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Tom Coughlin: "Not necessarily" done with coaching

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Coughlin passionate during final press conference with Giants.

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Except for the fact that he was dressed in a coat and tie, Tom Coughlin was his typical passionate, humorous self in his farewell press conference on Tuesday. Coughlin said he would "not necessarily" rule out coaching again and spoke at length about his desire to help players become better men and to create "winners in life."

"Character is what endures," Coughlin said.

Coughlin's resume includes two Super Bowl victories. His enduring legacy, though, will be as much about his impact on the lives of the players he coached as it will be about the things his teams accomplished on the field.

Current players like Eli Manning, Mark Herzlich, Rashad Jennings and Zak DeOssie attended Tuesday's press conference. So did former ones like Rich Seubert and Shaun O'Hara.

"We have an obligation to teach these young men the lessons, the principles and the life skills that they will need once their professional careers are over, and they are short-lived, by the way," Coughlin said. "It is our duty to equip these men with the virtues that will last a lifetime. The values like honesty, trust, responsibility, respect, service and integrity. Those are the things that we teach in addition to the football."

That is quintessential Coughlin. It is what makes players pay tribute to him. It is what makes players talk about how they may not have understood his methods all the time, but how they are better people for having played for him. This was Coughlin at his absolute best.

Coughlin said that he wanted to create "not just winners of the field, but winners in life. People you can be proud of, that's how important it is to me."

Coughlin added that "relationships" have become the most important thing to him.

"When they (players) come back to me and say that I love you and they follow that up by saying that they've become better men, better husbands, better fathers, better friends because of their experience having been a New York Giant," Coughlin said. "I believe it is the unbreakable bond between coach and player that defines me as a coach and any humble success that we might have had here."

His players have, and will, continue to, thank him for that. And the Giants organization is also better for having had Coughlin at the helm for 12 years.

More from Coughlin

Here are a few other highlights from Coughlin's remarks.

He choked up a couple of times when he mentioned his wife. Judy. He called her "my quarterback."

Coughlin always preached "team," and did so again on Tuesday.

"My contention is there's a higher ground, there's a greater purpose. That purpose is team," Coughlin said. "Winning the right way is a very, very important thing to me and to all of our coaches.

"Championships are won by teams who love one another, who enjoy and respect one another and play for and support one another."

There were light moments when Coughlin asked "do I have to listen to any questions?" and when the first question was "Can we talk about injuries?"

Coughlin also had a message for Eli Manning, who has spent his entire career with Coughlin.

"He's what you want a son to be made out of ... I mean, he thinks he's the reason (Coughlin stepped down). He's not the reason," said Coughlin, who then looked directly at Manning. "Eli, it's not you. It's us, we win, we lose together. When we lose, I lose, when we win, you guys win."

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