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Giants coach Coughlin not swayed by what people think of him

Tom Coughlin has come a long way in the past month.

Or, to put it more accurately, the perception of Tom Coughlin has come a long way in the past month.

Let's rewind to Dec. 18. The Giants had just kicked away a golden opportunity at home in Week 15, losing decisively at home to an inferior Redskins team. It was New York's fifth loss in six games, a slide likely to cost the Giants a playoff spot and Coughlin his job after eight seasons.

Of course, that was before the Giants captured the NFC East title with wins over the Jets and Cowboys to close the regular season. Then they bludgeoned the Falcons and Packers to reach Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the 49ers.

The run has re-shaped Coughlin's New York legacy -- again. Just as a stunning run to Super Bowl XLII glory gave Coughlin new life in 2008, this latest surge has taken him off the hot seat and into the discussion of greatest Giants coaches ever.

It's enough to make you dizzy, but Coughlin never has paid much attention to how people see him.

"I just keep the blinders on and go straight ahead," he said Thursday, according to Newsday. "I don't have anything to do with what is being said on the outside. The priorities and the way that I think about it, I don't let it affect me in any way. I do believe in the John Wooden statement: We like praise, we don't like criticism, but if we let either one of those things affect your preparation, then you've got a problem."

It's a great mindset to have, especially in a market where you're only as good as your last month.

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