… and why shouldn’t they? By now everyone realizes that Coughlin made some big personal changes in the way he interacted with the players in 2007- the players felt they were being treated better and that the Coach was genuinely listening to them. Along the way, something else happened that paid big dividends for the team last season with the title, and continues to pay big dividends now: the focus on continually improving every week.
If you think that’s a coach nitpicking after a lopsided victory (against the Rams), consider that Coughlin had disciples in every corner of the locker room who were voicing similar concerns. One of the most vocal was Eli Manning, who merely completed 20 of 29 passes for 260 yards, those three touchdowns and a regular season career-high passer rating of 131.4.
Whether it is the preseason where teams barely play starters, the new preseason rules with a smaller roster, free agency or the salary cap, one thing is painfully clear- every year teams have to rebuild their rosters from scratch and that means sloppy football and plenty of mistakes. Coughlin is correct to emphasize improvement each week, because the worst team in week 17 is probably playing better than the best team played in Week 1. Given that it is true for all 32 teams in the NFL that they must improve, it becomes the anti-complacency cry of the teams with early success… rest on your laurels and you will go south in a hurry.