Sunday, February 5, 2012

Coughlin used Kurt Warner's advice to help connect with players


Kurt Warner spent the 2004 season with the New York Giants. By all accounts he became close to coach Tom Coughlin, often spending time talking with the coach in his office. During that time Coughlin underwent a great deal of criticism for his rigid ways.

According to Kevin Manahan of the Newark Star-Ledger, before Warner left, Coughlin asked him for a favor: “Go home and make a list of all the things you think I need to do better as a coach,” Warner recalled Coughlin saying, “and don’t hold back.”

Warner did as he was asked, scribbling “page after page after page,” he said. “There were times when I was worried that I would hurt his feelings or damage our friendship,” Warner said. “But deep down I knew he’d never hold it against me as long as I did it with his best interests at heart.”

On Friday, Coughlin acknowledged he had reached out to Warner for help.

“I have such great respect for Kurt because of how he earned everything he got and because of the professionalism he showed as we transitioned to Eli,” Coughlin said. “I welcomed any thoughts he had on how we might improve.”

On Thursday, when the two ran into each other after the Giants’ media availability, Warner reminded Coughlin of the list, compiled eight years ago. He wasn’t sure the coach would remember it. Coughlin’s response shocked him: “Kurt,” he said, “I still have that list, and I still refer to it.”

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