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Tag:Tom Coughlin
Posted on: February 3, 2012 11:50 am
 

Like Coughlin, Belichick has no plans to retire

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By Ryan Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Earlier this week, CBS analyst and former Giants quarterback Phil Simms said that he tells players that when they think their career is over to "play two more years. ... Because the rest of your life is a long time."

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No idea if that tenet holds for head coaches, too. On Friday, in his last meeting of the week with the media, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked if there was a chance he'd retire should New England win Sunday. It would be Belichick's fourth championship since 2001 and further solidify his Hall of Fame credentials on a career in coaching that began with the Baltimore Colts in 1975.

“Right now, I’m really thinking, ‘What’s the best thing I can do to help our football team on Sunday against the Giants?’ I want to really try to do a good job in the job that I have," he said. "I enjoy all the aspects of the job. I enjoy the team-building, the drafting, the free agents, team acquisitions, those kind of things.

"I enjoy bringing in the young players and working with guys who haven’t been in the NFL and teaching them the basic fundamentals in how to become a professional football player for the New England Patriots. I enjoy working with the veteran players, the Tom Bradys and the Vince Wilforks and the Wes Welkers and all those kind of players that can do really special things because of their not only talent, but experience."

He continued: "I enjoy the competition on a weekly basis. Not just on Sundays, but the preparation leading up into the game. I enjoy all of it. It beats working. It’s fun to address those challenges on a daily basis, so right now I’m really focused on the game and that’s where my energy is going to go, toward doing the best I can for the New England Patriots against the Giants on Sunday.”

If Belichick's words aren't convincing enough, his newfound effusiveness appears to be. So for now, the 59-year-old ain't going anywhere, sharing the sentiments of his counterpart Sunday, Tom Coughlin.

CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco asked Coughlin after the Giants beat the 49ers in the NFC Championship game if, at 65, he had any thoughts on calling it quits.

Retire to do what?” Coughlin said. "I feel good … I still love what I do."


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Will the Patriots get revenge this time around or will the Giants continue their run to another Super Bowl title? Pat Kirwan joins Scott Braun for the preview.

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Posted on: February 2, 2012 8:02 pm
 

JPP: Brady reacted to pressure that didn't exist

                                     (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
By Ryan Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- The last time the Patriots and Giants met in the Super Bowl, quarterback Tom Brady was sacked five times. On Wednesday, Brady was asked about the implication that he can be rattled in the pocket.

"It wouldn't be the Super Bowl if they (the Giants defense) weren't trying to knock me down or knock me out … but our offensive line gets paid too," he said. "We're going to try to eliminate (bad throws) … we had too many of those last time (against the Ravens). We're not going to be able to win the game playing like that."

The Pats and Giants met earlier this season too, and while Brady was sacked just twice, it was the perceived pressure that forced him into mistakes -- at least to hear Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.

“I think it will have much impact on his performance because if you look at Week 9, when we played them, it’s like he felt us," Pierre-Paul said during Thursday's media availability. "When we looked back on the film, we watched the film, and we didn’t really rush like we can rush as a defense. He was throwing balls on the ground and stuff, but like I said, it’s going to be a battle. We have to get there. We have to. …

"(Brady) did react to pressure that didn’t exist, and he was just throwing the ball places where there wasn’t even a receiver there. Imagine us getting there even faster and actually doing our jobs and getting hits on him.”

Brady has a short history of underwhelming performances against the Giants (he's also played poorly in the games just prior to facing the Giants, too), but he's also one of the most successful quarterbacks in NFL history and a three-time Super Bowl winner.

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Following the Patriots' conference championship win over the Ravens two weeks ago, Brady said he "sucked" and promised owner Bob Kraft that he would "play a lot better" in the Super Bowl. Good news for New York, however: turns out, Brady's human. Pierre-Paul was asked if the Patriots quarterback was was a god.

"He's not," he responded.

Which was made clear from watching him play against the Giants.

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Posted on: February 2, 2012 10:13 am
Edited on: February 2, 2012 10:14 am
 

Brady has history of poor play before facing NYG

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By Ryan Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Shortly after the Patriots beat the Ravens in the AFC Championship game, Tom Brady was asked about his very un-Tom Brady-like effort: 22 of 36 for 239 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.

"Well I sucked pretty bad today but our defense saved us," was Brady's initial reaction. He expanded on those thoughts in the postgame press conference.

"As a quarterback, you never want to turn the ball over. …I wish I would've done a better job with that today. In some ways you always beat yourself up. I've been doing this for quite awhile. I'm glad we won, I'm glad we're moving on and hopefully I can go out there and do better in a few weeks."

Brady also made a promise to owner Robert Kraft that night: "I promise you I'm going to play a lot better in two weeks."

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It's an odd thing to hear from Brady because he's been so good for so long. As observers, we've almost come to expect every performance to be masterful, every decision to be clinical. When it doesn't happen, the cognitive dissonance is too much, even for Brady, the man largely responsible for the Patriots' three Super Bowl titles since 2001.

Which is why no one is concerned that Brady won't play like, well, Brady when the Patriots and Giants meet in Super Bowl XLVI in three days. But here's the thing: the Giants have said all week that the key to getting Brady off his game is to hit him. A lot. That game plan, coupled with David Tyree's head certainly helped New York to a Lombardi Trophy four years ago. Brady entered that game as the quarterback of an 18-0 team and fresh off a regular season that included 4,806 yards, 68.9 completion percentage, 50 touchdowns, eight interceptions and a 117.2 passer rating.

In the Super Bowl, the Giants held him to 29 of 48 for 266 and one touchdown. He was also sacked five times after going down just 21 times in the regular season.

We're all aware of the damage New York's front four can inflict on a passing offense, even one with Brady at the center. But here's something else to consider: in terms of passer rating (57.5), Brady has his worst game of the season against the Ravens two weeks ago. In previous weeks he had completed fewer passes for fewer yards with more interceptions, but never in the same game.

The good news: every time Brady's passer rating has dipped below 90 this season, he's hit triple-digits the following week.

The bad news: Brady was coming off a similarly poor performance heading into Super Bowl XLII, the last time the Patriots and Giants met.

In that year's AFC Championship game, New England hosted San Diego and won despite an underwhelming showing from Brady who finished the afternoon completing 22 of 33 for 209 yards, with two touchdowns and three interceptions. His passer rating: 66.4, his second-lowest of the season (he bottomed out at 51.5 against the Jets in Week 15) and well below his 117.2 average.

After beating the Chargers Brady said "Now we're going someplace warm, because I'm freezing my you-know-what off."

Turns out, the weather didn't matter two weeks later in Arizona. Partly because of the Giants' stifling pass rush but also because Brady didn't look anything like the Hall of Fame quarterback we reflexively expect to put up 400 yards and toss four touchdowns every time he takes the field. And just like four years ago, Brady is coming of a forgettable game, and just like four years ago, he now has to face the Giants in the Super Bowl.

But maybe this is just coincidence. Then again, Brady didn't play particularly well against the Steelers this season, their opponent just before losing the Giants in Week 9. 

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Posted on: February 1, 2012 1:16 pm
 

Will NYG be NFL's most consistent team with win?

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By Ryan Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin go back a long way. Both worked on Bill Parcells' staff with the Giants in the 1980s, and they remain two men who have great admiration for one another.

“I respect a lot of things about Tom – his evaluation of talent, the way he attacks teams, his consistency, his discipline, his team’s toughness, their resiliency," Belichick said.

Coughlin, several blocks away at the Giants' press conference, was just as complimentary. “He’s always been an exceptional defensive coach trained by the best, by Parcells," he said of Belichick. "He’s also become an outstanding offensive coach and Tom Brady has helped him to really diversify and get into areas offensively that only lead to the particular strengths of the individuals involved, and he’s done a very good job of that."

Now, two decades later, Belchick and Coughlin have four Super Bowl titles between them. Three of those Lombardi Trophies belong to New England but that happened during a four-year span from 2001-2004.

In the seven seasons since, the Patriots have made six playoff appearances, but returned to the Super Bowl just once, in 2007, where they lost to the Giants in one of the biggest upsets in NFL history. From 2001-2011, New England is 16-5 in the postseason, but since 2006, they're just 6-4. Relatively speaking, 6-4 is a fantastic accomplishment. It's just that we've gone from hailing the Patriots as the next great dynasty four years ago to now wondering if they're even the NFL's best team this century.

In fact, if the Giants win Super Bowl XLVI, you could make a case that they belong in that conversation.

New York hasn't had the Pats' sustained success since 2000, but they played in a Super Bowl following the '00 season (a loss to the Ravens), and since Coughlin was hired in 2004, they've been to the playoffs in five of eight seasons. They're 7-3 over that time with three of those wins coming last month.

Since '07, Coughlin's winning percentage with the Giants is impressive (49-31, 0.613), though less so when compared to Belichick (64-16, 0.800). But regular-season accomplishments mean little if they don't culminate in a championship. No one talks about New England's almost perfect 2007 season except to point out that the Giants beat a thought-to-be unstoppable offense and longer odds to earn the Lombardi Trophy.

Yet no one mentions the Giants in the same breath as the Patriots (and to lesser extents, the Steelers, Saints, Packers and before this season, the Colts) and that includes some Giants players.

"Honestly, for us, that ’07 (Super Bowl) was kind of like us coming together as a football team," defensive end Justin Tuck said this week. "We just said we wanted to kill a dynasty, and that’s what they were. But now, we’ve been here before and we felt as though all that is secondary. We just want to come in here and have our mind focused on playing a great football game, and not really getting caught up in all the hoopla around the game.”

That's exactly what Super Bowl week is -- hoopla around a game -- but the absurdities of Media Day shouldn't obscure what the Giants will have accomplished if they win. Coughlin remains unimpressed, at least for now.

"That’s the furthest thing from my mind is how this enhances my legacy," Coughlin said Tuesday. "That’s nowhere near anything that I am thinking about right now. What I’m concerned with is the concentration of our players, putting ourselves in the best frame of mind that we can possibly be, preparing our team to the best of our ability, and then playing exceptionally well, as best as we possibly can.”

Fair enough, but by Sunday night we could be talking about Coughlin -- who annually (and inexplicably) finds himself on the hot seat -- as the man responsible for bringing the Giants two Super Bowls in five years. Just like Parcells.

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Posted on: February 1, 2012 10:21 am
Edited on: February 1, 2012 4:06 pm
 

Giants defensive mindset comes from the top down

Pierre-Paul points the way for the New York defense. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Everyone wants you to believe that Super Bowl XVLI is similar to the Giants-Patriots matchup from 2007. It makes sense -- the ferocious pass rush Tom Coughlin's squad brings to the table is so similar to the dominant 2007 defense. That's not some hapless circumstance though: it's a result of a carefully-crafted personnel plan that starts from the top up and permeates the entire organization.

Ask anyone on the Giants roster or coaching staff about what kind of attitude defines that defense, a unit that hasn't given up more than 20 points since Week 15, and you can tell there's a universal feeling within that group about the way they play. Right now that feeling could be described as "confidence." Or something ... else.

“Right now we have a badass mentality," safety Antrel Rolle said Tuesday. "That’s the way we like to look at it, that’s the way we want to keep it, and we’re very confident in our approach. But most of all, I think we’re very smart in our approach, meaning that everyone is on the same page at the same time and we have a clear understanding of what every guy is doing, not only yourself. So, you know, we’re a very intellectual team, and we take pride in that.

"But, at the same time, when the bell goes off on Sunday, we’re in attack mode. That’s the way we look at it."

The Giants struggled badly throughout much of the year on the defensive side of the ball (the Seahawks hung 36 on them in New York and they lost to the Redskins twice; that's all you need to know). Rolle acknowledged as much. But they shut out the Falcons offense in the divisional round and put the brakes on the previously white-hot Packers before handling the 49ers, reminding everyone of the 2007 unit that generated so much pressure from their front four.

But since 2007, the organization's seen a few important changes Perry Fewell replaced Steve Spagnuolo as defensive coordinator. Jerry Reese moved into Ernie Accorsi's spot as general manager. The organization's managed to not change though, primarily in the way they seek out and identify defensive players with a similar mindset.

"I think Jerry Reese and Mark Ross in our scouting department do a great job of identifying Giant defensive-minded football players," Fewell said. "And that came long before I came here. They've always had a good talent for doing that. The one thing that I can really talk about is pride, and 'Giant Pride.' When you step into the Giant defensive meeting room -- they make you write an essay about what it's like to be a New York Giant. And why do you want to be a New York Giant defensive football player."

Really?

"Yeah, that was not something I was accustomed to doing," Fewell said. "When I heard that they make the rookies do that, I thought it was really unique and different. So there's a lot of pride that goes along with being a New York Giant and being a defensive football player and I think that's permeated throughout the years with the Strahans and the Lawrence Taylors. It goes back more years than I've been there."

Think about that: you get your first job as a professional in your chosen vocation and when you get to work, you have to write an essay about why you want the job you've been chosen to do. It's insanity. But it's also a testament to the way the Giants build their defense.

So is the work the Giants do in the later rounds. There's no Victor Cruz (a shocking breakout as an undrafted free agent) on the defense. But there are a slew of slam dunks from the last 10 years of Giants drafts, whose talent allows the Giants to get hot at the right time.

"Our scouts are really the unsung heroes of this whole process. They are the lifeline," Reese said. "They go out for 185-200 days a year on the road, scouting. They unearth these players and bring them to our attention. We have a chance to look at these guys too. It’s all about us. The winning is about us as an organization. Our scouts and our players do a tremendous job. Our coaches do a tremendous job. I’m just happy for the organization as a whole."

Reese should be. Since 2003, the Giants have used their first pick in the NFL Draft on defense every single year, save twice: in 2004 when they took Philip Rivers (and swapped him for Eli Manning) and 2008, when they took Hakeem Nicks. Both those moves worked out OK, but it's the defensive selections that really stand out.

Mathias Kiwanuka, Aaron Ross, Jason Pierre-Paul and Prince Amukamara are all first-rounders taken by the Giants who either start or see tons of playing time. Corey Webster, a second-round pick, was the Giants first selection in 2005. Osi Umenyiora was a second-round pick in 2003, and Justin Tuck was a third-round pick in 2005.

What is it, exactly, though that the Giants look for when pursuing these guys?

"Ability," Tom Coughlin said. "The way in which we define the positions and evaluate the players according to the positions that they play. I'm not going to go into detail on how they're evaluated, but we stick strictly to our philosophy, our grading system and being as objective as we possibly can."

Coughlin's answer might sound like coachspeak. (Technically, it is.) But his point about "ability" actually points more to the Giants heavy desire to draft pass-rushers on a frequent basis. Accorsi did it when he ran the team, and Reese does it as well. Having four guys on the line who can generate pressure and turn up the heat on opposiing quarterbacks without having to send additional blitzers is precisely what makes the Giants defense so terrifying.

And Coughlin, like everyone else with the Giants, had a look of pride on his face when asked what differentiates the Giants defense and its specific players from other teams.

Don't expect him to call the the unit "badass." But he clearly feels the same way as Rolle. And it's a sentiment that's shared from top to bottom in an organization, and the reason why this unit's capable of looking like an elite defense.

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Posted on: February 1, 2012 10:00 am
 

Jacobs: Burress wanted to play for Giants

BurressBy Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS – It’s no secret the Jets team ended its 2011 season in turmoil with Santonio Holmes playing the role of anti-captain, linebacker Bart Scott flipping off reporters and seemingly everybody criticizing Mark Sanchez. And while coach Rex Ryan is intent on fixing his team’s problems, the Jets couldn’t escape the bright lights of Tuesday’s Super Bowl Media Day proceedings.

Though Plaxico Burress, surprisingly, was one of the least-controversial members of the Jets squad this season, Giants running back Brandon Jacobs said Tuesday that Burress didn’t even want to play for the Jets in 2011. In fact, Jacobs said, Burress wanted to return to his old team, the Giants.

"Oh, no question, I know he did,” Jacobs said in quotes recorded by ESPN New York. “I know he wanted to come to the Giants. We just didn't think it was going to be able to be done financially. But he may be (back) next year, who knows?"

After Burress was released from prison, he signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Jets, and he actually performed better than expected, catching 45 passes for 612 yards and eight touchdowns in his first action since 2008.

Burress actually visited with the Giants before he signed with the Jets, but they only offered him a guaranteed $1 million. The Jets’ $3 million was fully guaranteed.

But Jacobs also said Burress didn’t want to return to Ryan’s squad next year, because of all the well-documented turmoil that occurred there this season.

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"I don't see him back with the Jets next year at all," said Jacobs, who spoke with Burress on the phone recently. "I don't know what he's thinking, but I don't see that. They've got a lot of things going on over there, and I don't know if he wants to be part of that."

Jacobs also added this:

"How many receiving yards did he have last year? How many catches did he have? He's a starting wide receiver -- (45) catches. We got three guys, four guys on our team that have that. He's a much better wide receiver than (45) catches, I tell you that."

But before we start celebrating Burress’ eventual return to the Giants, let’s not forget what he told Men’s Journal before the season began about coach Tom Coughlin.

"After my situation happened, I turned on the TV, and the first words out his mouth was 'sad and disappointing,'" Burress said. "I'm like, forget support -- how about some concern? I did just have a bullet in my leg. And then I sat in his office, and he pushed back his chair and goes, 'I'm glad you didn’t kill anybody!' Man, we're paid too much to be treated like kids. He doesn't realize that we’re grown men and actually have kids of our own."

So, a reunion with Coughlin might be somewhat awkward, eh?

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Posted on: January 31, 2012 9:00 pm
 

EoF on the scene: Super Bowl XLVI, Media Day

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By Ryan Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Tuesday was Media Day. And while it was more subdued than in previous years, there was still plenty to see. (Click photos to enlarge.)

“Have I changed? Probably, but I think it’s important as the process of learning. You learn, develop, and change every year." - Tom Coughlin (Photo credit: Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com) "I’m not in to making predictions. It’s not my job to list quarterbacks. [Brady's] obviously a future Hall of Famer. He’s had a tremendous career. It’s his fifth Super Bowl, so that’s amazing. This is a team game. Win or lose, based on how the team plays. Hopefully the Giants can be the better team on Sunday.” - Eli Manning (Photo credit: Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
Patriots wide receiver Tiquan Underwood is obviously a huge Kid 'n Play fan. HUGE.  (Photo credit: Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com) Ross Ventrone interviews Peter King. (Photo credit: Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
“Yeah, there is a lot of [talking] going back and forth (between the two teams), but that’s just football. We are all competitive guys that just want to win. We all think we are better than one another. That’s just what it leads to.” - Brandon Jacobs (Photo credit: Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com) “[Media Day] is just a lot of hoopla. We are just ready to play football and go out there and have fun. Just staying focused this week is the main key.” - Ahmad Bradshaw (Photo credit: Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
“We practice as if Gronkowski is going to play. If he doesn’t play, then you just go to a different gameplan, but It’s all on Coach Perry (Fewell), how Coach Perry wants to play it out. He will put us in the best position to win the football game.” - Jason Pierre-Paul (Photo credit: Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com) “Playing football again was that goal, and that really pushed me. After six hours of chemotherapy, you’re sitting there and your body just feels drained. You don’t want to move, but I said, ‘I am going to be playing football again in eight months, so I need to go and workout." - Mark Herzlich (Photo credit: Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
"I think [Belichick's] enjoying himself.  I think he’s got a lady in his life, so that could definitely be the case; I don’t know.  We’re just coming here to try and win a ballgame.  However we do that or whatever demeanor we have to take, that’s what it’s going to be.” - Wes Welker (Photo credit: Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com) “Draft day was definitely frustrating. At first, I wasn’t buying into the mock draft boards. But I’m glad I came to this team and I love the New York Giants organization and what they stand for. It’s been working out well so far.” - Prince Amukamara (Photo credit: Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
CBS golf analyst David Feherty made an appearance at Media Day. (Photo credit: Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com) This is Artie Lange, comedian and formerly of the Howard Stern Show.  (Photo credit: Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)

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Posted on: January 30, 2012 8:19 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 8:30 pm
 

EoF on the scene: Super Bowl XLVI, Day 1

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By Ryan Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- It's officially Super Bowl Week, which means that the Patriots and Giants met with the media for the first of many press conferences Monday. (Click on the photos to open in a new window.)



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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com