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Tom Coughlin says 'radical change' on defense is unlikely

Coach says he is "open and flexible" to change, but that it will be dictated by personnel.

Tom Coughlin
Tom Coughlin
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said Wednesday during an appearance on WFAN that while he is "open and flexible" to changing the team's defensive scheme that "I don't think you'll see radical change."

Coughlin is, of course, in the process of searching for a new defensive coordinator to replace the ousted Perry Fewell. He spent much of Wednesday interviewing Steve Spagnuolo, the Giants former defensive coordinator who is considered a leading candidate for the current opening. Coughlin has also interviewee Pepper Johnson, Dennis Allen and Raheem Morris.

"We know exactly what we're trying to accomplish," Coughlin said.

Coughlin let Fewell and defensive backs coach Peter Giunta go at the end of the season.

"I just felt like change was necessary there. It didn't work the way we wanted it to work," Coughlin said.

Here are some of the other topics Coughlin addressed Wednesday during his appearance with Mike Francesa:

-- Like Jerry Reese before him, Coughlin said that Justin Pugh is the team's right tackle ... for now. "He stays at right tackle until something better allows us to have some flexibility. That decision is forthcoming." To be honest, that certainly sounds like the Giants plan to actively look for a tackle.

-- Coughlin also made it seem like a move to center for Weston Richburg is not out of the question. Again like Reese, Coughlin indicated he felt the 2014 second-round pick's future is at center.

-- One more about the offensive line. Coughlin said the Giants didn't need a massive overhaul there, "but that "we certainly do need to improve."

-- What do the Giants need to do to be better in 2015? Coughlin said the Giants have to get back to being a balanced team that performs well in all three phases consistently. "We have to do a better job of stopping the run and we have to do a better job of running the ball, and we have to be able to do that with consistency," he said.

-- The coach believes he can lead the Giants back to the top despite the last two seasons and the fact that history shows Super Bowl winning coaches don't often rise again after things begin to go sour. "The competitive drive in me makes me feel like we can do it again ... I want to bring it back. I want to see it happen again."