Sure the penalties, the kickoff coverage and the inability to score touchdowns instead of field goals would probably keep Coughlin up some that night, but at the end of the day, all the hype had finally ceased and the uncertainty that comes along with the start of a new season was gone. The Giants were 1-0. Obviously much better than the 0-1 – and then 0-2 – they were to start their shockingly super 2007 campaign.
All during Coughlin’s post-game press conference he proved to be as happy and pleased as a coach can be – or at least let himself seem publicly. All except for one question. Of the 10 questions fired at Coughlin after his club’s 16-7 victory over Washington only one really stuck in his craw. And who could blame him? It came from someone with obviously next to no pulse on this team. Someone who clearly hasn’t been following the day-to-day events of Coughlin’s Giants.
Coughlin was asked about the possibility of his club being ‘complacent’ for the opener. The coach bristled – and rightly so. That was about as silly a question as asking if he hoped to win next week’s game in St. Louis. One of the main strides the new-and-improved Coughlin has made is being more patient with the media, stupid question or not. But on this occasion he couldn’t help but snap back – just a little. After all, if said questioner had any clue about these 2008 Giants and was around more than once or twice since the start of training camp, there would have been no such query.
“Well, the question was asked,” Coughlin started, clearly trying to fight back what he really wanted to say. But then he came right out with it – again, so very rightly so. “Sometimes I wonder if the questions are asked just to be asked and is anybody paying any attention.”
No, coach, anyone paying any sort of attention wouldn’t have asked that question. Those around on a daily basis know very well that there hasn’t even been one single solitary sign that your club is resting on easy street and isn’t totally committed to trying to get back to the big dance. The only possible off-field distraction was nipped in the bud by Plaxico Burress himself when he refused to allow his contract situation, which was finally resolved on opening day, to become an issue.
“I didn’t see it,” Coughlin continued regarding the so-called complacency. “I didn’t see it in preseason, I didn’t see the complacency, and I didn’t see any of the Super Bowl stuff. I thought we addressed that early on, I thought the players did a nice job of it, I think there is a real hunger to win with this g roup, and the experience of winning is something that they want very badly. I did not… really at any time, did I have to address it. The practices weren’t always as good as you want them to be, but there is nothing unusual about that. We didn’t have to address the other issue.”
Of course they didn’t. These Giants are wise beyond their years. Perhaps the fact that they won ‘before they were supposed to’ drives them. Perhaps it’s just that Coughlin and GM Jerry Reese did a phenomenal job of piecing together a roster with the right kind of players. Whatever it is, it’s obvious that the Giants haven’t been, aren’t and still show no signs of getting complacent any time soon after winning a Super Bowl title. And there’s really no reason even to ask about it.