Young compares Coughlin to ... Rockne?

Tom Coughlin's only brush with Knute Rockne came in 1993, when his Boston College team upset top-ranked Notre Dame in South Bend.

Until Wednesday.

From the "Comparisons-you'd-least-expect-to-hear" department, ESPN analyst Steve Young said the Giants' coach has Rockne-like motivational ability.

Who knew?

Young, speaking on a media conference, credited Coughlin for the Giants' ability to win on the road, especially in the postseason.

"I think Tom Coughlin is an amazing motivator," the Hall of Fame quarterback said. "When you look at his personality, you say, 'Oh, I don't know about that.' But there's some ability he has to laser-focus a football team when it's most important. He seems to be a real valuable asset, kind of Knute Rocke almost."

Coughlin hasn't delivered any "Gipper" speeches, at least none that we know of, but the man does have an impressive road record.

The Giants have won four consecutive road playoff games, dating to 2007, tied for the longest streak in NFL history, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Coughlin's personal mark is six road wins in the playoffs, one shy of Tom Landry's record.

Young marveled at Coughlin's résumé, noting that it's hard to develop a tough-minded team in the here-today, gone-tomorrow mentality of the free-agency era.

"You don't see road-warrior teams," Young said, "and that has to be a compliment to Tom Coughlin."

Young also was effusive in his praise of Eli Manning, saying he has reached Peyton's level.

"He has become as effective as his brother, but in an Eli kind of way," Young said.

By that, he was referring to the difference in their personalities. Young described Peyton as a good dude with an assassin's mentality. "A really nice guy, but you walk away and you're dripping blood," he said.

We all know it's a different story with Eli, who has perfected his laid-back, take-it-as-it-comes approach, according to Young.

"He's lived through it and developed the same committed effect his brother had, but in a different way," Young said. "That's probably the best compliment you can give Eli. He doesn't want to be his brother, because he doesn't want everyone to say, 'Oh, he's just like his brother.'"