Giants players offer support for Tom Coughlin after brother's death

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, center, looks on

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, center, looks on as field as players, including defensive tackle Markus Kuhn, right, run through a physical evaluation drill on the opening day of training camp. (July 26, 2012) (Credit: AP)

The Giants have often taken on the role of healer during bad times in the community. Last year, they tried to help the area overcome the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy as well as the Newtown elementary school shootings.

This week, though, they're trying to lift the spirits of one of their own.

Tom Coughlin's younger brother, John, passed away unexpectedly on Monday night. While most players likely knew about the situation, Coughlin told the team about it Wednesday morning. And it didn't take long for them to decide that the best thing they can do for their grieving coach is to beat the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

"We're all family here," Antrel Rolle said. "If Coach has a loss, we all deal with a loss. We're here for him and our condolences go out to Coach and the rest of his family. There's no better time now than to go get a win and just lift his spirits up, as well as ours."

"Anytime you have to heal somebody in your circle, whether it's a coach or player, whatever it may be, going through a hardship, you always want to do your part to pick them up," said Justin Tuck, who was helped by Coughlin through his own family losses several years ago. "If that's winning a football game or that's saying a kind word, whatever it may be, you always have to try your best to pick their spirits up. That's what they did for me, and obviously, I was better for it. Any way I can return the favor or we as a football team can return the favor, we need to jump on doing that."

Coughlin will be with the team through the week. He'll attend the wake and funeral for his brother upstate in their hometown of Waterloo on Monday and Tuesday. Until then, though, as you would expect, he's been trying to keep his mind on the Panthers.

"Obviously his family has been in our thoughts and prayers and obviously it's tough on the coach when you lose a loved one, lose a family member, especially his only brother," Eli Manning said. "He'll obviously deal with that, but he's been focused on getting us ready to play this game."

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