Giants' Coughlin sought key advice from Warner, still follows it

Eli Manning's continued maturation helped New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin lead the team to its second Super Bowl in five seasons. But the counsel of another quarterback -- Kurt Warner -- also might have played a large role in Coughlin's success.

Warner, who was with the Giants during Coughlin's first season with the team in 2004, told The Star-Ledger that he helped advise the gruff coach on better relating to his players.

"I saw a great man, a great coach, but I also saw a man who, for some reason, didn't know how to combine those parts of his personality when it came to football," said Warner, who's now an NFL Network analyst. "He could connect with his family on such an intimate level but had no idea how to connect with his players. He was struggling badly."

Warner said Coughlin asked him to make a list of ways in which he could become a better coach. The former quarterback told the newspaper that he advised Coughlin to, in general, "swallow his pride and find a way to connect with his players -- each player, from the biggest star to the guys on the practice squad."

"In the list, I told him that rather than just make rules and enforce them, he had to show the players why a certain rule is important to him," Warner said.

Warner said Coughlin told him this week that he has hung on to and continues to use that list.

"I have such great respect for Kurt because of how he earned everything he got and because of the professionalism he showed as we transitioned to Eli," Coughlin told the newspaper Friday. "I welcomed any thoughts he had on how we might improve."

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