When Tom Coughlin was apprised Wednesday of the forecasted 23-degree temperature Sunday in Green Bay, he couldn't hide his surprise.
"Heat wave," he said.
Yeah. Compared to his last go-around at Lambeau Field, it's going to be downright balmy this week. You remember that, right? Coughlin came out of that one red-faced, too, and not because he was screaming at some rookie over an errant punt. His face was frozen, albeit in a big smile, after Lawrence Tynes kicked the Giants into the Super Bowl at the end the 2007 NFC Championship game, otherwise known as Ice Bowl II.
Now, the Giants' main obstacle won't be the elements. It will be themselves as they try to eliminate the memories of last week's crash against Philadelphia and concentrate their energies on beating Aaron Rodgers and securing a postseason spot. They started the process Wednesday by practicing indoors, away from the nippy air and frosty outdoor practice field.
"Just with the field conditions, I think it’s a little frozen right now," quarterback Eli Manning said. "There is no point in going out there and having guys slip and risk the chance of getting someone injured. It’s better to have a crisp practice and get everybody running around and getting a little bit more production."
Manning said that practice went well, and that the team has put the Eagles loss behind it.
"I thought today we had a great practice," he said. "Great energy, great enthusiasm, and so it was a good start for getting ready for Green Bay. They’re a good defense, they’re a good team. We have to make sure we’re the best and well prepared, and then go in there with a great plan and go execute it."
Coughlin started it all off with the morning meeting. He thought his players were somewhat sluggish at the beginning, but as Coughlin got into the roster, he noticed they perked up.
"I think they’re a little quiet but I think they’ll be alright," Coughlin said. "They’ll come around. They responded well in my meeting. There’s a bunch of new stuff which happens on a Wednesday that they really have to focus in on the learning, so that’s the stage they are in right now.
"There is no snapping out. They responded very well. I give them a “Good Morning, Men” and they (don’t) give me (much), and then I give it to them again, and they jump up and down. They were fine with that."
The Giants got used to winning on the road in 2007. Now, they'll have to do it again, not only by beating Green Bay for the sixth seed, but playing every game on the road in the playoffs if they do get to the postseason. Then again, that's how it happened in 2007, too.
They're 4-2 away from the Meadowlands.
"You stress the road warrior mentality and the idea that we have been able to come together as a team and really depend and rely on each other for strength and support and confidence as we go to play on the road in a difficult place to play. All of those things will be thrown out there this week, yes," Coughlin said.