Former Patriot Larry Izzo now coaching for Giants
The last time his team played the Patriots, assistant coach
Larry Izzo was a loser even though the Giants came away
Despite New York’s win over New England in late November, the
first-year special teams assistant was nailed by the Giants’
kangaroo court for violating the hugging rule – a $20 fine per hug
for greeting his former Patriot teammates before the game.
Izzo, a special teams player for the Patriots who won three
Super Bowls and lost another to the Giants in 2008, won’t say how
much money he handed over that day, but he’d gladly pay the price
again if his new team beats his old one in Sunday’s Super Bowl.
”I would say that was a low moment as a player as far as you
are there and there was a lot on the line, big picture, and we
didn’t get it done,” Izzo recalled about his last trip to the
Super Bowl. ”We got outplayed. Anytime you have a game like that
whether it’s the Super Bowl or whenever you lose it (hurts).
Multiply that times a million and that’s (what it’s) like losing
the Super Bowl.”
Izzo’s special teams can play a big role in helping the
37-year-old coach avoid that losing feeling again. Still, it’s
strange competing against former buddies such as Tom Brady, Matt
Light and Deion Branch.
Before the NFC title game against San Francisco, Izzo ran into
former Patriots special teams coach Brad Seely, who now has the
same job with the 49ers.
”How weird is this, we are watching our teams warm up, the
Patriots are on the big screen playing the Ravens and we’re about
to go at it with our guys,” Izzo said. ”That was the extent of
the conversation. It was: `Good luck’ and you really don’t wish him
good luck because you want to win. It’s just a conflict.”
After being out of football for a year, Izzo said his biggest
satisfaction is watching his guys make plays such as the one when
rookie linebacker Jacquian Williams caused a fumble on a punt
return to set up Lawrence Tynes’ game-winning field goal in
overtime against the 49ers.
”As a coach you are excited for them,” Izzo said. ”As a
player you are excited for you.”
Counting the preseason, this will be the third time the Giants
have played coach Bill Belichick’s Patriots with Izzo on New York’s
side of the field.
”It’s not the first time looking across the sideline and seeing
the hoodie over there, or seeing guys I played with,” Izzo said.
”Most of them I don’t know. There has been a lot of change in that
organization, and a lot of change in this organization over
As he speaks, the memories of former teammates such as Tedy
Bruschi, Willie McGinest, Roman Phifer, Bryan Cox and Rosevelt
”We always had a lot of fun,” Izzo said. ”When you win as
much as we did, it makes all the work very easy. It makes it fun
and not everyone has that chance. I was lucky.”
Izzo said his main concern is making sure his unit is prepared
to perform up to expectations.
”If you are a rookie coach, to work with the group that we
have, I can’t think of a better situation,” Izzo said. ”I’ve been
fortunate that I’ve come to a place that was as attractive from a
Running back D.J. Ware likes Izzo’s style.
”It’s like he was shot out a cannon,” Ware said. ”He has been
here and done this several times. You’ve seen him lay his body on
the line several times for his team going down on kickoffs. He is a
great guy to get some experience from.”