COUGHLIN RELISHES GIANTS' FUTURE
"INDIANAPOLIS -- The NFL scouting combine is usually the dreariest of
assignments for a coach, but this year’s gathering feels like a victory lap for
the Giants’ Tom Coughlin.
Less than three weeks after his team’s Super Bowl XLVI win over the Patriots
at Lucas Oil Stadium, a beaming Coughlin still was basking in that triumph as he
met with reporters during a break in the combine yesterday.
“I feel like I was just here, and I was,” Coughlin said with a big grin. “And
they were great memories too. It’s a great feeling. It’s a little bit of a blur,
but it’s a magnificent blur.”
Coughlin was in a giving mood, too, revealing that three defensive linemen —
Justin Tuck, Chris Canty and Linval Joseph — all had surgery since the Super
Bowl. He said he was hopeful all three would be “back fast.”
OUR GIANTS BLOG
Of the three, Canty’s knee operation was the most surprising. Coughlin
wouldn’t specify the procedure or the injury, though a league source described
it as a “clean-out” that didn’t involve major ligaments and wouldn’t prevent the
defensive tackle from being available for the start of next season.
Tuck had scar tissue removed from his problematic shoulder, according to
Coughlin, and Joseph had bone chips removed from his ankle. Coughlin said there
was no damage to Tuck’s labrum and added the Big Blue star “feels better than he
did way prior to his surgery.”
Coughlin was more cautious about the previously announced knee surgeries
performed on tight ends Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum, both of whom were
seriously injured during the Super Bowl. He said both face a minimum seventh
months of recovery, meaning they wouldn’t be available until at least September.
As a result, Coughlin said tight end has suddenly become a point of emphasis in
“Whether it’s draft or whatever, we’re going to have to have some way of
compensating so that we have enough people in camp to be able to work,” Coughlin
Coughlin also said cornerback Terrell Thomas and linebacker Jonathan Goff —
both of whom were injured in the preseason and are scheduled to be unrestricted
free agents — are in the Giants’ plans.
Two key players still under contract, defensive end Osi Umenyiora and running
back Brandon Jacobs, also will be back if Coughlin has anything to do with
Asked if he expected defensive end Osi Umenyiora, who has been unhappy about
his contract for at least two years, to be a Giant in 2012, Coughlin said: “I
The same goes for running back Brandon Jacobs, Coughlin said, despite the
veteran’s occasional verbal outbursts and clashes with coaches.
“Brandon’s been an outstanding part of our team for any number of years [and]
two Super Bowl teams,” Coughlin said. “And as far as I’m concerned, he’s a big
part of [the team’s future].”
Admittedly complicating things is the salary-cap situation. The official cap
figure has yet to be announced, but it is expected to be around $122 million per
team when the new league year kicks in next month. The Giants currently exceed
That very well could cost them the services of Super Bowl hero Mario
Manningham, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent with several teams
hungry for proven receivers.
Coughlin said losing Manningham is a possibility, saying he is confident
second-year player Jerrel Jernigan could be a capable replacement.
Coughlin, however, isn’t in a mood to lose any more assistant coaches. After
losing quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan to new Buccaneers boss Greg Schiano,
Coughlin denied Schiano permission to interview offensive assistant Kevin
“We’re not training coaches so they can go somewhere else,” Coughlin
Coughlin said he has not yet had “serious” talks with Giants ownership about
the contract extension co-owner John Mara promised after the Super Bowl, but
didn’t appear worried. Coughlin, 65, also reiterated he wants to keep coaching
“People thought I was joking when I said [last year] that I wanted to coach
until I was 74,” he said. “I wasn’t.”