The demeanor of Tom Coughlin has changed, allowing for more jokes and laughs over the years, but the way he runs his team hasn't. From 2004 to now, the Giants head coach does not believe he has really changed as a coach in his eight seasons with the team.
"I don't think I'm that different," Coughlin said on Friday. "The principals, the values, what we believe are important, those things are the same. The virtues are all practiced the same way. I think maybe I'm a little more patient."
Change has been a big discussion regarding Coughlin as of late as the Giants have gone on their streak to reach the Super Bowl. Back in 2007, Coughlin made a change to help save his job and connect more to his players that ultimately paid off in a Super Bowl.
This season, as his team against as gone on an improbable run, there's talk again of a looser, more easygoing Coughlin running the Giants' ship. The coach even agreed with the assessment from his players that that he can be loving and caring.
About a month ago, Coughlin's name was on the hot seat, with the Giants staring at a 7-7 record. Coughlin was able to weather the storm, though, and now has team playing for its second Super Bowl title in the past four seasons.
"I respectfully pay little attention to it," Coughlin said of the negative and positive attention. "Thank you very much for asking. I just try to do the best job I possibly can—put the blinders on, go to work and be the best you can possibly be. Once you have done everything that you possibly can—you've put forth your greatest efforts—then I can live with whatever's next."
Listening to Coughlin talk on Friday before the game, it's easy to see why he doesn't believe he's changed since he started coaching the team. When asked about the team's curfew, he said he's going to consult with them about it, but talked at great length about the importance of representing the Giants.
"The main thing is that they're professionals and they understand they're going to the biggest sporting event in the world," Coughlin said. "They want to make sure that they prepare themselves properly for this great occurrence. We've talked about different aspects of this all week long—the great franchise you represent. There's no way that anyone wants to do anything to embarrass himself, his family name, his franchise. That's all been stated, but I think this group is really, really interested in being as good as they can possibly be."
While Coughlin doesn't believe he's changed since then, he would admit that there's one area that he's noticed a difference in over the past eight years: his energy level.
"I got more (now)," Coughlin said.