NEW YORK (WFAN) — Tom Coughlin is in his 10th year as the head coach of the Giants, but no previous campaigns have been quite like this one.
Sure, there have been plenty of ups and downs. There have been the highest of highs — see Super Bowls XLII and XLVI — and some pretty low lows, especially in the beginning of Coughlin’s tenure.
But never has one of his Giants team started out 0-6 … until 2013.
With two wins in the books following victories over the lowly Vikings and Eagles — and Big Blue on its bye week — the coach chatted with WFAN host Mike Francesa on Tuesday as New York readies itself for the second half.
Surprisingly, despite the turmoil that the Giants had to deal with over the first month-and-a-half of the season, Coughlin maintains that at no point was he worried about his struggling squad.
“You know, I wasn’t,” the 67-year-old told Francesa. “Frustration, yeah. Disappointment, no doubt. But Monday is one thing, (and) then (you) start to rise up on a Wednesday. Me and the coaches (were) doing everything we can to encourage them … But the way we’ve practiced, we’ve practiced with enthusiasm. I’ve never really been all that discouraged about the way we’ve practiced.”
With the Cowboys blowing a late lead and ultimately losing in dramatic fashion on Sunday, the 2-6 G-Men amazingly find themselves just two games out of first place in the very weak NFC East.
Suddenly, the team that everybody counted out in the early portion of the season has some life.
“The guys have been resilient and tough,” the three-time Super Bowl champion told Francesa. “They’ve let all the criticism — at least to a certain extent — bounce off their back, and when they come to work they’ve been focused … We have a lot of things that have to improve, but we’re hungry to do that. We’re hungry to improve those things.”
Coming off the bye week, the Giants will play the Raiders on November 10. After hosting Oakland at MetLife Stadium, the Giants will stay home and host the Packers and the Cowboys. It’s a critical stretch, and Big Blue can’t afford to lose any of those games if it plans to make a serious run.
New York will round out its 2013 season in very difficult fashion against the Redskins (away), Chargers (away), Seahawks (home), Lions (away) and Redskins (home).
But as we’ve seen in past years, you simply can never count out Coughlin and quarterback Eli Manning.
“Adversity does make us stronger, Mike,” the head coach said. “We’ve had our taste of it this year, and if we can get this thing righted, I think, again, it will have proven that we are resilient and that we can battle back … As you pointed out, (we have) three in a row at home, five of the last eight. God bless us. Here we go.”
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