Coughlin 7/29

The Daily Coughlin: Strahan, Wilson and Thurmond

Tom Coughlin’s presser on Tuesday was dominated by questions about former DE Michael Strahan, who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday in Canton, Ohio.

For Coughlin's comments on Strahan, click here...

Q: You [Coach Coughlin] and Michael [Strahan] had an interesting relationship over the years. What does it feel like for you to see how he began and now going into the Hall of Fame?
A: Incredible pride. Michael Strahan was a great football player. He had ability and was taught right from the beginning. He practiced hard, ran to the ball, was a great example for the younger guys in doing that, and excellent in the classroom. He was a dynamic leader and had one of those magnetic personalities where everyone was attracted to him. He was a superb player on the field in both the pass and the run. Yeah, we didn’t necessarily see eye to eye right away, but thank goodness we won Michael over. We spent some time together and went through some times that were good and bad. I think that he appreciated the fact that what we were trying to do was in the best interest of everybody and the team and being the best we could be. He became an outstanding captain and very good in the leadership council. He did a great job with us that way. Couldn’t be more proud of him as he made the transition out of football to life and how successful he’s been in the business he’s in now. To his family, mom and dad, nothing but congratulations and happiness for this wonderful, wonderful recognition. To be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is a wonderful thing and gives us another great Giant. When we go out there and pass through the Hall of Fame, we can see the bust of another great Giant football player along with all the others.

Q: Was seeing eye-to-eye with Strahan, however you managed to accomplish that, one of the keys you think to that first Super Bowl?
A: No doubt, I think it was because of the fact that Michael was so strong in the locker room. I think also the way in which our organization handled that summer when he didn’t come right into camp and we still expressed the fact that – I know Michael and I had conversations in which I said, without a doubt, that we’d love to have him back but only if his heart was in the right place, and it was when he came back. Nobody was cheering harder in that last drive (of Super Bowl XLII) than Michael Strahan. Very, very proud of him, a very proud day for the New York Giants.

Q: Do you think he was rare because he played as well against the run as he was a pass rusher?
A: Rare, very rare. Not only that, but as he got into those 14, 15 years, he took his weight down. He was probably 252-254 [pounds], still playing with that kind of power over those right tackles with that punch and that great extension against the run. Just a great love of the game and competing with tremendous pride. His thought about fear of failure – I mean that’s a great motivator.

Q: Did his personality kind of influence you as you progressed in this job? He has such an infectious personality.
A: Well, so do I.

Q: You do, too. I’m just saying, the two of you playing off each other and just growing together.
A: Well he’s definitely himself and I try to be myself. The thing that I picked up on right away is that he’s one of the classic – I mean he has a great time with anybody if he wants to bust their chops, but he can take it. And they come right back at him; they can’t wait to get at him and he was always great with that, too. No hard feelings, in other words.

Q: He’s been gone for six or seven years now, but it seems like he still has a large shadow on this team.
A: Well only because when he comes over. He struck up a relationship with Damontre [Moore]. He was always here for [Justin] Tuck and all the guys in that room. Last year in the fall, we had him over and he sat in with the defensive coaches, sat in there with the players. We haven’t been able to get him over here yet this year, but I’m sure we will. I’m sure we will.

Q: It’s hard to take a young player and say, “look, you could be like Michael,” but is that a good goal to have for some of these young defensive ends? You know, “look what he did; maybe you can do some of that too.”
A: That’s a great goal. He sets a great example, let’s face it. The way he practiced, studied, worked at it. Very opinionated, no question about it. Very loquacious, one of those personalities that had a lot of fun but could get serious and could ask serious questions. You have to respect that. Always.

Q: How does it feel to have a guy that you coached now be a Hall of Famer?
A: It’s a wonderful feeling shared by our whole staff. What a great feeling.

Q: Does it also amaze you that he’s now a guy that even in retirement you will lean on to set an example? That’s a long way for a guy who I would imagine at first you weren’t sure where this was going to end up.
A: I don’t know what you’re trying to get me to say. I think I talked enough about that part of it. No matter what he felt like, he came to work and he worked hard and went out and played hard. I think that once he realized that we were all doing that and trying to do the best we can, there was never any friction after that. That last year was a tremendous experience for everybody.

Q: You got to go through the Hall last year when Bill [Parcells] went in. Are you going to take the team there this year?
A: Yes. We’re going there and we’ll travel through. The hotel is about an hour away and we’ll send the team on their way and we’ll stay for the ceremony.

Most of the other questions were directed to the injuries of the day. RB David Wilson went down after catching a pass and running into one of his linemen. Wilson was just recently cleared for action after undergoing neck surgery in the offseason. The injury – you guessed it – was to his neck, a “stinger”, or “burner”. He was sent off to NYC for observation after practice.

Coughlin was non-committal on the status of Wilson’s condition.

“We’ll hear what they (the doctors) have to say first,” he said. “We were all praying that he wouldn’t have an issue and come back to work. He was cleared, as you know. We’ll see. I’m not going to speculate what it is and see what the doctors say.”

Three WRs (Rueben Randle, Odell Beckham, Jr and Trindon Holliday) missed practice Tuesday due to various leg injuries. Coughlin said Beckham, who is not due back until next week at the soonest, came to speak with him today.

“We just had a discussion. Just player-coach, trying to get to know each other a little better. I see his frustration and he sees our frustration. But don’t make it more than what it is,” said Coughlin. “It’s a coach wanting a player on the field and a player wanting a player on the field. It’ll happen and when you’re cleared to go, you’ll go. You’re going to earn the respect of your teammates by what you do on the field and how well you study and work right now.”

Randle was held due to a sore hammy of his own. Holliday had an undisclosed leg ailment. TE Xavier Grimble (hamstring) returned to duty after missing several workouts.

Coughlin was asked his early impression of CB Walter Thurmond III, who was a member of the Seattle Seahawks’ Super Bowl-winning team last February.

“He’s an aggressive player,” the coach said. “He comes from a program that just won. He’s done a nice job at the nickel and a nice job at the corner…but the fact that he was graded very well and we felt that he could be an upgrade was the most important thing (when signing him).”

Beason running on treadmill at practice

Jon Beason was running on a treadmill off to the side of practice on Tuesday.

Beason, who is working back from a broken bone in his foot, said he wants to play in preseason games, or at least play in week one of the regular season. He was able to avoid surgery on his foot.

Wilson suffers burner, walks off

David Wilson suffered a burner in practice on Tuesday.

4:45 pm: Wilson was sent to the Hospital for Special Surgery for a “battery of tests” (Vacchiano, July 29)

Wilson walked off the field toward the end of practice on Tuesday. Later, Tom Coughlin told reporters that Wilson suffered a “burner,” which is the term for an intense nerve pain near the base of the next.

The running back is coming back from neck surgery and was just recently cleared for contact.

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

This is obviously disturbing news for the Giants. It took a long time for Wilson to be cleared this summer, and now he could be back to the start with this latest setback.

Wilson has looked very good in camp thus far, displaying the great speed and elusiveness that caught the Giants’ eye in the 2012 NFL Draft when he was their first round pick.

The Giants learned their lesson from last season and stocked up on RBs, so Wilson’s reps will go to someone else but none of them have the special skill set he possesses.

Randle, Holliday, Grimble out on Tuesday

Ruben Randle, Trindon Holliday and Xavier Grimble are among the players not on the field at Training Camp on Tuesday.

Grimble is wearing shoulder pads with the injured group, though.

Odell Beckham Jr. is on the field catching punts.


Beckham has blood in hamstring, talked with Coughlin

Odell Beckham Jr. said that doctors found he has blood in his hamstring and is considered day-to-day.

Beckham went for tests on Monday after missing almost all of the first week of training camp with a hamstring injury.

The injury to the rookie wide receiver hasn’t gone over well with Head Coach Tom Coughlin, who sat down with the first-round pick on Tuesday.

Beckham said he wanted to assure Coughlin that he wants — badly — to be on the field and that he might have gone out too hard too soon in his first training camp. He also said he plans to play this preseason, but won’t play in Sunday’s game.

Manning wants to be like Jeter

As the New York Yankees shortstop looks to wrap up his career after his 20th season with the Yankees, Manning enters his 11th with the hopes of one day retiring just like Jeter: with only one team listed under his name (Daily News, July 28).

“He’s been a good role model and we’ve kept up with each other a little bit,” Manning said Monday. “On and off the field, what he’s been able to do as a player and the way he’s respected and the way he’s gone about his business — for a young player in New York, he’s a good role model.”

Jeter became Manning’s role model early on in the quarterback’s career. After a difficult six-game losing streak kicked off his pro career, Manning was surprised to get a phone call one day from the Hall of Fame bound shortstop offering encouragement.

“He was supportive of me. We had lost a few games and he was trying to get a feel for things,” Manning said. “He said to keep grinding, keep working.”

While Manning has many goals still left to achieve in his career, he  hopes to do them all as a member of the Giants organization.

“I think that’s always your goal, especially after you’ve been there a number of years, to finish with an organization,” Manning said. “I think that’s where you are comfortable, especially a terrific organization like the New York Giants. Obviously, you never know the circumstances that might pop up and what will occur. So you got to take advantage of the years that you are here and the years you are playing and make them the best.”

JPP said this weekend, "I feel like I’m at, I’d say, 75%" and is pain-free.

Is JPP back? The signs are there…

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

Giants’ DE Jason Pierre-Paul has gone on an odyssey of sorts since his Pro Bowl season of 2011 when he recorded 16.5 sacks. Injuries to his back and shoulder have reduced the former wunderkind to just a shell of his former self.

But after sinking to unforeseen depths the past two years (only 8.5 sacks in 27 games), JPP is crowing that he’s ready to return to superhero status.

“My mind. I’m 110 percent. I’m not worried about anything,” JPP said last week. “My main goal is to start the season off healthy, which I am, get some preseason games in and play some football. I feel like I’ve been out for a year.”

He’s say he feels better than he has since the end of the 2012 season.

“I came here for minicamp (last year) and I felt terrible and then that’s when I had to go get surgery. That was a long time. Three years ago, right? But now I’m back and ready to go. I’m ready. It is what it is.”

To read more of this story, click here

Is a 70% completion percentage asking too much of Eli?

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

New QB coach Danny Langsdorf said yesterday the Giants want to raise their completion percentage to around 70 percent from the 57.5 percent mark Eli Manning logged last season.

“We’d love to be there at 70 percent, it hasn’t been done very often. That’s the ultimate goal,” Langsdorf told reporters on Monday. “But we want to raise his (Eli’s) completion percentage for sure. I don’t know about the history, maybe because they took more shots downfield, but we’d love to shoot for 70. I think it’s been eight or nine times maybe. I think Brees maybe has done it a few times lately but that’s an impressive statistic if you look at the history of the league. That’s what we’re gunning for is 70%.”

That could easily be achieved with the calls for shorter passes and screen plays that new OC Ben McAdoo plans to implement this season. Eli has traditionally been one of the league’s top deep passers. That philosophy has made him both famous and infamous at the same time.

His “home run” mentality has won him two Super Bowl MVPs, but it has also doomed the Giants when a more conservative approach would have gotten the job done. He’s led the NFL in INTs in three of his ten seasons as a pro.

So, can Eli shift that philosophy and become a more efficient passer? Paul Schwartz of the Post says history is against him…

“Consider that Manning’s best season as far as accuracy was 2010, when he completed 62.9 percent of his passes. He’s gone down every year since and dipped to 57.5 percent in his horrid 27-interception 2013 performance. Even at his best, Manning, operating a more high-risk, high-reward offense, was never close to the NFL leaders in completion percentage. His career 58.5 percent is fairly pedestrian.”

From GEICO SportsNite: Eli Manning accepts the challenge of completing 70 percent of his passes this year, while the Giants are frustrated with Odell Beckham Jr.

Tuesday Notebook: With Beckham down, Mario could be ‘X-factor’ at WR

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

The Giants will practice today under at QDTC under clear skies and pleasant temperatures. Monday’s practice was in full pads, but only lasted about an hour as head coach Tom Coughlin opted to use the remaining time for another “recovery stretch.”

If you want to anger Coughlin, give him a rookie that misses valuable time in training camp due to an injury.

Two rookies, first-round pick Odell Beckham Jr., and UDFA TE Xavier Grimble, both missed practice again on Monday with sore hamstrings. Coughlin would not comment further on when either would be back, but you count them out of this week’s preseason opener Sunday night vs Buffalo in Canton.

Coughlin knows this is something he cannot control, but that doesn’t make it any easier for him to swallow. He’ll have to play the hand he’s been dealt, which isn’t exactly a bad one.

Mario ManninghamThe WR ranks are still teeming with players ready to take Beckham’s reps. Julian Talley, Travis Harvey, Preston Parker, Corey Washington, Trindon Holliday, Marcus Harris and yes, Mario Manningham, are all in camp and catching passes.

Manningham is back after two seasons in San Francisco in which he tore his ACL and PCL, costing him a chance to play in the Super Bowl two years ago and then continued to hobble him last year.

The Giants decided to bring Mario back in hopes he can recapture the connection he formed with QB Eli Manning during his first tour with Big Blue. Two problems, however. He is – by admission – still recovering from the knee surgery, and the Giants he is coming back to are a different team. They have a load of new faces and a brand, spanking new playbook.

“We are getting back on the same page, knowing we have a new offense, knowing that we have been away from each other for a couple years,” said Mario of his rapport with Eli. “It will take a little bit of time. We are working on it.”

Although Manningham appears to be as fluid as many of the young bucks vying for a roster spot, he knows he’s a ways away from being comfortable on the field.

Coming in and out of my breaks, knowing I have the injury, it is taking me a little bit of time, but every day, as I said, it is getting better and better. Coming out of my breaks, that is it, just want to come out of my breaks smooth and fluid like I was… I have to knock a couple cobwebs off, but I am getting there.”

It could be that Manningham, not Beckham, becomes the player the Giants rely on in 2014 to supplement Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle at WR. He knows that won’t just be handed to him on reputation alone.

“What happened is in the past. This is still a new team to me. New faces. New staff. New offense. I am going out there like I want to make this team, not like I already made the team or I got drafted here. I have something to prove also.”

That comeback could be just what the Giants need as they seek to offset the possible loss of Beckham for an extended period of time.

Beckham wasn’t at practice Monday, tests on hamstring came back negative

10:13 p.m.: Tests taken on Odell Beckham, Jr.‘s injured hamstring on Monday came back negative (Raanan, July 28).

The expectation is that Beckham will be out for at least another week.

Odell Beckham Jr. is not on the sidelines — or even at practice — on Monday (Vacchiano, July 28).

Beckham is with trainers and likely went for tests on his hamstring with doctors, Coughlin said (Orr, July 28).

He is out with the hamstring injury, one he’s been battling since OTAs.

Earlier: Coughlin frustrated by Beckham injury