Tag:Tom Coughlin
Posted on: August 23, 2011 5:10 pm
Edited on: August 23, 2011 5:21 pm

Giants defenders keep falling; this time, Austin

ThomasPosted by Josh Katzowitz

If you’re a Giants defensive player, it might be time to crawl into some sort of bomb shelter, because injuries after injuries after injuries are beginning to pile up for coach Tom Coughlin’s crew.

The latest setback came Tuesday when second-round defensive tackle Marvin Austin tore his left pectoral muscle. He will be lost for the season after he undergoes surgery, and it’s another blow to the rookie class (first-round pick Prince Amukamara won’t return for at least two months while he deals with a broken foot).

Plus, after losing Terrell Thomas for the season with an ACL tear in Monday night’s preseason game -- not to mention the loss of cornerback Brian Witherspoon after Monday’s game and cornerback Bruce Johnson -- the Giants will need to call in some replacements for the defense.

Coughlin was asked in his news conference Tuesday, via Rapid Reporter Alex Raskin, if he thought about moving Antrel Rolle from safety to cornerback, but he said he was reluctant to do that unless the move was permanent. For now, it doesn’t sound like it’s going to happen, even though Coughlin is well aware that Rolle used to play cornerback and even though Rolle said he’d be willing to do it.

Instead, Coughlin said he’ll count on Aaron Ross to fill the void.

“Aaron played well tonight, thank goodness,” Coughlin said after Monday’s game. But there’s also the possibility of other moves to help offset the loss Austin, Thomas and Witherspoon. Maybe even some trades?

Said Coughlin: “I’m sure we’ll consider it.”

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Posted on: August 19, 2011 12:05 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 4:43 pm

Osi Umenyiora heads for surgery on right knee

Posted by Ryan Wilson

UPDATE, 1:45 p.m. ET: Via CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Alex Raskin: "While the Giants have said that Osi Umenyiora will likely be out for three to four weeks following arthroscopic knee surgery, several other reports have sources quoting a four-to-six week recovery time. Both the NY Daily News and The Bergen Record have reported that Umenyiora’s absence could be longer than the initial projections."


Remember those discussions a few weeks back about Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora exaggerating a right knee injury as an excuse to miss practice and protest his contract situation? Turns out, his knee really was bothering him. So much so that he'll undergo arthroscopic surgery and will likely miss three to four weeks.

"It is a simple debridement," said Dr. Robbie Barnes, team vice president of medical services, according to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Alex Raskin. "Osi called me at the end of practice yesterday to let me know that he wanted to have surgery now," general manager Jerry Reese said.

"It was better to do it now as opposed to mid-season," Umenyiora said. "It was going to have to be done, the only question was when. If I'm going to miss a little while, I would prefer it be now than at the crucial part of our season. It's the best decision for the team and myself."

Reese added: "After practicing for three days he had some swelling in the knee, and it was clear that we were going to have to adjust his practice routine to every other day. ... He told me how much he really enjoyed being back on the field this week, and he’s looking forward to getting back out there once he recovers from the procedure.” 

As recently as Wednesday, we were still hearing that Umenyiora was unhappy about his contract situation. "Just because he's back on the football field doesn't mean this whole saga is over," teammate Justin Tuck said, per Tom Rock of Newsday. "But he's doing what he thinks is best to help this football team and himself, and you have to give him credit for that."

Now Umenyiora will be on the shelf for several weeks recovering from surgery on the same knee that kept him sidelined for all of the 2008 season. And unless something changes in the meantime, when he returns, he will still be without a new contract or a new team.

Raskin reports that coach Tom Coughlin has no plans for linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka to return to defensive end in Umenyiora's absence. "Maybe he comes back fast," Coughlin said. "Maybe it's three weeks." Until then, Coughlin says the young players will have to "step up."

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Posted on: August 11, 2011 11:55 am
Edited on: August 11, 2011 12:27 pm

Responses vary regarding Steve Smith signing


Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The reaction to the Eagles signing of former Giants WR Steve Smith has stirred emotions across the NFC East. We thought it was a strong signing by Philadelphia’s front office, and it was interesting that Smith revealed that the Eagles showed “MUCH more” interest than the Giants did in signing him.

That led to Giants fans lambasting Smith -- coming off microfracture surgery on his knee that could keep him out the early part of the season. Smith wrote Thursday on his Facebook page: "Instead of cursing at me and wishing my family and my knee harm, i wish you could understand that i truly wanted to stay here but that the giants DIDN'T want me here unfortunately.. thank you to my true fans for standing by me and offering your support during this time.”

Steve Smith's Eagles signing
Even some of his old teammates got into the act.

Via the Philadelphia Daily News, Giants CB Terrell Thomas tweeted the following: "Hate to see a [Steve Smith] sign with any team. But glad we get to play against him two times a year and show him the grass ain't GREENER* on the other side.”

*As an aside, I think that tweet would have been more effective if Thomas had put “ain’t” in all caps instead of “greener.” Like this: “But glad we get to play against him two times a year and show him the grass AIN’T greener on the other side.” See what I mean?

Meanwhile, New York coach Tom Coughlin pointed out to reporters that Smith’s surgery was performed by a Giants team doctor, and the New York Post’s Bart Hubbuch tweets that Coughlin sounded betrayed by that notion. Coughlin also said the Giants never had a chance to match the Eagles offer of one year, $4 million ($2 million of that guaranteed) and that Smith’s representation told the Giants they would have a chance to counter. He said it was akin to competing in a race that you didn’t know had started yet (to be fair, though, the Giants had plenty of time to sign him once free agency began).

We have yet to see how Eagles RB LeSean McCoy -- who engaged in a Twitter war with New York DE Osi Umenyiora, which then led to Smith getting involved and posting a pretty sweet picture of him celebrating the Giants Super Bowl victory while featuring an empty Eagles trophy case (as you can see in the above picture) -- reacts to his newest teammate. But Smith is pretty sure everything will be cool between the two.

"Yeah, it’s going to be funny," Smith said Wednesday night during a conference call with reporters. "I’m going to go up to LeSean the first day I see him and just shake his hand and give him a hug and tell him that was all just Twitter beef and it was just all in fun. And you know, it’s just a great rivalry and I’m thankful to be a part of it. And having switched sides it’s a little different but still it will be exciting to see what it’s like on this side.”

The Newark Star Ledger’s Mike Garafolo also had interesting analysis on why the Giants let Smith get away to an intra-divisional rival, writing, “I'm completely baffled on this one. What is going on in the Giants' front office? I mean, seriously, what is going on right now? I'll tell you what's going on: for the first time, Jerry Reese's seat must be getting warm. … How do you let Smith become so discouraged by your efforts to retain him that he goes to see your arch rivals?”

Garofolo then argues that Smith was a potentially valuable asset who the Giants should have squared away (even if Smith had to miss half the season while recovering from his surgery).

Instead, Smith goes to the Eagles, and once he gets his hug from McCoy, he can begin the process of finding a place in a WR corps that includes DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant. The Eagles just got a little bit stronger, while the Giants, competing for the same NFC East title, potentially let a star get away.

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 3:34 pm

Giants give Coughlin a one-year extension

CoughlinPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Though it’s been rumored and discussed for many months, Giants coach Tom Coughlin’s contract extension is reportedly complete. But it still doesn’t give Coughlin very much breathing room.

According to the New York Daily News, via Rapid Reporter Alex Raskin, the extension is only through 2012 (though it does mean he won’t be a lame-duck coach this season).

But if you’re wondering if the Giants ownership is teetering on whether to keep Coughlin long-term, Giants owner John Mara tried to assuage your fears.

“That’s a game the media plays,” owner John Mara told the New York Post. “We don’t operate that way. We enter every season expecting to compete for a championship and we analyze our franchise from top to bottom at the conclusion of the season. “We believe in Tom as our leader and as our head coach.”

But maybe they don’t believe in him THAT much, considering the extension is only for one year.

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Posted on: July 26, 2011 7:45 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 9:36 pm

Would the Giants really welcome back Plaxico?

BurressPosted by Josh Katzowitz

If you would have asked free agent WR Plaxico Burress the chances he would return to play for his old team, the Giants, after his stint in prison, he probably wouldn’t have been real confident.

The Eagles seemed interested in him (Michael Vick said something about how you can never have enough weapons), and though Burress apparently was eyeing the Bears, Chicago made it pretty clear the interest wasn’t mutual (psst, Burress also said the the Jets would be appealing to him).

But remember when Eli Manning said he would rather have Burress on his team instead of former Giants RB Tiki Barber? Maybe, Manning had a little bit of inside knowledge, because according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Giants are in contention to bring him back to New York.

With the Giants, Burress probably wouldn’t be counted as on a top-line target. At the age of (almost) 34 and having not played since the 2008 season, nobody is sure how much football talent Burress has left in his body. Plus, Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham are locked in as starters.

But Burress could add to the depth of New York’s WR corps, and if the Giants expect him as a third or fourth WR, that might make some sense.

Of course, Burress said this recently about coach Tom Coughlin: “My situation in New York, me and my coach, had an ambivalent relationship to say the least. Some things that I didn't agree with, with the way he went about things. And the only way to show my way was to just rebel. Is that who I am? No."

So, um, maybe the Giants and Burress wouldn’t be a great fit after all.

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Posted on: July 26, 2011 10:53 am

Mark Herzlich signs with New York Giants

Posted by Will Brinson

Undrafted free agents have been talking with teams since Monday night, and there was some chatter late in the evening that former Boston College star and undrafted linebacker Mark Herzlich had signed with the Ravens. He refuted that Monday night on Twitter, and used the same medium to announce that he was joining the New York Giants.

"Decision is made I will be a #GIANT can't wait to get to #NYC," Herzlich tweeted on Tuesday morning. "Thank you for everything."

Herzlich, for those that are somehow unaware, was once the ACC's Defensive Player of the Year before battling cancer, recovering and returning to start for Boston College his senior season.

It's a mildly emotional story, yes, which makes New York a good town for him.

More importantly, though, the team is a good fit for Herzlich. Tom Coughlin is a no-nonsense guy and a huge fan of BC products (he got his first head coaching job with the Golden Eagles way back in the day). And, of course, the Giants have a need for linebacker, particularly following the probably departure of Keith Bulluck.

Herzlich went undrafted because of (obvious) medical concerns, but there's absolutely no questioning his talent, toughness, leadership and drive to succeed; the combination make him a solid upside signing for the Giants.

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Posted on: June 24, 2011 10:03 pm

Sapp, Strahan latest to call out Tiki Barber

Posted by Ryan Wilson

We mentioned it in Hot Routes this afternoon, but we might as well delve into the gory details since there's not much else going on. Warren Sapp and Michael Strahan, former players who now make their living as television analysts, are the latest to say that Tiki Barber should stay retired.

Sapp, who played 13 NFL seasons for the Buccaneers and Raiders, was blunt: “I didn’t think much of him when he did play,” he told Rich Eisen on the aptly named Rich Eisen Podcast. ”I mean that’s the whole point. He was a fumbler all the way through his life, and then all of a sudden, somebody taught him how to hold the ball up high and then he (left the Giants) and said, Eli (Manning) can’t lead them and they’ll never win a championship.

“That kind of lends to who I’m talking about. This is the same guy. This is all encompassed into the same thing. There’s no way you turn your back on your teammates that block for you, that gave you the ball on short fields and did whatever they did. … There’s still no reason for you to attack your teammates.”

Strahan, who played with Barber in New York, was in no hurry to defend his former teammate. “Sapp is 100 percent right,” he said. “Only thing is, if it comes to playing football, he can play.”

And that's the thing, Barber was a tough downhill runner. His biggest issue now, apart from the fact that he's 36 and last played in the NFL in 2006, is that he's not known as a locker room guy.

“I think it plays into the minds of some of the teams that will probably go, ‘Well, he can come in, he can be productive. We think he can. But how does that play into the chemistry of our team?’” Strahan said. “So I think that’s important if you’re a GM. That’s what you’re going to look at if you’re a head coach. Now, if you want guys that are going to give you production, that’s going to work hard, is going to bust his butt, you’re going to get all of that … But the other part, I’m not sure myself.”

Tiki's Return?
Which is basically what everyone has been saying since Barber un-retired in March.

Two related questions: has anyone defended Barber? We can't recall a single person stepping forward and saying, "Tiki would be a great addition to any NFL team!" Also: anybody else find it peculiar that Ronde, Tiki's identical twin who still plays with the Bucs, hasn't spoken up on behalf of his brother?

Maybe Ronde doesn't want to get involved (which is completely understandable). Or perhaps he doesn't think Tiki should return to football, either. We've mentioned it before (as have the commenters), but it's a strange juxtaposition, Tiki and Ronde. One player disliked by his former teammates, and another who appears to be well respected by players, coaches and fans, quietly plodding along, often playing at a Pro Bowl level during his 14-year career.

When the lockout ends and training camps begin, Tiki very well could get his opportunity to make an NFL team. It's just that history, age, and a lot of former players (some of them teammates) are against him. 

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Posted on: June 16, 2011 9:08 am
Edited on: June 16, 2011 10:13 am

Coughlin not paying attention to Burress comments

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Tom Coughlin doesn't sound like he's losing sleep over Plaxico Burress' recent comments. Burress, who played for the Giants before spending more than 20 months in prison for carrying a gun without a permit (that he shot himself with it was more embarrassing than illegal), recently told ESPN's Stephen A. Smith that, "My situation in New York, me and my coach, had an ambivalent relationship to say the least. Some things that I didn't agree with, with the way he went about things. And the only way to show my way was to just rebel. Is that who I am? No."

ProFootballTalk.com's Mike Florio writes that "we’ve heard that Burress was fined upwards of 50 times in 2008 alone for a variety of infractions." Pretty sure that qualifies as rebelling.

(Of course, Florio also tries to connect the dots to Burress possibly landing with his original team, the Steelers. There's a better chance Pittsburgh brings Tommy Maddox out of retirement.)

Coughlin's response (via the New York Post): "I don't pay any attention to it. … It is what it is. Maybe he's sending me along a badge of honor. How do I know?"

Hey, Tom's ambivalent, too!

While a badge of honor probably isn't in Coughlin's future, he sounded sincere when wishing Burress the best.

"As I've said many times, I'll stay with the same line: I hope he gets some normalcy in his life and has a chance to spend some time with his family and that he gets to know his kids once again," said Coughlin. "His wife has done a tremendous job of holding that family together for the last two years. She deserves some help."

Coughlin was also asked about the lockout. And like everyone else, he's frustrated. "We're getting anxious. We've seen so much time come and go. I try not to look back at our rookies, the fact that we haven't even had the chance to teach them what our expectation level is. These guys are being hurt more than anyone else."

Maybe someone should put Coughlin in the next super-secret owner-player meeting and let him give his Matt Dodge speech. If that doesn't scare both sides into a new CBA then the season is already lost.

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