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Four Coaches Talk About Losing to Giants in the Playoffs


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Pretty good read.

 

Four NFL coaches look back on flops against Giants in playoffs

Saturday, April 12th 2008, 11:02 PM (NYDailyNews - Gary Myers)

 

Jon Gruden, Wade Phillips and Mike McCarthy were sitting at different tables within a few feet of Tom Coughlin at the NFC coaches breakfast at the recent league meetings in Palm Beach, Fla.

 

If they passed Bill Belichick in the hallways, they could commiserate about how they were all unable to stop the Giants' incredible Super Bowl run. The Giants won their four postseason games by a total of 20 points.

 

It was evident that the sting of losing had not subsided two months later, even if Belichick said, "We've moved on. Everybody is in the '08 season now, including us."

 

So, I asked the three NFC coaches about the aftershock of being eliminated by the road warrior Giants, who became the first NFC team to win three road playoff games to get to the Super Bowl.

 

Gruden and the Bucs were up first. He rested his starters for most of the final two games of the season and lost to the inferior 49ers and Panthers, which made Tampa the No. 4 seed, drawing the No. 5 Giants. If the Bucs had won their final two regular-season games, they would jumped over the Seahawks to the No. 3 spot and played the Redskins in the first round.

 

How long did it take Gruden to get over the playoff loss?

 

"You never get over those," he said. "I hate to lose in the playoffs. But you got to move on, you got to be resilient in this league. The Giants were rolling on defense the last 7-10 games of the season. As a matter of fact, they were rolling up people pretty good. And (Eli) Manning got hot. He found his niche. (Ahmad) Bradshaw made a lot of big plays. And whenever they needed a big play, Plaxico (Burress) made it. He jumped over guys, he jumped through guys."

 

Gruden called the Giants' 10 straight road victories "unbelievable. A lot of that has to do with Tom Coughlin, his leadership and the veteran presence they have in their locker room. They like going into your stadium and making you and your fans miserable. They let you know that before the game."

 

Was he surprised the Giants kept winning after they beat the Bucs?

 

"No. Hell, no," Gruden said. "The best team always wins in this league. That's my opinion."

 

Next stop: Dallas.

 

The Cowboys defeated the Giants twice during the regular season, hanging 76 total points on them. Dallas was 13-3 and the No. 1 seed going into the playoff matchup with the Giants. Phillips says "it took a little while" to get over the 21-17 loss.

 

"Right now, it's easier to say we had a good season," says Phillips. "At the time we lost, certainly everybody said, ‘Well, the Giants aren't a very good football team and they came in and beat you.' But that didn't prove to be the case."

 

Did the Giants winning it all show winning in Dallas was no fluke? "It proved they really were a good team and that we got beat by somebody that was the world champs," Phillips said. "We didn't lose to somebody and then they lose the next week."

 

Next stop: Green Bay. Temperature: -1. Wind chill: -23.

 

"I knew the Giants were a good football team," says McCarthy. "They didn't need to beat the Patriots for me to realize they were a good football team. It's only natural to look at the Super Bowl and say that should have been us, that could have been us."

 

Was he surprised by how well the Giants played in frigid Green Bay?

 

"I was impressed with the way Eli played, especially playing in that type of environment," he said. "I thought he played extremely well."

 

McCarthy chose not to ice Lawrence Tynes before he made the 47-yard game-winner in OT. Tynes had missed from 43 yards with 6:49 left and after McCarthy called timeout to ice Tynes, he missed from 36 yards on the final play of regulation.

 

"If I knew he was going to kick it like he did, yeah, I wish I'd have iced him," McCarthy said. "But I don't have any regrets. No disrespect to the kicker, it had nothing to do with the first kicks, he was right at the distance where he needed to nail it. As soon as the ball came off his foot, I knew we were in trouble."

 

And what about Brett Favre's final pass of his career, the one that was picked off by Corey Webster in overtime, setting up Tynes' heroics? "That was all Brett Favre", says McCarthy.

 

"He missed the throw," he said. "Throwing to Donald (Driver), the ball should have been a little further outside."

 

Two weeks later, the Giants prevented the Patriots from making history with a 19-0 perfect season in what was arguably the second-greatest Super Bowl upset to the Jets beating the Colts in Super Bowl III. "It's obviously disappointing the way the season ended," Belichick said. "We were 30 seconds away from a championship. That's the NFL. We've been on the other side of that, too. Give the Giants credit. Give Tom credit. They did a great job."

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"Right now, it's easier to say we had a good season," says Phillips. "At the time we lost, certainly everybody said, ‘Well, the Giants aren't a very good football team and they came in and beat you.' But that didn't prove to be the case."

 

Did the Giants winning it all show winning in Dallas was no fluke? "It proved they really were a good team and that we got beat by somebody that was the world champs," Phillips said. "We didn't lose to somebody and then they lose the next week."

 

Wasn't Phillips the 'everybody' who said 'the better team lost'? Punk ass.

 

Now he's salvaging his collosal failure by pointing out that we won the superbowl.

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Wasn't Phillips the 'everybody' who said 'the better team lost'? Punk ass.

 

Now he's salvaging his collosal failure by pointing out that we won the superbowl.

He took alot of shit for that here in Dallas...

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"Right now, it's easier to say we had a good season," says Phillips. "At the time we lost, certainly everybody said, ‘Well, the Giants aren't a very good football team and they came in and beat you.' But that didn't prove to be the case."

 

Did the Giants winning it all show winning in Dallas was no fluke? "It proved they really were a good team and that we got beat by somebody that was the world champs," Phillips said. "We didn't lose to somebody and then they lose the next week."

Next stop: Green Bay. Temperature: -1. Wind chill: -23.

 

"I knew the Giants were a good football team," says McCarthy. "They didn't need to beat the Patriots for me to realize they were a good football team. It's only natural to look at the Super Bowl and say that should have been us, that could have been us."

I love how McCarthy takes a jab at Phillips right there. I get the feeling Wade isn't the most respected coach in NFL circles. :)

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Phillips comments were at the heat of the moment. I am sure he regret saying it. He was clearly upset after the loss. Not everyone takes losses gracefully. I wont hold it against him.

I thought he said it a day later.

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Man, how is the Giants victory not the GREATEST upset ever in Super Bowl history?

 

Were the Colts undefeated?

 

Did the Colts have the league's highest-scoring offense?

 

Did the Colts win three Super Bowls in five years heading into that game?

 

Did the Colts set every offensive record in the league that year for individual players?

 

Did the Jets have to play three straight road games to win against teams that had beat them in the regular season?

 

Did the Jets come in 10-6?

 

 

...I just don't get it. By any standard, this should be considered THE greatest upset in Super Bowl History, and outside Tyson-Douglas and USA/U.S.S.R. in the Olympics, possibly sports history.

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Man, how is the Giants victory not the GREATEST upset ever in Super Bowl history?

 

...I just don't get it. By any standard, this should be considered THE greatest upset in Super Bowl History, and outside Tyson-Douglas and USA/U.S.S.R. in the Olympics, possibly sports history.

 

Man....I was thinking the same thing when I read the article. There is no way in hell that this past superbowl was not THEE greatest superbowl in history - period.

 

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Man, how is the Giants victory not the GREATEST upset ever in Super Bowl history?

 

Were the Colts undefeated?

 

Did the Colts have the league's highest-scoring offense?

 

Did the Colts win three Super Bowls in five years heading into that game?

 

Did the Colts set every offensive record in the league that year for individual players?

 

Did the Jets have to play three straight road games to win against teams that had beat them in the regular season?

 

Did the Jets come in 10-6?

...I just don't get it. By any standard, this should be considered THE greatest upset in Super Bowl History, and outside Tyson-Douglas and USA/U.S.S.R. in the Olympics, possibly sports history.

I guess it's considered to be so great because that game changed the way football was run forever. Ours may have been the greater upset, but it wont have that type of long term impact

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...I just don't get it. By any standard, this should be considered THE greatest upset in Super Bowl History, and outside Tyson-Douglas and USA/U.S.S.R. in the Olympics, possibly sports history.

Geez you guys overhype that win. You didn't even take home the gold.

 

EDIT: I'm wrong, see below.

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Not in that game. We secured the silver though right?

I'm mistaken. You DID take home the gold, but all the hype is on the semi final and not the final. I've always found that odd. It's like if we were all still celebrating beating Dallas because they're big rivals but half of us couldn't say who we beat in the Superbowl.

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I'm mistaken. You DID take home the gold, but all the hype is on the semi final and not the final. I've always found that odd. It's like if we were all still celebrating beating Dallas because they're big rivals but half of us couldn't say who we beat in the Superbowl.

It was a big deal because the Russians were a team of proven professionals which were guaranteed to handily win the gold. The game was played before the days in which the U.S. would allow professionals to partake in the Olympics. The kids making up the U.S. Olympic team had never once played in the NHL and were on average about 10 years younger than the very best professionals in all of the USSR.

 

It was sorta like a high school football team knocking off Ohio State, or McNeese State knocking off the New England Patriots.

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It was a big deal because the Russians were a team of proven professionals which were guaranteed to handily win the gold. The game was played before the days in which the U.S. would allow professionals to partake in the Olympics. The kids making up the U.S. Olympic team had never once played in the NHL and were on average about 10 years younger than the very best professionals in all of the USSR.

 

It was sorta like a high school football team knocking off Ohio State, or McNeese State knocking off the New England Patriots.

See this is what I'm talking about, making it into a huge underdog scenario. The Soviets were a very good team, granted. Sure most of their athletes were 'officers' in the Army (trained full-time - an issue that every Olympic athlete faced and the driving force behind professionals being accepted across the board, not just a US decision btw), but your team were next season's draft class for the NHL not just some rag-tag buch of throw-togethers (some were already signed to NHL teams). They were underdogs, sure, but not the Bad News Bears. The legend created around the event had much more to do with the Cold War "showdown" mentality than the disparity in talent.

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See this is what I'm talking about, making it into a huge underdog scenario. The Soviets were a very good team, granted. Sure most of their athletes were 'officers' in the Army (trained full-time - an issue that every Olympic athlete faced and the driving force behind professionals being accepted across the board, not just a US decision btw), but your team were next season's draft class for the NHL not just some rag-tag buch of throw-togethers (some were already signed to NHL teams). They were underdogs, sure, but not the Bad News Bears. The legend created around the event had much more to do with the Cold War "showdown" mentality than the disparity in talent.

OK, so it's LSU beating the Giants. :confused:

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I'm mistaken. You DID take home the gold, but all the hype is on the semi final and not the final. I've always found that odd. It's like if we were all still celebrating beating Dallas because they're big rivals but half of us couldn't say who we beat in the Superbowl.

 

The coach of the team said to the players before they played the Fins for the Gold said something like: If you don't win this game you'll take it to your grave. To your fucking grave.

 

I think that was all the motivation they needed to hear. If they beat the Ruskies but didn't win the Gold then it was all for nothing.

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Man, how is the Giants victory not the GREATEST upset ever in Super Bowl history?

 

Were the Colts undefeated?

 

Did the Colts have the league's highest-scoring offense?

 

Did the Colts win three Super Bowls in five years heading into that game?

 

Did the Colts set every offensive record in the league that year for individual players?

 

Did the Jets have to play three straight road games to win against teams that had beat them in the regular season?

 

Did the Jets come in 10-6?

...I just don't get it. By any standard, this should be considered THE greatest upset in Super Bowl History, and outside Tyson-Douglas and USA/U.S.S.R. in the Olympics, possibly sports history.

 

I know I'm totally biased, but I also totally agree with you. This is right up there with Tyson-Douglas, and a little below the US Hockey Team.

 

Comparing the Colts with the Patriots is a joke....I mean, nothing against Earl Morrall, but his name doesn't pop up when people talk about where Tom Brady will rank amongst the greatest QB's of all time.

 

Entering the 4th quarter, the Patriots were 80-2 with a lead.....and lost.

 

When you look at every stat on the 2007 Patriots, and then watch that game, it's obvious that was a historic upset.

 

 

 

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