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

Colvin return.

”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

coaching standpoint.”

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.”