Tags: Eli Manning, Jayron Hosley, Osi Umenyiora, Prince Amukamara, Victor Cruz
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The figureheads of the Giants and Steelers ushered their respective teams through the decades as two of the oldest franchises in the league. Along the way, one thing John Mara, the Giants’ President and CEO, always admired about the Steelers was their continuity of head coaches, having just three in the past 43 years.
Mara certainly has that now with Tom Coughlin entering his ninth season as head coach as a two-time Super Bowl champion.
“That is a long run,” Mara said about Coughlin’s tenure in an appearance with Mike Francesa on WFAN this afternoon. “I always look at the Steelers who’ve had so few coaches in so many years. So it was always my goal to be in that situation, and obviously our relationship with Tom has been great. He’s had great success here and hopefully wants to stick around for quite a bit longer.”
While the Giants host the Steelers in Week 9, Mara sees the continuity at top trickling down to the players making up the 2012 roster.
“I think we’ve got really good leadership,” Mara said. “Obviously I’m very happy with our coaching staff, but when you have guys that have won before, like Eli Manning, it just gives you that much more confidence moving forward. We have good leadership on both sides of the ball.”
Mara has been around long enough, however, to appreciate the changing landscape from season to season.
Last year at this time, those outside and inside the organization were itching to get back to playoffs. And on top of that, the league was scrambling for the start of preseason in the wake of the lockout.
But the Giants and the league are better for it, says Mara.
“There are still a few issues that need to be worked out long-term with the [players] union, but I think we’re in a much, much better position now than we were a little over a year ago,” Mara said. “We’ve got nine years left on a labor deal that is very good for both the players and the fans. So I do think this league is in a good position.”
Tags: John Mara, Tom Coughlin
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The most prolific and tenured punter in NFL history took questions from viewers, including whether or not he’ll move down to the sidelines as a coach in some form.
“That’s a good question, I’ve thought about it a little bit,” Feagles said. “I dabbled in it the first year I retired working with Matt Dodge and had a lot of fun doing it. But it really takes a lot of time. A lot of hours are spent coaching, and I think after playing as long as I did in the NFL and seeing how much time away from your family and things coaches have to put in the NFL, it’s an 80-hour work week. And I’m just not ready to do that.”
Feagles also spoke about the maturation of quarterback Eli Manning, whom he played alongside from 2004 until his retirement in 2009.
“The six years I was with Eli, I saw his maturation in the sense that he’s always trying to get better. He leads by example, which to me is the way to be a leader. I think the guys look up to him – one, because of his preparations and his preparation breeds success – coach [Tom] Coughlin will tell you that all the time. When you sit in enough team meetings as I did with coach Coughlin, some of these things come to mind…Eli has grown up, and I think all Giants fans should be happy that they have a guy like Eli Manning here that can take the team on his shoulders.”
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Tags: Eli Manning, Jeff Feagles, Justin Tuck
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