Tom Coughlin has spent so much of his coaching career being second-guessed for his tough exterior and disciplinarian tactics that we haven’t taken enough time to appreciate just what a great coach he is.
So let’s do that now: Coughlin, who tonight won his second Super Bowl with the Giants, is one of the finest coaches in NFL history. Immediately after the game Coughlin didn’t want to get into where this places him in football history, but there’s no question that he’s among the best coaches ever.
“I’m not about comparisons or anything of that nature,” Coughlin said. “I’m just very thankful, very grateful for the opportunity I’ve had as head coach of the New York Giants.”
For all the talk about how Coughlin can wear his players down with his demanding style, there’s not enough talk about the ways Coughlin builds his players up. After his Giants came from behind to beat the Patriots in Super XLVI, Coughlin said that his message to the team while trailing at halftime was simple: You guys are good enough to win this game.
“When we got into halftime I said, ‘We can play better than this, guys. We’re better than this,’” Coughlin said. “Everybody agreed.”
Coughlin may not want to rank himself among the best coaches in the NFL, but his boss said after the game that he thinks Coughlin is No. 1.
“There’s not one coach in the league I would trade Tom Coughlin for,” Giants owner John Mara said. “We’re blessed to have him, and he’s a two-time world champion.”