Tom Coughlin infamously suggested in his introductory news conference in January of 2004 that some injuries are a state of mind, and made other comments that widely were interpreted as thinly veiled shots at his predecessor, Jim Fassel.
Wednesday morning on WFAN, Fassel (now a radio analyst) fired back in response to a question from Craig Carton. Here is what he said:
"Well, I'll be honest with you, I've never really said this, but I took offense to it and I know players had to take offense to it and medical staff had to take offense to it that injuries aren't real injuries, you know, you solve all that.
"Well, you don't do it as a coach. It doesn't need to be said. It does not need to be said. When you go in as a coach, you don't try to say something in the past about somebody, because the whole thing that came out about me and running a country club and all that stuff came from those opening comments. That's what it came from and that's offensive to me.
"I remember when I took the New York Giants job after Dan Reeves left, Dan was fired and I took the job, the very first meeting I had with the team, the very first meeting, and it got back to George Young and he said, 'Jim, you said the right things to your team,' I told the team pointedly, one of the first comments, I said, 'If you think all of the problems of the 5-11 season you just had [actually 6-10] walked out the door with Dan Reeves and his staff and you want to blame them, we're in real trouble, because it didn't all walk out with them. We've got problems in this building and I need to solve them.'
"That's the way you start it with the team. You put it on the team to do some things. I took offense to [Coughlin's comments].''
Carton asked Fassel whether he ever has confronted Coughlin. "No,'' he said. "I moved on with my life. That's it. There's nothing I can handle that way. I never did.''