New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick voiced considerable respect for New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin during a conference call on Monday, less than two weeks before the two coaches meet in the Super Bowl.
"I have a lot of respect for Tom. I think he's definitely stood the test of time in a couple organizations: in Jacksonville and at the Giants. Of course, BC [Boston College] but I'm saying at the NFL level, he's withstood the test of time. He's tough; his teams are disciplined. They play with great competitiveness and play smart. They're a good situational football team. They force you to go out there and beat them. They do a lot of things well. That's kind of the way Tom is: Tom is tough, he's very detailed, he has a lot of experience, he's an intense coach and I think that's reflected in the way his teams play."
Belichick called Coughlin a good friend, noting the time they spent together on the Giants staff while both were just NFL coaching infants.
"When I was the secondary coach and Tom was the receivers coach at the Giants, we worked against each other daily and we also had great rapport off the field of helping each other out, talking about the different techniques and players of our upcoming opponents and suggestions of how to cover them or run routes, helping each other out on things like that as well as working with each other on the practice field. Of all the coaches I've worked with, it was as good as any. I had an excellent relationship with him for us being on opposite sides of the ball, but being able to help each other and our players help each other and have a good, healthy competitive situation, but also you've got the coach on the other side trying to help you and you trying to help them just get better. That certainly helped our secondary when I was with the Giants."
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