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New York Giants’ Tom Coughlin Hopes Team Uses David Wilson’s Selflessness as Motivation

August 6th, 2014 at 11:00 AM
By Dan Benton

The New York Giants had braced themselves for the reality that running back David Wilson may have sustained a career-ending neck injury. Accordingly, when that news finally came, they were somewhat prepared. But no matter how much a certain bit of bad news is expected, actually hearing it brings emotions to an entirely different level. Such was the case for head coach Tom Coughlin.

Prepared for a gut-wrenching meeting with his young running back, Coughlin was overwhelmingly surprised when Wilson took the devastating news with a smile, citing his faith as a reason to believe he was meant for something different … something more.

In the end, Coughlin said, David Wilson taught him a little something. And it was a message he wanted to relay to his team.

"We started our meeting off talking about David Wilson. I relayed to them how he came into my office and his attitude and the way he was going to approach this. The fact that he didn’t want pity, didn’t want anybody feeling sorry for him," Coughlin said on Tuesday. "I thought that was a key and the way he left the office talking about ‘Once a Giants, always a Giant,’ really helped me. He helped me. David Wilson walked into my office and helped me understand and accept the fact that he was not going to be able to play any more.

"I tried to relay all of that to our team. They were very concerned. They are very aware. They knew after the injury last week, as we all did, that there was always the possibility that when you have a neck that there could be an issue here going forward. That’s what we tried to do, make the team aware and I think they are. I think they feel better about that. Knowing that David has — I don’t know what he does behind closed doors, don’t get me wrong, but he certainly is tough enough mentally to present a guy that’s at peace."

Wilson's positive attitude and equally positive outlook was therapeutic for Coughlin and the Giants. And although everyone asked said they would miss him and his smile, all found at least some solace in the fact that Wilson wasn't emotionally battered from the situation and that he had already begun to look ahead.

"I think it’s a great example. You don’t ever want to see it happen in that regard but there are a lot of things that happen in life that are unexpected that you do have to be prepared for. How to handle it was certainly demonstrated by David," Coughlin added.

Several Giants, including Eli Manning and Jameel McClain, related a bit to Wilson's situation on Tuesday, but it was clear in their voices and words that the reality of his career being over was still setting in. Meanwhile, other players like Rashad Jennings and Peyton Hillis expressed their love for Wilson and said he was very much going to be missed.

As a whole, the situation is a difficult one for the Giants to endure, but it's actually Wilson who's helping them to accept it and get through it. And with his career on the football field over, it's extremely impressive to watch him use a bad situation to help motivate and ease his teammates. It displays a maturity well beyond his years and proves his dedication to the franchise.

Once a Giant, Always a Giant.


Seeing your team play in the SuperBowl is priceless. Watching the SuperBowl live in the stands for $1 per week is beyond priceless. Find out how at, the future of Championship Tickets. Tags: David Wilson, Eli Manning, Football, Jameel McClain, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Peyton Hillis, Rashad Jennings, Tom Coughlin

31 Responses to “New York Giants’ Tom Coughlin Hopes Team Uses David Wilson’s Selflessness as Motivation”

  1.  fanfor55years says:

    At least publicly, this kid is an example to us all. Always remember, it isn’t whether you get knocked down. Each of us will experience that at one time or another. It’s whether you get up, and how you go about your business once you’ve dusted yourself off and looked around.

    David Wilson should always be appreciated by the team and its fans for showing the kind of courage and perspective that goes way beyond football. We never got to see what he was really capable of on a field, but we’ve all been privileged to see what he’s capable of off it. We should wish him only the best as he moves down the road.

  2.  BigBlueGiant says:

    GOAT56 says:
    August 6, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    BBG – Sports is not the same as the real world at all. We drafted a kid we knew was a project. Then he got hurt in year 2 and we changed offenses. The kid isn’t the brightest so it makes sense it will take him longer to catch on. He’s shown flashes but hasn’t been consistent yet. He could find that over the preseason. Nassib was horrible by all accounts until the last week. Let the guy play out the preseason at least.

    And Sports IS the real world, brah. To these kids that’s their job.

    What flashes has Robinson shown?

    All i’m saying is that he really should start worrying about a job. Because as of NOW, there are 3 TE’s that’s clearly better than him, have more experience and will contribute if called upon. I’m not sure Robinson can do things on the field if called upon.

    •  G Fan since Ninteen Forty Eight says:

      Not true, there are things he is very experienced in (such as falling down and claiming injury in the fourth quarter if another time out is needed)

    •  GOAT56 says:

      Sports is their jobs but with contracts, draft status, etc. it’s different. Some people are brought in the a job that the employer knows their learning curve is steep. Those employees get more time. Especially if they have more invested like a 4th round pick and still think the originally upside is there.

      I have read various practice reports the last few months and the quotes of his coaches and they all repeat a similar theme of Robinson making plays but not consistent enough.

      Davis is not good. He’s not better than an inconsistent Robinson. Davis can be found or a similar TE on the street if needed. We already have a vet in Fells.

  3.  skinnydoogan says:

    skinnydoogan says:
    August 6, 2014 at 11:02 AM
    BBG, give up, I am too, Robinson is a sure fire first ballot hall of famer.

    skinnydoogan says:
    August 6, 2014 at 11:04 AM
    Robinson = turd. That about says it all GOAT

    skinnydoogan says:
    August 6, 2014 at 11:14 AM
    GOAT theories are just that, and that is what Robinson’s talent is based on, a theory that he could be good because of physical abilities. Jernigan was actually good and college, and has real factual production to back up the abilities he has, this is why Jernigan is actually a pretty good football player who had the misfortune of getting buried behind the best slot receiver in the game.

    •  BigBlueGiant says:

      Still not sold on JJ.

    •  G Fan since Ninteen Forty Eight says:

      Does anyone besides Goat see Robinson through rose colored glasses?

    •  GOAT56 says:

      If I have time I will pull up some old posts because very few were talking about JJ in that light a year ago.

      I don’t get the point of giving up on someone that is raw early. Davis is a JAG and he or a similar can be found on the street. He’s had 2 years in the NFL and just changed offensive systems this year. What’s the rush? Why not give Robinson a chance? Of course I rather he have shown more now but I don’t get the rush to throw a player that could possibly help away. It’s not like he’s holding a good players roster spot. We are going to keep 3 TEs.

      •  kujo says:

        JJ was injury prone and couldn’t get out of Cruz’s shadow. I don’t think he’s all that great, but at least he made some plays late last season and earned a chance to avoid the reaper this training camp. Robinson? Not so much.

        Robinson couldn’t get on the field and haul in a pass when Brandon f’n Myers was our starting TE last year (he was a healthy scratch for most of the season), and is currently stuck behind a second year UDFA (Donnell) and a collection of JAGs in Fells and Davis.

        And your comparison to Andre Williams at running back is laughable. Teams routinely make extensive use of their 2nd RB, and typically have a role for their 3rd RB as well. You don’t typically employ your THIRD tight end on anything other than the practice squad and removal of dirty jock-straps from the equipment room after a game.

        •  GOAT56 says:

          Robinson was hurt most of last year. Donnell couldn’t get on the field either. It just means both weren’t ready then. Players can get better.

          I mentioned Williams only in reference to the depth chart. It’s clear regardless of his depth chart # he’s the #2 RB by his use in the game. I was simply saying Robinson played ahead of Davis so even though he’s listed as #5 he’s actually #3.

  4.  fanfor55years says:

    Well, as the guy who kept insisting that Jernigan had talent when everyone else seemed convinced he was garbage, let me say this about Robinson: he hasn’t proved much yet, good or bad. Clearly, he is not some unearthly talent like Reese stupidly suggested might be the case. But he hasn’t really had much of a body of work yet either, so I’m going to hold off judgment until we see more.

    I’ll say one thing: a kid that big and fast SHOULD be able to learn how to block effectively and how to occasionally catch a 10-yard throw when covered by a linebacker by outrunning him or by a safety by shielding him off with his body. That would, in itself, make him nothing but a pedestrian NFL tight end and hardly someone to get excited about, but it should make him serviceable. The same should be true for Donnell. But we have to SEE it. GOAT seems to believe it’s coming, and perhaps he even hopes for much more. I hope for nothing more than that, but I suspect we WILL get that out of each of them because otherwise the decision to go into camp with what we have makes Reese, Ross, Coughlin, McAdoo and Gilbride Jr. look like total idiots, and I don’t believe they’re that.

    •  kujo says:

      Where has Robinson showed that he is “fast?”

      And where has he earned any playing time? Certainly not in the preseason. And evidently not in the film room.

      Again, you don’t just throw people out on the field because they have “talent.” You EARN your reps (and trust) through preparation, and this dipsh*t ain’t ready. Plain and simple.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        I don’t agree. I think especially in preseason with guys you know have the talent you put them out there to see if they can sink or swim. Give Robinson tons of preseason snaps, even if much of it is against backups. With Gimble out he’s taking away no one’s reps of any consequence.

        I felt the same way about Nassib last year. Nassib could be that much further along if we didn’t waste all those reps on Painter.

        Regular season is a different story but preseason should be about player development.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      At this point I don’t know it’s coming with Robinson. His progression isn’t what I had hoped going into the offseason. But I think it’s just too early to give up on him like many have. And he certainly should make the roster over a guy like Davis.

  5.  GOAT56 says:

    Unless there’s a good player you’re knocking off the roster I think guys should be given a full 3 years to develop other than special cases. Austin was cut more for not wanting to cut Patterson and Rodgers than just giving up on him. Sometimes patience works, sometimes it doesn’t in player development but it’s rarely keeping a difference maker off the roster.

    That’s why I said we should keep Cooper last year and feel the same about Behre this year. Draft picks with talent that are put on PS are really hard to hide. Look at McCants. So if you want to develop these players you want to keep them on your 53. Jackson this year is probably an exception because we have so much talent and depth at CB that he’s ticketed to PS. Last year I think Jackson makes the 53 man and he still has a shot this year in part because of his upside and draft status.

    •  G Fan since Ninteen Forty Eight says:

      But Cooper and Behr show flashes. Robinson has shown ……????????

      •  GOAT56 says:

        Last year I was the ONLY one that wanted to keep Cooper. He didn’t show nearly as many flashers last year. I remember being called crazy because I wanted to keep Cooper on the 53.

        •  fanfor55years says:

          Well, you may have been the only one who wanted to keep Cooper, but I and a few others were willing to wait a bit to see if TAYLOR would improve.

          And keeping young players doesn’t always make sense. Sometimes there are simply better players ahead of them and this is a year-by-year league. “Development” doesn’t necessarily make sense anymore like it used to, because free agency makes it hard to hang onto the ones who eventually prove to be good enough.

          I very much like Berhe, and certainly made that clear before you or anyone else did. But I will be the first to say that the kid almost HAS to go to the practice squad barring an injury elsewhere. If he gets picked up, so be it. There are four players ahead of him right now and the Giants need to win THIS season, not just build toward the future.

          •  GOAT56 says:

            We always are trying to win. So in the the end who are you cutting Behre for? Herlizh, Mcbride, Brewer? Those are all players Behre should be kept over to me. It’s like if we kept Sash over Cooper last year. I don’t think you put a young talent ed kid on PS for a JAG you can find on street. You’re actually risking much more cutting Behre than cutting a guy like Herzlich IMO. I was for keeping Austin but Patterson and Rodgers both played really well and showed to be much more than a JAG you can find on the street. You don’t mortgage the future for the present when there’s little to no advantage.

            •  fanfor55years says:

              Now you’re being ridiculous. He’s behind four safeties and we’re not going to carry five safeties. Unless Rolle, Brown, Demps and Taylor get hurt you’re just not going to be able to fit him on the roster. Comparing him to someone playing another position is nonsensical unless you want to insist that they go with ten defensive backs and lop of a player at another position.

              Take Herzlich as an example. Do I think Behre will eventually prove a bigger talent than Herzlich? Yes. But Behre cannot play linebacker and even if Herzlich is the worst of the linebackers on the team, he knows the defense and can play two positions in it so is important depth. He’s also a very good special teams player and even if Behre turns into that, which he might, that isn’t necessarily an upgrade there. So in 2014 Herzlich is probably the more valuable roster inhabitant.

              Frankly, I think Behre will stick on the practice squad. He’s a pretty raw talent and while I really like him I’m not sure that GMs will be falling all over themselves to claim him.

  6.  G Fan since Ninteen Forty Eight says:

    If I’m wrong I’ll eat the other half of my Avatar. But I believe you will have to Baaa hhhh to Robinson 1st.

  7.  GOAT56 says:

    To me it’s about guys having enough chances. I’m got with cutting brewer now but wasn’t a year ago. Same Beckum. Same with Herzlich. Just so many things can happen I think it takes at least 3 years to really know what you have in a player. There are exceptions like Greg Jones and Sash but I think give more chances to guys with greater athletic ability.

    •  G Fan since Ninteen Forty Eight says:

      OK I give up U win! He is the new JPP of TE’s – As long as we leave of the J I’m fine.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        My point isn’t that give him time and he will definitely prove he’s great or even good. My point is that he hasn’t been given enough time to prove anything good or bad.

  8.  fanfor55years says:

    I think the problem here is that most of us just don’t much like what we’re seeing and hearing about the tight ends, particularly because we’ve heard that McAdoo wants to make broad use of them.

    I’ll stick with my prescription: hunker down and reduce the role of the tight ends and then hope that they prove at least serviceable. We do not know yet whether Robinson, Donnell, and the two vets will be “serviceable” but the odds are that at least two of them can become that, or we will be looking for late cuts who can be.

    GOAT’s confidence in Robinson (although he seems to be reeling that confidence back in as he responds to criticism) is clearly unjustified, but writing him off at this point is certainly premature. Let’s see what the kid does over the next 2-3 games when he’s essentially playing for his NFL life.

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