New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin spent some time with Michael Kay of ESPN Radio New York on Tuesday, when Kay broadcasted his show from Giants training camp at the Timex Performance Center. Sports Radio Interviews has the full transcript, and we have some excerpts below.
Why do you think Eli Manning struggled so much last season throwing the football? Did he force the issue last year?
“I don’t know that I would agree forcing the issue. I think if you looked at the beginning of our season there was the tipped balls that plagued us for quite awhile. We had one out here today and this afternoon. I think it is important for everyone to realize when you are putting a team together that sometimes to punt the ball is not a bad thing. Now it’s an atrocity to turn it over. … Last year was a terrible year from that standpoint and if you would have told me we would lead the league in takeaways and lead the league in giveaways I probably would have told you that you were crazy, but we did.”
Do you worry that Osi Umenyiora won’t go as hard for this football team this year because they didn’t care of him financially?
“I don’t think that is that young man. I think he has made the decision. I think he is coming on the field and I think he is a great competitor and really an outstanding player. He knows that he fits our team very, very well and we need him and that we want him. I’ve seen it these last two days just the way he has worked on the field against Will Beatty and I remember when Beatty first got here how he sort of allowed Will to grow up by having to try to pass protect against Osi, so I think we are going to get a guy that’s committed to his teammates and his team and is going to give us a heck of a year.”
What do you think of your team? The Philadelphia Eagles made a ton of big signings this off-season. Are you guys on that level?
“I think we are a good football team. I think we have every opportunity to be a better football team."
The party line with the Giants is that they feel good about their football team despite the public perception that the NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles have done more to improve. We’ll see.