x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

New York Giants keep to the winning template of 2008

Tom Coughlin is looking to repeat the Super Bowl preparations that led to his side triumphing four years ago.

Victor Cruz, the New York Giants wide receiver, faces the media after the team arrived in Indianapolis ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl.
Victor Cruz, the New York Giants wide receiver, faces the media after the team arrived in Indianapolis ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl.

Tom Coughlin, the New York Giants coach, said he was letting experience be his guide in preparation for Sunday's NFL Super Bowl showdown with the New England Patriots.

The Giants only arrived in Indianapolis on Monday, a day later than the Patriots, giving them one day less practice than their opponents

"This is the path that we followed four years ago and I thought it was a very good one," Coughlin said about the schedule he mapped out ahead of the Giants' 17-14 upset win over the Patriots in the Super Bowl in 2008.

"It came from research I had done," the coach added. "We'll go to work [today]. I thought it was very good for us the last time we did it."

Although the Patriots' run of success dates back a decade with three Super Bowl wins in a span of four years from 2002 with Tom Brady, the quarterback, running the attack, there are only seven players from the title game in 2008 still on their roster. New York have more than double the number, with 15 players.

Coughlin said experience could be a factor. "What we have is a nucleus of guys who can talk to the younger players," he said.

"They can talk to them now, they've been talking to them for the last week about how to conduct themselves in this environment, how to know exactly what's coming, how to stay away from distractions.

"The build-up to this game is something the younger guys have never gone through. The day of the Super Bowl, there's a lot of nervous energy that can be spent without really accomplishing anything."

Coughlin said Eli Manning, the Giants quarterback, had already weighed in with a speech to the team when they hit the practice field last week about how to go about their preparation.

"I know that everybody is excited, I just wanted to make sure the guys knew the importance of the practices last week," he said.

"That week back in New Jersey, those practices are the time that we need to have our best practices, when the focus has got to be there. Treat this week like you're playing on Sunday."

Manning said the focus on preparation is what can pay off on Super Sunday. "There's not a better feeling from a professional standpoint than knowing that you've done your job as a team better than anyone else," he said. "That's what we're fighting for."

As the Giants were flying into Indianapolis, the Patriots were conducting a practice session.

Rob Gronkowski, the tight end who is a doubt because of a left ankle injury, did not practice, but Belichick did say the offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer, a German out with a foot injury, might be back on Sunday.