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Young: Coughlin is like Knute Rockne

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin applauds

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin applauds his team before an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Green Bay Packers. (Jan. 15, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

A month ago he was possibly on his way out. Now he’s two wins away from Hall of Fame consideration. That’s what this playoff run has done for Tom Coughlin. He’s also, as we pointed out in today’s paper, one win away from tying Tom Landry for most road playoff victories in NFL history.

How does he do that?

“Tom Coughlin is an amazing motivator,” said former 49ers quarterback and current ESPN analyst Steve Young on a conference call today. “When you look at his personality, you think: ‘I don't know about that.’ There's some ability he has to laser-focus a football team when it's most important. And he seems to be a real valuable asset, kind of Knute Rockne almost. Something about him gets guys, where usually teams falter, you don't see the Giants in big slides. They play poorly, then they play well. The problem is then they play poorly, but then they play well.

“To me, Tom Coughlin is constantly able to draw out from these guys the most. And despite the slides that happen as they kind of transition and whatever they are going through over the last five years at different times, there's kind of a battle readiness that you don't see in the league, again, because of free agency and the turnover and just the nature of the game being more offensive-minded. You don't see these kind of road warrior teams. That's got to be a compliment to the head coach.”

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