Coach Opens Up To Giants' Website About Family Tragedy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York Giants are ready to rally behind heartbroken coach Tom Coughlin after the unexpected death of his only brother, John.

In an interview with the team’s official website, Coughlin described this week as “an emotional tug of war.” He has been keeping busy, preparing the Giants for a game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

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Coughlin will be on the sidelines in Carolina before traveling home to western N.Y., where his brother will be buried Tuesday.

“It’s an emotional tug of war is probably the best way to say it,” Coughlin said. “You drift back and forth between your family and your brother and even my wife (Judy) was very close to John and is close to all my sisters. So you’re not there for anybody, to be honest with you. But that’s understood, they all understand that.”

John Coughlin, a well-respected name in N.J. harness racing, died on Monday at Hackensack University Medical Center. He reportedly suffered a head injury during a freak fall after last week’s Giants game.

“Monday was a day in which the initial shock for me was at about five in the morning, going over to the hospital and seeing John and then listening to the doctors and their options and then going back in the afternoon and having my sisters there,” Tom Coughlin said. “We all were in there together. Then the doctors came by, the neurosurgeons, and they went further with the explanation and then we went back Monday night to say goodbye. It was that, and then you’re trying to get as much information as you can about the next opponent and you’re trying to go ahead and take care of things that you do.”

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Several Giants players are looking at this game as a way to lift their coach’s spirits. Coughlin met with the team Wednesday for the first time since John’s death.

“My parents are gone, I’m the oldest, so you understand where the responsibility goes,” Coughlin said. “So I do that and do the best I can here with the guys. Fortunately, I have a veteran staff that’s been with me for a long time and they were told very early in the week what was going on and they’ve gone ahead and forged out and done the best they can with it.”

Big Blue will be looking for its first win of the season on Sunday.

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