Giants head coach Tom Coughlin was on the podium at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis this afternoon, the site of his Super Bowl triumph a little over a year ago….
“I know you don’t have any questions for me this year,” said a smiling Coughlin. “By the way, John Mara answered all of them, so don’t ask any of the ones he did.”
On not having Andy Reid in the NFC East any longer:
“Andy’s a good friend of mine. He went through a tremendous personal loss. Very difficult season for him. Our hearts went out to Andy and his family and Tammy. He’s and excellent football coach. It’s very difficult to think he was there for 14 years, probably won 70% of his games, I don’t know exactly what the number is. Just an outstanding football coach, an outstanding person and it’s an unusual thing to say but to have him in the division..I’ll miss him. He’s on the Madden Committee, I’m on the Madden Committee. We got a chance to spend some time together this week, so it was good. I’m happy for him and his family and I’m sure he’s looking forward to hi new adventure.”
On facing new Eagles’ coach Chip Kelly:
“Well, I know Chip from his stays at New Hampshire and the tremendous job he did at Oregon. We interviewed him at one point here in New York and he’s done a superior job. He’s an outstanding football coach and he’s going to make it interesting.
On having one year left in his career:
(Laughs) “I wondered how long it would take to get to that. You know, I tried to think of something funny to say about that but I don’t know what to say about it in terms of, you know…I don’t even know how a young man (Terrell Thomas) would come to that statement, but I approach each year the way I’ve always approached them. They energy’s flowing good. I’m excited about it and looking forward to this offseason getting our football team together again.
On the potential of a roster upheaval this year as compared to the past few seasons:
“There’s a combination, obviously. I think Ahmad Bradshaw said ti best when he said that it broke his heart but he understands its a business. And we all do. We’re not happy about bay of that, especially in the way that our organization is run. As a coach, I don’t want to see anybody go. I want to wrap my arms around them all. I want them to play together forever. It’s not the case. It doesn’t happen. It doesn’t work. So, there’ s maneuvering and changes there. You know, we have things that obviously be accomplished going forward with players and we have to have the resources in able to do that. That’s where we are.”
Will David Wilson be your starting running back?
“David Wilson. Andre Brown. Da’Rel Scott. There’s a few guys that will compete like heck for that job.”
So it will be kind of an open competition?
“It’s always the more competition the better. The question of who, what. where, when…they’re all going to play. They’re going to contribute, they’re going to compete with one another and hopefully make us better just like all other forms of competition.”
On Canty and Boley being cut and the direction of the defense:
“The direction is to get better. None of us are happy about the circumstance that we were in and the way that we played. The idea is to get better the best we can. But in those circumstances, obviously there was a business side to those decisions.”
On Hakeem Nicks not looking the same the last few years:
“How many years? (Holds up one finger) One year. He looked alright in the Super Bowl.”
Is it mainly due to injury?
“I would think that would be a major part of it, yeah.”
How is he doing?
“Good. Saw him the other day. Eyes are big and bright again.”
Did he need any additional offseason procedures?
“Did he? I think he has a scope just to look it over.”
Any other surgeries?
“Baas has had a little surgery, yeah. “
On what part?
“On his body.” (laughter)
When do you expect Snee to be back from the hip surgery?
“I don’t know if there is a timetable. He’s in some competition with some other guys that are telling him that I’m going to get back faster than you are, so he’ll be back as fast as he can. I don’t know if he’ll do a whole lot in the spring.”
Re: the combine….Are you always looking for a JPP-type and how do you identify somebody like that?
“A very unique individual indeed. You’re definitely looking for that. You’re hoping to match up a position of priority or a position of need with someone of that nature and then what do you pick? So, we’re always here for that reason.”
Re DEs (such as BYU’s Ezekiel Ansah) being more NFL-ready these days?
“Well, I don;’t know if it’s NFL-ready. I wouldn’t say that. There’s a big learning curve for any young man. The more he has played and experienced, then obviously the curve might be a little bit easier. If you can get to a point where you can turn those outstanding athletes loose, and still have them play within the scheme and the responsibility, then you’re way ahead. If that’s the case with some of these young men, who have the great talent and ability….We went to the workout of JPP in South Florida just observing and he did a backflip at 270 pounds or whatever he was. We said, ‘Maybe this is a pretty good athlete here.’”
Is defensive end the hardest type of player to evaluate?
“I don’t know if it’s the most difficult to evaluate, but it’s obviously the most difficult to take people and peg them into positions that you’re looking for. For example, if I was to say 10 years ago the safeties are playing linebacker today and the linebackers are playing defensive end today, depending on the style of the offensive team they’re playing. That makes it a little bit more difficult at those spots that are hard to find. I think there’s 19 tight ends here. There’s 32 teams in the NFL. I’m not good at math, but I can figure that one out.”
Thoughts on returning to Lucas Oil Stadium, where you won Super Bowl XLVI:
“It certainly is a lot of great memories coming back here. When we came, I stopped to visit Phil Ray, the General Manager of the downtown Marriott where we stayed. We renewed a few good memories, no doubt. The people were great and the whole thing, it was 50 degrees; it was unbelievable, people walking around in shorts in Indianapolis in February. It was fun.”
Thoughts on your offensive line with Kevin Boothe and Will Beatty on the free agency list:
“It’s a concern, no doubt. We’ve got a lot of young kids that are going to have to step it up, no matter who you think: (James) Brewer, (Matt) McCants, (Brandon) Mosley, (Stephen) Goodin, (Selvish) Capers; all those kids have been looking for an opportunity. Here it is, depending on what happens here obviously. We would like for the free agents as you refer to them, to be on our team. I wouldn’t want to think about losing any of them.”
What was it like having to part ways with Ahmad Bradshaw?
“Tough. He’s a young man, he’s a human being, nobody’s perfect, but when that guy took the field, there was never any question about what his intention was and where his intensity was and what he would bring to the table in terms of toughness, courage and how he played. The Giants organization loves Ahmad Bradshaw. We have tremendous respect for him and what he’s accomplished. He’s been on two Super Bowl champion teams and played the game when there would be many, many people who wouldn’t even try it. (He) can’t walk Thursday, but he plays on Sunday. From that standpoint, when he came down to my office, it was tough. It was very tough. I’d be less than honest if I didn’t tell you that.”
Have you come to any realizations about the season in terms of what went wrong?
“Not that I’m going to share. I’ve seen conclusions and I have my own ideas and that type of thing. I can’t refer to what Ahmad said other than the fact that the inconsistency has got to be pointed to somewhere. What’s going on? What’s this all about? I’m not taking anything away from the other teams, but the inconsistency has to be dealt with. We lost two divisional games by three points. We lost six games scoring 17. We gave up points in the last quarter in loss-games. The year before, the whole mantra had been, finish the game, finish the game, finish the game. Sometimes it was out of reach in the fourth quarter to be honest with you. You can take any number of these things.”
Have you worked with Perry Fewell to try and figure out a way to stop the read-option?
“You said it as well as I could. Absolutely, right in our division. It’d be foolish not to. We’re doing as much as we can.”
On if the limited amount of practice time is making it more difficult to coach:
“You don’t have as many practices. One of the things we do all have to…I know I’ve talked about it. I don’t think its letting any secret out but how in the world – how do we make the players understand that even though this is a jog through it’s just as important as a practice because in the scheme of two-a-days…What we have done is set aside a take-on, if you will, for a jog through. And then we move on to another take-on for the practice, so the player has to understand that there’s only so many reps and these jog-throughs are critical. That is one area the lack of time spent developmentally in the offseason….Normally you have 10-12 offensive lineman around the whole offseason. Kids that want to learn, you know, that would have a chance. They might be free agents they might be first-year players. Everyone is dealing with the same thing, don’t get me wrong. It’s going to take some adjusting to. The first year that this was in place we won it. People think we have all the answers, but obviously this year it’s not the case, so I can spend more time complaining.”
On he report the league might be “moving some things back” in the offseason:
“I saw something like that this morning. I would want to know exactly what the objective is. There are some other things I’d rather have than that. But, you do have time. Players don;t come in now until the 15th of April. You can theoretically do as much as you want. If that’s the goal.”