Tom Coughlin, sounding very much like a man who fully expects to be coaching the New York Giants in 2014, had a number of interesting things to say Friday during an interview with Mike Francesa on WFAN.
Coughlin recognizes that changes need to be made after a 7-9 season that left the Giants out of the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons:
"I would hope that the entire organization senses what John Mara said the other day, and everybody’s up on their toes. …Do we have to change things? Sure. We’ve gotta get some things back in perspective and in order and start doing things with the execution and the efficiency that we’ve had here. And I believe we can do it."
Mara said the offense was "broken" and that the Giants needed to enter 2014 with different personnel.
" ‘Broken’ is a term that can lead to many things. There’s no excuses for anything, but there (were) certainly a lot of pieces missing, and the pieces that were there, some of them did not perform at the level that we wanted to," Coughlin said. "We did not accomplish what we set out to. We didn’t play as well as we would have liked to have played."
Coughlin said Kevin Gilbride, who retired this week as offensive coordinator, was not forced out.
"To think that there's any one individual who is responsible for the circumstances that we found ourselves in, that's crazy," the head coach told Francesa. "Kevin Gilbride is an excellent football coach, he's an excellent teacher and communicator. His players do respond to him. He works very, very hard at his trade ... He has made his mark on this organization."
Coughlin did say there was an "element of trust" lost between quarterback Eli Manning and his receivers this season.
"You lost an element of trust in a couple of ways," Coughlin said. "When an individual turns the ball down or when a recognized route adjustment is not followed and the quarterback throws the ball and it becomes an interception you have things of this nature happen.
"It seemed like we had too many of them in the very beginning of the season."
On running back David Wilson. Francesa asked if the organization made a 'mistake' on how much Wilson could handle.
"I don't think it was too much for him. I do think he got off to a very bad start because the question had always been is he going to be able to come out and take care of the football. I honestly thought he would come out and take care of the football, it just didn't happen."
On Jerrel Jernigan, who caught 19 passes in the final three games after having caught only 13 in 29 previous NFL games.
"I saw a different young man late in the season, a very, very competitive guy. Something in his eyes that I hadn't seen before," Coughlin said. "I saw a toughness in him, I saw a competitiveness in his eyes."
On the rough year experienced by Hakeem Nicks.
"It just didn't happen for him. We all scratch our heads over that one," Coughlin said. "It just wasn't a very productive year."
Coughlin praised the play of rookie offensive lineman Justin Pugh, and indicated it is possible the team would consider switching Pugh's position.
"This has been an outstanding year for him. This guy's a player," Coughlin said. "We look into this (a position switch) further. He's got the feet, he literally can go anywhere."
Around The Inter-Google
Ralph Vacchiano mentions in a post that the Giants are not likely to re-sign Nicks. That really isn't news -- it's been unlikely for months, regardless of anything Nicks says, that he would return to the Giants.
Dan Graziano of ESPN offered 33 thoughts on Manning on the quarterback's 33rd birthday.
Pat Traina recently offered a blueprint for fixing the Giants -- one written prior to the announcement Gilbride would retire.