New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin continued on Thursday to be miffed by the absence of Hakeem Nicks from the team's voluntary OTAs, and by the lack of communication from the star wide receiver.
Asked after Thursday's workout if he was disappointed Nicks was not in attendance, Coughlin said "Certainly I am." Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York reported that Coughlin said he has not been in touch with Nicks.
Defensive ends Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul were also not in attendance, along with wide receiver Victor Cruz. Coughlin told reporters he was aware that Tuck, who is hosting a charity event today, and Pierre-Paul would not be at the workout. Cruz, still seeking a new contract, was also not expected.
"At one point Hakeem told me that he was going to be here and then he was not here. Now the strictest interpretation, as everybody knows, is it’s a voluntary program," Coughlin said. "It would be great to have all of our guys working and feeling good about the progress we’re making."
Coughlin added that "most of the time" players let him know if they will not be in attendance.
Valentine's View: It is critical to remember that these workouts are voluntary, per league rules. I have to agree with Coughlin, however, that it is mystifying why Nicks would not let the organization know why he isn't attending.
Here is more from Coughlin following Thursday's workout.
On newly-signed players Kyle Bosworth and Chase Clement:
"We worked them out and we felt like they made a nice fit with Bosworth being a linebacker, special teamer and Clement being a guy that we could use not only as a tight end, but as a move fullback type guy. So multiple position guys plus special teams."
On replacing injured Henry Hynoski at fullback:
"We’re very confident that Bear [Pascoe], no matter what role we place him in, he does an outstanding job. ... If there’s a qualified guy [on the free-agent market], we would consider it."
On the progress of second-year player Rueben Randle:
"He’s moving in that direction. He certainly has had many, many opportunities and if there’s a guy that really has a chance to step his game up and really show what he can do it’s happening right now for Rueben."
-- The Giants today announced that Marc Ross has received a new title, Vice President of Player Evaluation. He had been the Director of College Scouting.
"Marc has done an outstanding job of running our college scouting and the draft, and we wanted to give him a title that reflected that," said Giants general manager Jerry Reese. "He will continue to do that, but I also want him to work on some special projects in pro personnel along with pro personnel director Ken Sternfeld."
-- Bill Austin, who played and coached for the Giants in an NFL career that included stints with eight teams and spanned almost four decades, passed away this week at his home in Las Vegas. He was 84.
An offensive lineman, Austin was the Giants' 13th-round draft choice in 1949, from Oregon State. He played for the team from in 1949-50 and from 1953-57. Austin played in 75 games in his seven seasons, was a Pro Bowl guard in 1954 and a member of the Giants' 1956 NFL championship team.
Austin was the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1966-68. The Steelers were 11-28-3 during his tenure and he was replaced in 1969 by Chuck Noll. In 1969, Austin joined Lombardi's Washington Redskins staff as the offensive line coach. When Lombardi was diagnosed with cancer and had to relinquish his duties, Austin was promoted to head coach. The Redskins were 6-8 in 1970 and Austin was let go following the season. He then coached the offensive lines for the Chicago Bears (1971), St. Louis Cardinals (1972), Redskins (1973-77) and the Giants (1979-82). He concluded his career with the New Jersey Generals of the USFL (1983-84) and the Jets (1985).