Coughlin blames lack of third title on Burress


The Giants have won a pair of Super Bowls under Tom Coughlin, but he said it would have been three if not for Plaxico Burress.

During a taping of CenterStage for the YES Network (via the Newark Star-Ledger), Coughlin touched on a number of topics, but pointed the blame for the lack of a Lombardi Trophy after the 2008 season to Burress being arrested when they were 11-1.

Coughlin told interviewer Michael Kay he was sure they were going to repeat.

We were the best team in the NFL at the time of the shooting,” Coughlin said.

Of course, over the next month, they lost three of their last four, and laid an egg in the playoffs against the Eagles. They never got into the end zone that day, losing 23-11, with Eli Manning throwing a pair of picks.

So while it’s easy to blame Burress for shooting himself in the leg, maybe Coughlin ought to have suggested his quarterback’s shooting himself in the foot as part of the reason too.

84 responses to “Coughlin blames lack of third title on Burress

  1. Is that leadership method in his new book? Blame someone else five years after the fact?

  2. wow, bold statement. I actually kinda agree with coughlin but this is the kind of statement you keep under wraps.

  3. I disagree. They barely got into the playoffs that year but got hot in the playoffs. One player wouldn’t have changed it

  4. I was wondering when coach C. would mention something along these lines. I agree with him. As far as Eli “laying an egg,” I think that was primarily due to Burris deserting his mates by doing such a STUPID, SELF-CENTERED thing at the night club. Burris was Eli’s red zone guy and security blanket as well. It absolutely amazes me how completely bone headed some NFL players are, and Burris is the poster child in this area. I have NO idea how coaches get these stupid primas to be team players and understand their responsibilities to their mates on and off the field.

  5. Surprised to hear Coughlin say this. I understand coaches complaining about calls (Harbaugh is bad about this), but to blame another late season collapse on 1 player is a little beneath Coughlin…at least I thought it was.

    You live by the sword, you die by it. The only reason he has 2 rings is because a largely mediocre team got hot at the right time. They got cold at the wrong time last year and in 08 (and other years). Not a big deal, but a little surprising given how they won their rings. The Giants never looked like the best team in the league those years but got hot. Sometimes they go cold. They are incredibly inconsistent under him, but as a fan it’s the type of inconsistency you have to love.

  6. I disagree bdawks20 the ravens were terrible when lewis was out then when he comes back they go on an sb run one player can make a difference

  7. He’s trying to draw attention to his new book. Uncharacteristic of him, but it’s about the dollars at this point.

  8. Blaming Eli for losing is a JOKE. After Burress shot a hole in their season, their #1 WR was KR Domenik Hixon. #2 was a 40 yr old Amani Toomer. The Eagles put 8 in the box and took our WRs right out of the game.

    Giants beat both SB participants that year (AZ/Pitt). Had Giants beaten Philly, AZ would have had to travel to the Meadowlands for a stompin’. Philly had no answer for Plax.

    Coughlin is right. Plax not only shot a hole in our repeat, he shot a hole directly through our dynasty. Tragic.

  9. annnnd hes absolutely right. giants were on fire up until that night then we laid egg after egg. sure eli manning should get a fair share of the blame as well.. as he laid a huuuge egg in the playoffs that year with abismil play. but all in all i blame plax for that year too

  10. I wonder how much of that can be contributed to “bad coaching” and “selfish players”, aka a dis-functional team…

    Hey Coach Coughlin, go find another “us-against_them” theme to motivate your million-dollar crybabies.

  11. @4949 re: Kyle Williams.

    That tripe again? You do realize that your QB was 0 fer the night on 3rd down conversions don’t you? Even if no fumbles, you weren’t scoring once we locked up Davis.

    If anything, that game would have been a blowout without KW. He flipped the field for you a few times on returns.

  12. As a pats fan, i know that having the best regular season record doesn’t mean much…coughlin should know this as well if you catch my drift.

    With that said, if memory serves me correctly, the browns of all teams exposed the giants that year, so no i dn’t believe plaxico would have made a difference for the giants down the stretch in 2008.

  13. You guys are funny with nonsense. And by you guys I mean white people. Its all plax’s fault waaaah. But hey look at this way. Plax got his comeupance because Coach Coughlin made a call his bff Mayor ‘Stop and Frisk” Bloomberg and got that N* put in jail for 2 years for a crime that wouldn’t have gotten someone ‘who didn’t cost us a superbowl’ more than 30 days even with a prior felony on their record. So who’s the boss really. Now if you guys can figure out a way to get Obama snagged up all will be well with the world. Giants Suck and so do New Yorkers or is it New Yaakkers.

  14. This is like me saying if the pats had a healthy gronk in 2011 super bowl they would have beaten the giants….c’mon coughlin it goes both ways.

  15. @bdawks20

    Umm…they were the #1 seed in the NFC that year. I don’t see how they could have “barely made the playoffs”.

    They built their whole offense based upon what Plax provided both in skills and attention from the defense. While Plax deserves some blame, so does Kevin Gilbride. The guy just couldn’t adjust the game plan well enough to compensate for the loss of Plax.

    I’m a Giants fan. Don’t think Coughlin uses this as an excuse, as much as a reason. The reality is that guys get hurt all the time. Had Plax been hurt, instead of arrested, they have the same problems. I think Coughlin is saying they lost because they didn’t have Plax as part of the gameplan anymore. Fact. We can all dish out blame acordingly.

  16. Doesn’t say much for Tom’s coaching if the loss of a single player derails the whole season. Good teams with good coaches should be able to overcome adversity and find ways to win.

  17. I doubt he was singularly pointing the finger at Plax, but an incident like that can surely distract the team… Once off track, it can be hard to get things straightened out. This happens in the course of a single game, it also happens over several Sundays, as it did here…. But if any single thing derailed a great season for the Giants, that was it…

  18. “So while it’s easy to blame Burress for shooting himself in the leg, maybe Coughlin ought to have suggested his quarterback’s shooting himself in the foot as part of the reason too.”

    Someone in the media pointed a finger at Eli. Oh my, what’s next?

  19. What a pantload.

    They only win Super Bowls when Coughlin is on the verge of being fired.

  20. Interesting concept, blaming losses on a WR who didn’t play. Call me crazy but the guys who were on the field are the ones who came up short.

  21. bdawks20 says: Apr 5, 2013 2:45 PM

    I disagree. They barely got into the playoffs that year but got hot in the playoffs. One player wouldn’t have changed it
    You’re thinking of the 2007 season with the Super Bowl win in Feb 2008. In the 2008 season, the Giants were tied with the Titans for the best record in the NFL through game 12. They were the NFC #1 seed for the 2008 playoffs and got the bye before losing to Philly.

  22. Not to mention that Hixon became our #1 WR (dropped long pass from Eli too), instead of moving #2 (Toomer) to #1 and #3 (Smith) to #2 WR.
    How the heck did he let a #4 or 5 WR jump the depth chart!!??

    If Plax never shot himself, we had a dynasty going. Only loss was that MNF game vs the Browns.

    GO BIG BLUE!!!

  23. Coughlin was right. That team through 12 weeks was one of the better teams I have ever seen. They were 11-1, and if I’m not mistaken were the only team ever to beat 8 straight teams with a winning record. They ended up having two 1,000 yard rushers, and Ahmad Bradshaw who rushed for over 400 yards. When Plax shot himself teams were able to take the run away. That and Antonio Pierce was non existent after the incident. They were 1-3 after the shooting and still had the 1 seed in the NFC. That shooting changed everything, but got them Hakeem Nicks in the next draft. It worked out o.k.

  24. Not really surprised to hear Coughlin say this. The guy just doesn’t give a f–k, and I mean that in the best way possible.

  25. Yeah, Coughlin, Burress accidentally shot himself in the leg when a gun that would have been legal in most of the country fell down his britches. Then he wound up serving more time than some folks do for shooting other people in the head. I’m sure that was tragic … for you.

  26. Why is it a topic now? He’s stated this many times since it happened. It was obvious they fell apart after the shooting. And the media using the word ‘blame’ always gets you obtuse commenter submitters.

  27. “maybe Coughlin ought to have suggested his quarterback’s shooting himself in the foot as part of the reason too.”

    Yeah, losing their only deep threat had nothing at all to do with that.

  28. Oh, this is epic.

    Yet the 2010-11 Packers lose like a baker’s dozen of starters and can still beat a powerhouse Steelers team in the Super Bowl.

    Thanks TC…I needed a good laugh to kick off the weekend.

  29. The Giants beat both teams that made the NFC Championship and AFC Championship that year.

    So based on that alone, Coughlin has a point. It’s all good,we are still one of the top 3 or 4 teams of the past decade, and we are not done yet.

  30. LOL some nerve..but that’s Coughlin for you.. he’ll be on the Hot seat again after this season

  31. So what was the excuse last season?? Didn’t even make the playoffs? Blame Plaxico for that too??

  32. Unprofessional comment coming from a coach. Why is it not Caughlin’s fault for leading a team to ADAPT and OVERCOME adversity instead of saying the entire season was blown due to the stupidity of one man? The Gmen were a great team in football that year but if they were the best, they would have found a way to bounce back and find a way to win. Either way, thats in the past. The Giants are a much better team now a days. Gotta keep the NFC East going strong!

  33. Most of us blamed him also. The Giants were going 15-1 that year, no one could stop our offense and our defense was actually just as good, despite having a couple of injuries on the defensive line.

  34. bdawks20 says: Apr 5, 2013 2:45 PM

    I disagree. They barely got into the playoffs that year but got hot in the playoffs. One player wouldn’t have changed it

    Barely? They were 11-1 when he pulled that stunt. The entire gameplan shifted, because he commanded double teams. No one on the outside required that coverage, and they could focus on the league best running game. Giants win it all in 2008 had Burress not done that.

  35. Considering that the last two times the Giants won the Super Bowl, they were the last team in, Coughlin’s claim is ridiculous.

  36. Isn’t it the head coaches’ job to prepare the team against those types of distractions?

  37. thegronk87 says:
    Apr 5, 2013 3:08 PM
    This is like me saying if the pats had a healthy gronk in 2011 super bowl they would have beaten the giants….c’mon coughlin it goes both ways.
    When you had a healthy Gronk that year we still beat your rearends…in your house no less.

    Try again hater.

  38. How ironic that Coughlin is putting blame anywhere else. This Giants group won two Super Bowls over a 4-year span with a largely different roster, which is nothing short of amazing.

    If anything the Giants should’ve won at least one more if they had a different head coach who could get his team to win consistently instead of squeaking in twice over 4 years.

  39. kinggw says:
    Apr 5, 2013 4:03 PM
    Considering that the last two times the Giants won the Super Bowl, they were the last team in, Coughlin’s claim is ridiculous
    Haters all over the place today. Hey champ…the Giants won their division in 2011.

    Join the Gronk lover and try again.

  40. Deb says:
    Apr 5, 2013 3:30 PM
    Yeah, Coughlin, Burress accidentally shot himself in the leg when a gun that would have been legal in most of the country fell down his britches. Then he wound up serving more time than some folks do for shooting other people in the head. I’m sure that was tragic … for you.
    What are you talking about? If you’re trying to grandstand about tough NY gun laws, the gun would have been just as legal in NY as in a gun lovers state like TX if that dope had a NY gun permit.

  41. That’s ridiculous. Then you could say that they never would have won XLVI because the Patriots didn’t have their best skill player, Rob Gronkowski, healthy out there.

    It goes both ways.

    NFL teams have to deal with adversity. Coughlin’s Giants did it well in ’07 and ’11, but not so well in ’08. Tough sh-t. Move on.

  42. Whoever said we barely got in is wrong. We were rolling that year and had a first round bye. When plax went down We couldn’t spread the field which enabled teams to play man and stack the box and blitz more often. Tom C is dead on nobody could cover Plax at that time Totally agree

  43. I don’t blame Coughlin for saying what let’s be honest many Giants fans already know. I don’t lament it anymore because it allowed us to get Nicks and Cruz. I think we can all agree, it was a total upgrade all around. Besides, what has Plax done since he left the Giants? Get in more trouble, be a divisive force in the Jets locker room, get taken to court for not paying his bills etc. I was never one of the fans that wanted him back. Let’s face it, his best years were with Coughlin and the Giants and he blew it.

  44. @justintuckrule …

    Dude, he had an expired Florida permit. Personally, I don’t like guns and don’t get the national obsession with guns. But at a time when we can’t house dangerous violent offenders in some states because we don’t have the room, it’s idiotic to waste prison space on a guy who accidentally shoots himself in the leg with his own gun just because he has an expired out-of-state permit.

    Now if you want to get all pissy about that because Coughlin is making him the scapegoat for your season, that’s up to you. But it’s still ridiculous to put the guy away for that long over something so silly. And neither you nor Coughlin has any way of knowing whether the Giants would have won it all that year. Stop whining and be happy with the trophies you have.

  45. Hey Darin. Eli won 2 Super Bowls and was MVP in both. He gets a pass on the Philly game.

  46. Even as an Eagles fan I think ol’ Tommy Red Face has a point. The whole incident provided a real distraction. Additionally, Plax always gave the Eagles huge problems. He always burned us, or so it seemed. I recall losing the 2006 home opener after leading 24-3 in third. Last Giants’ score was a long pass to the corner… Guess who caught it?

  47. I would blame the coaching staff on why they came up short that year. Eli throws 2 picks and you lose to a division rival. Preparation was the factor here and nothing else. But we all know the Giants and Eli are the greatest thing since sliced bread when they win and are never heard of or from when they lose. Poor display of coaching on Tom’s part blaming a former player all three years later. just pathetic.

  48. While I agree that the giants took a nose dive after the arrest, coughlin should also try to remember who got behind the defender to catch the game winning td in the first Super Bowl against the pats.

  49. This all they have to talk about… What about curz? That’s what I want to hear about, not about hasbeen plax…

  50. The best team in the regular season rarely wins the Super Bowl. It’s who gets hot in the playoffs and gets the most bounces to go their way.

    Look at this year, for example. The Ravens advanced on a ridiculous Flacco hail Mary against a secondary that thought the game was over.

  51. You are all missing the point. It’s not about overcoming adversity, meltdowns, chokejobs, etc. We readily admit that these all happened post-shooting.

    The premise is that the Giants would not have had to deal with adversity, etc., and would have won the SB if Burress didn’t shoot himself. I defy anyone to argue that the Giants would have still lost if Burress was healthy. Who was beating them with a healthy Plaxico? Hint…not Philly. Plax owned Philly and the Giants would have run wild on them. Indeed, they ran for over 150 yds in the playoff loss despite no Plax.

    They won 8 straight games vs. teams with winning records.

    They beat Pitt (in Pitt) and AZ that year.

    They had best running game in NFL (largely because Burress commanded double coverage and defenses couldn’t stack the box)

    Save for one game at Cleveland where we didn’t show up, the Giants were 11-1 and no other team was even close.

  52. Now wait a minute, the giants wouldn’t have won that year’s superbowl …. my Packers didn’t have home field advantage and the Patriots weren’t in the playoffs that year either.

    Giants recipe: be mediocre – get healthy/hot late – beat Packers at Lambeau – Beat Brady in the Bowl…. Then brag about how Elite Eli is … then miss out on the playoffs the next several years until people forget about Eli.

  53. The wind was angry that day in the Meadowlands, my friends.

    I, like Coughlin and many other Giant fans, felt like Plaxico robbed us of 18-1 that year. But as I sit here and think about that season, the defense also slowed down towards the end. We gave up a ton of points to a crappy Carolina offense and didn’t look so good against Dallas or Philly either. I still remember Antonio Pierce, gassed out chasing Brian Westbrook into the endzone in that game before the playoffs.

    I wouldn’t completely blame Plax for the way the year ended although it certainly added to the heartbreak. But I still have a ton of great memories from that season eventhough it didn’t end like ’07 or ’11.

  54. WOW!!!!!! REALLY???? okay let me get into my way back machine. If Jack Kent Cooke’s cokehead of a wife hadn’t put him in an early grave, Norv Turner would have been afforded every chance to be successful with the Redskins and we’d have at least four more Lombardi’s in our trophy case..
    How bout this? if only I hadn’t huffed all that glue in middle school, I would be the first African American astronaut, Kung fu robot President.

  55. Hey njgiant81,
    That “crappy” Carolina offense was top ten in scoring offense in 08. And they were a late Kasay FG, made longer by a very untimely Steve Smith penalty from sinking your squad that night.

    To the justintuckrule guy,
    Dude, it doesn’t matter how many playoff teams you beat in a row, etc. In 2010, the Pats beat 6 playoff bound teams and got bounced in their first playoff game to a team they should have been able to beat. In 2011, they beat a bunch of mostly meh teams and made it to the SB, only to lose to the worst SB team ever record wise. All of that is meaningless.

  56. Things I remember about the 08 season:
    Plax shot himself, Hixon dropped 2 deep TD passes in both of those Eagles games that we lost. 1 in regular season & of course the playoff. I believe if Hixon had caught that TD in the regular season the eagles wouldn’t even had made the playoffs. That was the last NFC championship the Eagles appeared in. Pittsburg had no business winning the Superbowl with that crappy offensive line. Ben really did carry Pittsburg to a Superbowl that year.

  57. Giant’s fans…open your eyes. Coughlin seems to be a good coach, but he whines A LOT. He never takes responsibility when things go wrong.

    Take the Schiano thing. Fans pay to see 100% effort between the whistles. If a team isn’t playing to win they shouldn’t be playing at all.

    If you noticed…all the other teams adjusted to the Bucs rushing on a kneel the rest of the season. NO INJURIES resulted…which Coughlin claimed would happen.

    Having been born in NY if I lived there I would likely be a Giants fan. But I also call them as I see them.

  58. Coughlin shoots his mouth off about Plax’s supposed importance. So why wasn’t Plax paid as the most important player?

  59. They might not have won their first Super Bowl had it not been for Burress.

    Secondly, they might not have won this ASSUMED second Super Bowl (the imaginary one Coughlin blames Burress for losing) — because the best team doesn’t not always run the table through the NFL playoffs.

    And who knows if they’d have won their last Super Bowl – if – things don’t play out like they did in the events prior.

    Coughlin has always been a stand-up guy, but to publicly blame one off field event for a city’s *SUPPOSED* lost Super Bowl is lame. Very lame.

  60. Soooo Plaxico was the sole reason the team started off like 11-1 ? Any Giants fan that believes what Coughlin is bablin about is just REDICULOUS..

  61. One player with exception of QB does not cost you a Super Bowl. Coughlin had no plan when they loaded the box against his offense. Not to mention Eli was erratic and interception prone as the defenses came after him.
    Coughlin should shut his pie hole after his two Super Bowl wins came when his team got hot at the right time. He is paid to coach the team on the field not whine about who can’t play for whatever reason.

  62. Coughlin an old cranky white man creates a revisionist history for his history and book.
    Think about this…. From your Founding Fathers
    Yes a bunch of old white men got together and wrote that as they founded this nation.
    The problem…Seventy five percent of that group owned slaves including our first president George Washington.
    Will Coughlin blame them next????

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!