Tom Coughlin: Plaxico Burress shooting prevented third Giants Super Bowl

Plaxico Burress mug shotTom Coughlin has won two Super Bowls as head coach of the New York Giants, but he believes that number could have been three.

During an interview with YES Network’s “CenterStage,” Coughlin said he believes the Giants would have won the Super Bowl in 2008 if not for Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg.

“We were the best team in the NFL at the time of the shooting,” Coughlin said, per The Star-Ledger.

The Giants were 9-1 at the time Burress shot himself in the leg inside a New York nightclub while carrying a gun illegally. They won two more games in a row to go 11-1 before fizzling out. They lost three of their next four to finish 12-4 in the regular season, and they lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

Though the Giants beefed up their record against some bad teams like the Rams, Bengals, and Seahawks, they beat both the Steelers and Cardinals, who wound up playing in the Super Bowl. We’ll never know what would have happened, but you could definitely argue that the Giants were in a position to compete for the Super Bowl until Burress shot himself. Not only did that cost them their best wide receiver, but it also was a big distraction.

Burress ended up going to jail and did not play another game with the Giants.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Tom Coughlin: Giants defense was ‘soft’ against Steelers

The New York Giants lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers last weekend for a number of reasons, one of them being their poor play defensively. One of the reasons the Steelers were able to overcome a number of poor calls from the officials was that they moved the ball and established a solid running game. On Monday, Tom Coughlin called his defense out for the lackluster performance.

“It was soft, no question,” Coughlin said according to The Star-Ledger. “It was soft early. We came back and played a little bit better and then they had their breakout there at the end of the game.”

Even Justin Tuck agreed that the Giants’ defensive front seven was “mushed” around by the Steelers offensive lineman. Considering the fact that Isaac Redman ran for 147 yards on 26 carries, that seems fairly obvious.

“Not to the point where they were more physical than us,” Tuck asserted. “But to the point where you got a guy in the gap and Redman was just behind his guard, behind his guard, and a guy jumps out of his gap trying to get around to get to Redman and he kind of like filters forward for three more, four more yards, and that’s just us got to do a better job of escaping blocks and getting to the ball carrier.”

Redman gained 74 yards after contact, so the Giants clearly did a poor job of tackling. That is likely wear Coughlin’s assertion that his defense was soft comes in. New York should have an easier time against the Bengals and BenJarvus Green-Ellis on Sunday. If not, they could turn the NFC East into a much tighter race than it needs to be.

Ahmad Bradshaw yelled at Tom Coughlin to ‘run the ball’ against Redskins

If you were watching the second half of the New York Giants’ win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday, you may have seen Ahmad Bradshaw shouting at head coach Tom Coughlin. It was a somewhat heated exchange, and it was clear that Bradshaw was upset with Coughlin about something. As it turns out, the running back had taken issue with the play calling.

According to the Star-Ledger, Bradshaw wanted to make sure his head coach knew New York needed to run the ball more after Giants defensive back Stevie Brown picked off a Robert Griffin III pass in the third quarter.

“I was just saying, ‘Run the ball,’ going onto the field,” Bradshaw admitted on Monday. “A lot of my emotions kick in, and I just want to help my team win as much as possible.”

Coughlin wasn’t the only one who got an earful during the game, as Bradshaw also yelled at Victor Cruz and smacked him in the helmet after a play where he thought the receiver missed a block.

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Tom Coughlin upset with Greg Schiano over Giants-Bucs ending

Tom Coughlin got in Greg Schiano’s face when the two were headed for their postgame handshake following the Giants’ 41-34 comeback win over the Buccaneers on Sunday.

Coughlin was upset that the Buccaneers busted up the gut and knocked over Eli Manning when the Giants lined up in the victory formation to kneel down at the end of the game. Tampa Bay was likely upset that Josh Freeman had just thrown an interception to seal the victory for New York, and they tried busting through the Giants line and to Manning out of frustration.

The Bucs were taking out their anger on the wrong source; they should be looking at themselves for blowing a 27-13 third quarter lead.

Video via The Big Lead

Tiki Barber Tried to Reconcile with Tom Coughlin, Reportedly Was Turned Down

Tiki Barber went on the radio Sunday morning and said he doesn’t feel like his comeback attempt was a failure, even though no NFL team signed him. He says the comeback motivated him and therefore was a positive factor in his otherwise boring life. He also says he’s tried to reconcile with Giants coach Tom Coughlin, with whom he’s often clashed.

“We tried (to set up a meeting). He said no, through his agent, (Giants vice president of communications) Pat Hanlon,” Barber reportedly said ESPN 1050.

“But one of these days I’m sure it’ll happen, because as we know, time heals all wounds. And I think at the end of the day, Giants fans, despite their dislike of me at times, know that I was one of the guys that put (it) on the line every time I put on my uniform.”

There are a few questions that must be asked. When did Barber try to reach out? If it was during the season, that’s probably why he was turned down. If it was during the offseason and at a time when Coughlin would be available, then I’ll bet it’s critical commentary from Tiki like this that makes Coughlin want no part of his former running back.

Tiki Barber Rips Giants, Tom Coughlin in Critical Column

The New York Giants do not need Tiki Barber, and that kills him. Anyone who follows football knows that. Since his abrupt retirement from the NFL in 2006 after a falling out with Tom Coughlin and the Giants organization, very few in New York have missed Tiki. Why should they?  One season after he left, they became the team that put a stop to the Patriots undefeated season.  It was the greatest moment in Giants history and Barber was not a part of it.  Still, Tiki feels the need to kick Coughlin and company while they’re down.

After an embarrassing loss to the Saints, New York’s season is on the verge of disarray.  They are in danger of missing the playoffs and Barber wanted to be one of the first to highlight what has gone wrong in his latest column on The X Log.

After the Giants put on a particularly poor performance against the Philadelphia Eagles two weekends ago, coach Coughlin came up to the press lectern and said, “We had 29 yards rushing, which is about as pathetic as you can get,” clearly placing the arrow directly at Brandon Jacobs and the Giants’ starting offensive line, as if they either aren’t good enough or weren’t trying hard enough. Now, he may have been right, but for someone who is prone to saying, “we have to keep our sh-t in-house,” it sounded a little outside the corps talking point.

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Tom Coughlin Voted NFL Coach Players Would Least Want to Play For, Mike Tomlin and Rex Ryan Share Honors for Most

There is no head coach NFL players would less rather play for than Tom Coughlin. That’s not to say his current players don’t respect him and want to skip town — except Brandon Jacobs of course — but a Sporting News poll revealed on Thursday that Coughlin is the NFL head coach players would least like to play for.  He received 22 votes from the 111 players polled (spanning 31 teams).

“Coughlin is that old school, Bill Parcells, my way or the highway type,” Bears defensive tackle Anthony Adams explained. “He won’t bend at all. That’s not the kind of coach you’d like to play for.”

“Looking at it from the outside, I don’t know that any player in the league would say they’d want to play for Tom Coughlin,” an unnamed NFC defensive player added. “I wouldn’t.”

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