Special Teams Coordinator Mike Sweatman Officially Retires: The Giants officially announced yesterday that Special Teams Coordinator Mike Sweatman has retired.

“I just feel like it is time right now,” said the 60-year-old Sweatman. “I’m sure I’m going to miss it. I’m going to miss the game. I’m going to miss the people that are a part of the game. Not only different coaches and players but also everyone associated with the different teams that I have been a part of, different programs that I have been a part of.”

As we mentioned yesterday in “News and Notes,” Sweatman not only coached special teams for the Giants under Tom Coughlin for the past three years, he also was on the Giants’ coaching staff from 1985-1992.

“The two Super Bowls that we won here with the Giants were certainly highlights of my career,” Sweatman said.

“The opportunity to bring Mike Sweatman back to the New York Giants was something that I looked forward to, knowing full well that this is an individual that I could trust completely,” Coughlin said. “And the reason for that is that he has great pride. He has great loyalty. He has literally devoted the better part of his career to the special teams coordinator position. And he has done an outstanding job. And I could count on Mike Sweatman to make any and all decisions in the best interest of the New York Giants. He worked well with the players in that he was firm, but he was understanding – young players, old players, all seemed to enjoy playing for him in that capacity. And I think the obvious point with that was the fact that he brought such great creditability to the job.”

“I have a great appreciation for Coach Sweatman and a lot of respect for the kind of man he is,” said PK Jay Feely. “Anytime you have a man who first served our country and then served his players, I have a tremendous amount of respect for him, and that’s how I feel about Mike Sweatman. He definitely helped me as a player. I’m a better kicker from having been with him. I had the best two years of my career with him, so I’m very appreciative for his help. Mike does what all great coaches do; he doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. He takes what you think are your strengths, tells you what he thinks can improve those strengths and tries to implement them. That’s what he did with me.”

“Mike really calmed the game down for me,” P Jeff Feagles said. “I’m pretty easy going. But when the games get going I do get a little bit upset at times at myself when I don’t do what I want to do – when I make a bad kick or something like that. Early on I used to get really, really mad at myself. Mike helped me create a sense of easiness. He helped with my demeanor on the sidelines, not letting the other people know that I’m angry and upset and not to carry it over. Mike likes the veteran players, which I enjoy, because he listened to me as far as what I wanted to do and I listened to him as far as what he wanted me to do. We had a very happy medium there. Mike was always in my corner and he always understood that when it didn’t happen that it didn’t happen. We would just try it again. So I just really enjoyed my time around him. And I can only wish him the best of luck. I think he is one hell of a coach and he deserves to ride off into the sunset and enjoy the rest of his life.”

“I learned so much from him in terms of the mental approach with regard to being a specialist,” said long snapper Ryan Kuehl. “With Jeff (Feagles) and I, he gave us room to grow while still making sure he knew what was going on. We knew that he trusted us – when you are a specialist that is the most important thing. If you know that your special teams coach trusts you, that really frees you up to perform well. And Mike was really a master at that, giving us the latitude but yet still knowing that he was in charge.”

Tom Quinn Promoted: The Giants have officially announced that Tom Quinn, who joined the Giants last year as their assistant special teams coach, will be promoted to the special teams coordinator position, replacing Mike Sweatman.

“I’m thrilled for the opportunity,” Quinn said. “It was a great pleasure to be able to work with Mike and learn from him. He is just a great man to start with, a great coach and a great teacher. I learned a lot from Mike. He taught me the importance of details, of being so thorough in your work and the preparation and translating that to the fundamentals on the field. He stressed that you must teach and coach very solid fundamentals. And it’s not so important to out-scheme someone. The biggest thing I learned is the importance of getting the match-ups with personnel and having a solid fundamental base to be able to execute from. It’s not so much about schemes, but it is about execution – just being simple so you can go out and execute.”

“Tom has Mike’s complete endorsement as a young coach devoted to special teams who is prepared to take the lead roll in the special teams position,” Coughlin said. “The energy and the passion which Tom brings to the job is infectious and our players will respond to Tom’s enthusiasm.”

“Tom is a very qualified young man,” said retiring special teams coordinator Mike Sweatman, “and the players and the fans will appreciate his energy and what he brings to the game and what he brings to the table for the New York Giants.”

“I think it’s a great choice,” said P Jeff Feagles. “He worked under Mike for a year and got to know his schemes and how the Giants do things special teams-wise and what is expected from Tom (Coughlin). So that is a good thing. You bring somebody else in here, there is going to be a breaking-in period. So as far as Tom goes, I think there are a lot of things we have already done and he has been around. He knows the schedule and the routines that myself and Jay (Feely) and Ryan (Kuehl) all work with. So, that’s good.”

“Tom did a great job in his first year in the league,” Kuehl said. “I thought Tom showed a great knack for strategy and schemes that I was a part of. I would expect us to improve in areas where we need to improve and have the same level of confidence in the areas we did well in this past year. I really enjoy Tom. He doesn’t come across as a guy who thinks he has all of the answers. He is willing to come forward and discuss things and he will receive input from players and then make a judgment based on that. I think players totally respect that and enjoy working for a guy who is willing to listen to them and take some ownership. And Tom, like Sweat, let the players take ownership. And that is great. It’s good news for the Giants, it’s good news for Giants fans, and good news for us special teams players.”

New York Giants Name New Assistant Special Teams Coach: To fill the assistant special teams vacancy created by the promotion of Tom Quinn, the Giants have hired Thomas McGaughey. McGaughey was a special teams assistant coach with the Denver Broncos from 2005-2006.

New York Giants Hire New Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach: The Giants announced yesterday that they have hired a new assistant strength and conditioning coach, Markus Paul. Paul replaces Andy Barnett, who the team apparently fired. Paul will work with Strength and Conditioning Coach Jerry Palmieri.

Paul was with the Jets for the previous two seasons as their strength and conditioning coach. The Jets decided very recently not to renew his contract.

Notes and Quotes: The Giants will have an entirely new set of coordinators in 2007.

Tom Coughlin on new offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, new special teams coordinator Tom Quinn, and new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo: “I think the Kevin Gilbride decision was based on the fact that the players and coaches responded to him in the opportunities that he had to lead the offense at the end of the season. Players are unanimous in their strong feelings about Kevin being the coordinator. I think Tom Quinn was brought here to understudy, if you will, with one of the veteran special teams coaches in the NFL. The guy has vast experiences. Tom learned a great deal from his year with Mike. And because of that we are very confident that he is prepared to fill that job. In Steve Spagnuolo, we have a guy who has been with the Philadelphia Eagles for eight years. He has worked and studied under Andy Reid and Jim Johnson, who brings an aggressive style and enthusiasm to the position of defensive coordinator. And the soundness of their approach, balanced with the aggressive nature of their defense, will excite our players.”

Phil Simms on the Giants and Super Bowl XXI: “When I watched the tape of the game, what jumped out at me is, ‘Damn, we were good. We had a lot of good players.’ No wonder we won. We were supposed to win. It’s always fun to go back and remember because it was a good moment.”