York Giants being one, that was something that we did from Day 1. He's certainly been an excellent guy to work with."…

On whether winning the Super Bowl makes him a better coach: "I don't think so. I don't think I'm any different than I ever was. I just had a good football team and we achieved the ultimate goal."


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