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Tom Coughlin, Justin Tuck, and Ernie Accorsi to enter Giants Ring of Honor

Posted Jul 20, 2016

Tom Coughlin, Justin Tuck, and Ernie Accorsi will be inducted into the Giants Ring of Honor on November 14: 


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants careers of Tom Coughlin and Justin Tuck intertwined with Ernie Accorsi from the beginning. In 2004, Accorsi, then the team’s general manager, was instrumental in the hiring of Coughlin as head coach. A year later he drafted Tuck.

Accorsi acquired the majority of the players on the Giants team that won Super Bowl XLII, 15 of whom were on the team that won another title four years later. Coughlin coached those teams. Tuck played on them, and was a captain of the squad that defeated New England in Super Bowl XLVI.

>> RING OF HONOR INTERACTIVE SITE

On Nov. 14, these three towering figures in recent Giants history will together be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor during a ceremony at halftime of a Monday night game vs. Cincinnati.

Their inclusion will bring to 42 the number of men who have received the franchise’s highest honor.

Accorsi will be the Ring of Honor’s second general manager (joining George Young), Coughlin its fourth head coach (Steve Owen, Jim Lee Howell and Bill Parcells), and Tuck its fifth defensive end (Andy Robustelli, George Martin, Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora).

“When you start working in the National Football League, this is not something you would ever dream could happen,” Accorsi said. “I’ve seen these in different stadiums, and when you see all the great players and coaches up there, it’s not something I ever thought could happen. I can’t even put into words what an honor it is, especially with this franchise. It’s overwhelming that someone who started at the bottom in this league could end up with some of the names up there, like Lawrence Taylor and Frank Gifford. It’s just incredible for me to get this.”

“It was a great privilege to be the 16th head coach of the New York Giants, and it’s a privilege and a tremendous honor to be a part of those great names in Giant folklore that are in the Ring of Honor,” Coughlin said. “It’s something Judy (his wife), my family and I very much appreciate. The New York Giants, to me, is the greatest franchise in the history of the NFL. We recognize the long history of the Giants and the greatest city in the world, the tremendous coaches and players that have represented the Giants over the years. It’s a great honor to be included in the same breath with some of these prestigious former players and coaches.”

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“It’s a great honor,” Tuck said. “Anytime something like this is bestowed upon a person, you have to consider all the other guys up there, all the people that have paved the way for a small-town kid like me to have the opportunity to be put up in the rafters by what I consider to be the greatest football franchise there is. I don’t think it’s dawned on me yet how big a deal it is, but I’m sure that night there will be some emotions that come out and be very visible. I’m very, very excited about it.”

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Accorsi was the Giants’ general manager from 1998-2006 after serving as an assistant under Young for four seasons. In Accorsi’s nine years as G.M., the Giants won two NFC East titles, earned four postseason berths, and advanced to Super Bowl XXXV. He retired at the conclusion of the 2006 season. The Giants won the Super Bowl the following season (and gave Accorsi a championship ring) and again in 2011.

The Giants were the final stop in Accorsi’s remarkable 37-year career that included successful stints as the general manager of the Baltimore Colts and the Cleveland Browns. In his last 16 years as a general manager, Accorsi had nine playoff teams, including six division champions. The Giants, Browns and Colts won a combined 143 regular season and postseason games under his stewardship.
Accorsi’s most significant personnel move with the Giants was acquiring quarterback Eli Manning in a draft-day trade with the San Diego Chargers in 2004. Manning, of course, has become the greatest quarterback in Giants history and was the MVP of Super Bowls XLII and XLVI after twice leading the team on dramatic game-winning drives.

>> READ: ACCORSI SCOUTS ELI MANNING

“I have always said that in the first Super Bowl I was hoping he would do it,” said Accorsi, who brought in several other key players on those championship teams, including Antonio Pierce, Osi Umenyiora and Plaxico Burress. “In the second Super Bowl I was almost sure he was going to do it.”

Coughlin was the Giants’ head coach from 2004-15. His signature achievements were the Giants’ victories against the New England Patriots in those Super Bowls. Coughlin was just the second man to coach the Giants for at least 12 seasons. Only Owen, a Pro Football Hall of Famer who reigned for 23 full seasons from 1931-53, led the team for a longer time period. With the Giants, Coughlin was 102-90 in the regular season, and 8-3 in the postseason. The 102 victories are second in franchise history to Owen’s 151. Coughlin led the Giants to three NFC East titles and five playoff berths. His eight postseason triumphs tie him with Parcells for the most ever by a Giants coach. Coughlin was the team’s wide receivers coach from 1988-90 and ended with the team’s victory in Super Bowl XXV.

“Any recognition that comes my way must be shared with the great coaches and the great players that have been a part of this franchise during my tenure,” Coughlin said. “The coaches who worked so hard in representing the Giants, the players who sacrificed and shared with us the goal of being world champions add great significance to this honor.”

A third-round draft choice from Notre Dame in 2005, Tuck played in 127 regular-season games with 90 starts in nine Giants seasons. He was a defensive catalyst on the teams that won Super Bowls XLII and XLVI, a two-time Pro Bowler, and four-time team captain. Tuck was credited with more than 500 tackles. His 60.5 sacks are officially the sixth-highest total in franchise history. Tuck also played in 10 postseason games. He had 5.5 sacks, including two sacks of Tom Brady in each of the Super Bowl victories, when a dominant defensive line was one of the vital components of the Giants’ success.

Now Tuck will join the immortal figures in Giants history with the man responsible for bringing him here, and the coach who mentored and developed him.

“That is just special,” Tuck said. “They gave me the chance to be a Giant. None of this would be possible without them, so I think it is fitting that I get the opportunity to go in with them. How I look at it is I will be the third of this group and the other two are unbelievable with what they have been able to accomplish, not just with the Giants, but with football in general. I am pretty lucky to be even considered in the same light as those two. Obviously, they are very important to what I have been able to accomplish in football and I wouldn’t even be in the conversation if it wasn’t for them and hats off to them, and I am looking forward to sharing a night with them.”

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Accorsi and Coughlin are also thrilled to be joining the Ring of Honor as a trio with Tuck.

“That makes it extra special,” Accorsi said. “That is exactly the way I feel. (In the 2005 draft), we get (cornerback Corey) Webster in the second and Justin in the third. We got them both in the second and third round because they played hurt. They were both first-round players, but we took a risk because they didn’t play as well. But a lot of times guys sit that season out after a knee. Next to the quarterback, my obsession is with the pass rushers. To go in with a pass rusher like him and Tom Coughlin, who obviously - I love Marty Schottenheimer (his coach in Cleveland), but Tom is the greatest coach I ever was involved in hiring. It is a special honor.”

“That means a lot to me,” Coughlin said. “Justin Tuck played 11 years in this league. He was a young man with tremendous character and ability, a guy who recognized the professionalism of the game and the sport, who had great self-confidence and was a two-time Super Bowl champion. And Ernie is one of the greatest historians of our game, a guy who has literally done it all. He is someone I have great respect and admiration for. Of course, I’ll always be grateful for the whole Giant organization that made the decision as to who the 16th head coach would be.”

For more information on the Ring of Honor inductees, visit Giants.com/RingOfHonor