It’s tempting, especially after watching his A Football Life documentary, to think Giants coach Tom Coughlin is mellowing with age, gaining perspective a younger man wouldn’t have.
“It’s 10 times more difficult,” Coughlin said in an interview with Giants.com, via Newsday’s Tom Rock. “Losing, it kills you.”
Coughlin is still second-guessing some of his own decisions from the end of Sunday night’s loss to the Eagles, wondering if he should have passed when they ran, and ran when they passed in certain situations.
“You just think, particularly based on our experiences, that when we’re in that position, we’re going to win,” Coughlin said. “We had a minute and something left. We’re going to win the game. Now, to be honest with you, we always have our timeouts preserved and if we had one timeout in our pocket, I believe we’re going to win the game.”
That they didn’t, with a clear opportunity to do so, was grinding away at him days later.
“The losses are much more difficult to get over the further you are in your career,” he said. “They’re killers. You don’t sleep. I went on that couch right there [in his office] at 3 o’clock in the morning and I could not get to sleep because, to be honest with you, I kept going over, over and over saying, ‘How could I have helped our team when it was 15 seconds left?’ Of course, I’ve got all the scenarios the next morning. Sure, it’s easy. But who’s telling you a 44-yarder is an easy field goal? We had made two yards on a run and they know we’re throwing the ball. . . .
“You do [relive the sequence], over and over and over and over. And it’s not healthy.”
By all appearances, Coughlin has become the kind of self-actualized human being you want in society, but that coaching urge to obsess over details remains, and sticks its head out from time to time.