First published on Examiner
New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin wants more from the team’s wide receivers in 2010. Missing practices is not the way to achieve that goal.
“I think it doesn’t help any that Hakeem (Nicks) is out one practice a day and now (Mario) Manningham is out with whatever he has, soreness in the groin area,” Coughlin explained during Tuesday’s morning practice. “When they miss a practice, they really don’t understand that they’re not just missing a practice, they miss opportunities for the team to continue to move along with the guys who have proven on the field that they can play. It’s a group we are expecting a lot from.”
NFL training camps aren’t all about injuries and who’s participating in which practices. For many teams, these practices are also about getting acquainted with new coaches and schemes. Coughlin spoke about the Giants’ cornerbacks playing under new defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, saying “I think they’ve (the CBs) all shown at different times an aggressiveness. Obviously you saw a couple more catches out there by those guys. So it’s been good. Technically, they’re doing okay. They’re doing well. Just little things here and there just with alignment, etc. that they have to be coached.”
Tom Coughlin, one of the more “all-business” NFL head coaches, is happy that the Giants have had little, if any, “distractions” heading into training camp and the 2010 preseason. Coughlin remarked “We are here to work, prepare, and become the best team we can be. We have a short amount of time to do that, and we certainly don’t need anything except their effort, their focus, and all of their time spent on being the best team they can be and not other things.”
Eli Manning’s 2010 season was arguably the best of his NFL career, considering the fact he spent about 2/3 of it playing on one good foot. Tom Coughlin expects even better things from Manning in 2010. “I chart all the previous year and we sit and talk about where (Manning) has to go and what would be the next level of improvement for Eli and we chart it,” Coughlin stated. “He sees it and his completion percentage and his reduction of turnovers, touchdown passes, all those things. They’re point blank for him. I’ll give that to him and the quality of play and the step he took a year ago. We expect it to take place again.” Coughlin went on to say “(Eli’s) always talking to all the receivers and he’s taking a lot of responsibility with it because of our young guys.”
Tom Coughlin is not the same hard-nosed head coach from years back, but he’s hardly a grandfather figure while on the sidelines. He expects his players to be ready physically and mentally come September. Pushing players such as Mario Manningham, linebacker Michael Boley and even Eli Manning is simply Coughlin’s way of saying “You can play better.” All players, even Super Bowl MVPs, need to prove themselves to the coach.
Even in August.
All quotes via the New York Giants Communications Office
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