The War of Coaching Strategy Between Belichick and Coughlin

The War of Coaching Strategy Between Belichick and Coughlin

By Wayne Allyn Root

Bill Belichick will be in the Hall of Fame. No doubt. But the pressure of coaching and winning this year's Super Bowl has NEVER been as great as it is this year. Perhaps never greater on any head coach in the past 45 championships. But who created this pressure? Was it the coach himself? Was it the media? They usually run with the front-runner, big personality-type individual, over a drab seemingly uninteresting type like Coach Coughlin.

Was it the recent team's lack of success against the New York Giants? Whatever it was, Coach B. can cut it with a knife. It's there and it's real! This coaching matchup sustains its intrigue not because of the distinctly disparate tactical approaches of the sideline front men, but rather through some of the characteristic similarities, in addition to the coaching lineage that directly links these two Bill Parcells proteges. These two were both assistants under the great Bill Parcells when the Giants won a Super Bowl. However, if a certain degree of discipline and rigidity in game plan management represents the common hook that both men hang their hats on, there still remains an underlying sentiment that it will be Tom Coughlin taking on the underdog role of trying to out-coach his former stable mate.

That underdog role is the purpose of this article. The favorite's role is the reason I see Bill Belichick feeling the intense pressure. Imagine being considered a genius and the best coach in modern history, yet losing to the same team TWICE in a Super Bowl with the world watching?

Imagine losing to the same team the SAME SEASON.

Imagine this stigma the vicious New York media and the national media will place on you. It's quite possible to go from the greatest coach ever to "he's the Coach that lost to Tom Coughlin TWICE!!"

If big games are decided by big plays-which is what has been drilled into the collective conscious of football fans everywhere since the dawn of time-then Coughlin and the Giants' ability to win big games based on big plays could give them the edge.

Tom Coughlin's ability to delegate the proper trust and responsibility is a key during this pressure intensive two-week period. Coughlin has to make it clear in the dialogue between himself and his defensive team (DC Perry Fewell) that he trusts and has confidence in their ability to construct and execute a "seek and destroy order" on Brady. For a coach who shows a predisposition toward maintaining control, this might result in a degree of internal uneasiness, but could ultimately provide separation in the sideline chess match among these two rivals.

As much as there is a need for Coughlin to allow for moments of spontaneity in his game plan and play calling, there is nothing wrong with retaining a hold on the recipe that has produced recent success against Belichick and the Patriots. Can you imagine the first question asked at the Super Bowl press conference being: "Coach Belichick, what do you intend to do differently to finally get some success over the New York Giants? Or "Coach, you lost this year's regular season game, and 4 years ago you lost to the same team in a Super Bowl, is it you that needs to change or is it Tom Brady?"

The difference here is the success that Coughlin's team has had against the Patriots in recent encounters, which can only mean that, at least where this coaching matchup is concerned, Coughlin has been able to get inside the head of his former coaching partner. Thus, Coughlin should have enough confidence based on these recent results to not feel stressed or insecure.

And if Coach Coughlin has confidence based upon history (which he should), then maybe the opposite again is true and Coach Belichick is really felling the PRESSURE!! And he's certainly not about to change his style. The man who has unabashedly perfected the half-sleeve hoodie on the Pats sideline is a dictator on the sidelines. It's his way, or the highway. Maybe that's the root of the Coughlin advantage in the first place. After all, Belichick will lose the fashion war every time. Coughlin can out-wardobe Mr. Hoodie any day of the week!


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