Two current coaches resemble Vince Lombardi


Vince Lombardi was born 99 years ago Monday. On the day that Peter King hands out his annual Father's Day book recommendations, we'll recommend everyone check out David Maraniss' "When Pride Still Mattered."

It's the best football biography I've ever read. Maraniss demystifies Lombardi -- the title is intended to be ironic -- while retaining the spirit of what made Lombardi so special.

Lombardi's birthday got me thinking about our current crop of coaches. Who embodies Lombardi best?

I'm going to leave the New Orleans Saints' Sean Payton off the list, to avoid angry comments, but he was under consideration. It came down to two men.

1. Mike Tomlin: A motivator who knows how to deal with players. He knows that each player should be treated differently, but that discipline matters. The Pittsburgh Steelers play on the edge. Tomlin is tough, and he prizes toughness in others. He's a leader of men. And Tomlin is damn good at making a speech.

2. Tom Coughlin: It's not just the ties to the New York Giants, the team with which Lombardi initially emerged as an offensive coordinator. Coughlin is that rare coach who can be known as a disciplinarian yet inspire devotion from players. He doesn't let the players get too close, but they all want to please him. It doesn't hurt that he loves the power running game.