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CBS Sports: New York Giants’ Tom Coughlin Still a Top 5 NFL Head Coach

March 26th, 2015 at 3:00 PM
By Dan Benton

After two sub-.500 seasons, New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is planted firmly on the hot seat. But even at 68-years-old and with no signs of slowing down, the common belief amongst fans, players and experts is that Coughlin remains one of the NFL's elite coaches. And in their most recent set of Head Coach Power Rankings, CBS Sports followed along those lines, listing Coughlin at No. 4 overall.

4. Tom Coughlin, New York Giants — His past two years haven't been good, but he has the two Super Bowl rings and has a 12-7 playoff record and seven 10-win seasons. He has five division titles, two with Jacksonville and three with the Giants. He faces a big challenge this season coming off a 6-10 record, his worst since 2004.

All of Coughlin's football accomplishments aside, what makes him one of the league's elite coaches is more about his ability to lead his players. On almost a daily basis, you see former and current players tweeting out quotes from the coach, expressing their appreciation for all he's done and praising him for helping to make each and every one of them a better person.

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New York Giants Expected to Use Dwayne Harris in David Tyree-Like Role

March 26th, 2015 at 1:00 PM
By Dan Benton

When the New York Giants signed wide receiver/return specialist Dwayne Harris, previously of the Dallas Cowboys, it was met with a lot of skepticism. After all, a player with only 31 career receptions getting paid $17.5 million with $7.1 million guaranteed over a five-year deal is enough to raise some eyebrows — or in the case of Grantland, enough to be anointed one of the worst signings in free agency.

If Harris were brought in specifically as a return man, then it would call into question General Manager Jerry Reese's decision to sign him to such a lucrative deal. But as we've speculated previously here at Giants 101, that's unlikely to be the case.

Not only has Reese stated he expects Harris to compete for snaps offensively, but on Wednesday during the NFC coaches breakfast, head coach Tom Coughlin alluded to a much more important role set aside for Harris — a role similar to the one handled by David Tyree during his time with Big Blue.

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Philadelphia Eagles’ Chip Kelly Continues His Praise of New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr.

March 26th, 2015 at 11:00 AM
By Dan Benton

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly isn't a man who fears saying whatever is on his mind — even if it's not a complete truth. And just prior to a Week 6 game between his Eagles and the New York Giants, Kelly admitted he was "very high" on wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in the 2014 NFL Draft. A few months later Kelly took is a step further and said he viewed Beckham Jr. as the elite prospect in the entire Draft.

"In my opinion, I thought he was the best in the draft, I think he is showing people that," Kelly said in late December. "They are moving him around more. Obviously, you have to know where he is at all times. They seem like they are putting him in more positions."

On Wednesday at the NFC coaches breakfast, Kelly continued his praise of Beckham Jr., once again reiterating his belief that the LSU product was the best player available in the Draft and that if he had his way, he'd be wearing an Eagles uniform.

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New York Giants’ Jonathan Casillas, J.T. Thomas Expected to Compete for Starting Job on Weakside

March 26th, 2015 at 9:00 AM
By Dan Benton

The New York Giants have paid both J.T. Thomas and Jonathan Casillas like starting linebackers, and at least one of them likely will be. With Jacquian Williams departing via free agency and precious few options on that side, head coach Tom Coughlin revealed on Wednesday that the duo — who will both contribute on Special Teams — will likely compete for the starting weakside job.

“They will make contributions in both ways,” Coughlin said. “Thomas played very well against us. Quite frankly, there is no better info as you get ready looking into free agency than people that have done well against you.

“Both will get plenty of opportunities. There is just more information about Thomas in normal down and distance situations than there is on Casillas. But we know they are both special.”

With Jon Beason back and likely to start in the middle, it does leave veteran Jameel McClain as the only other weakside option. However, the concern with Beason is that he's become more and more injury-prone with age, so the Giants may opt to prepare McClain to take over in the middle when/if the time comes, much like it did in 2015.

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New York Giants’ Tom Coughlin Optimistic Regarding Victor Cruz; Expects Return to Form

March 26th, 2015 at 7:00 AM
By Dan Benton

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin generally airs on the side of caution when it comes to injured players — especially when the players have suffered an injury as substantial as wide receiver Victor Cruz (torn patellar tendon). But when asked about his other star wideout on Wednesday at the NFC coaches breakfast, Coughlin not only spoke freely, but expressed some surprising optimism.

“I think he will be back to the player that he was and hopefully better,” Coughlin said. “Victor looks really good, he’s starting to run, I was in the field house watching him rehab, he’s coming along well.”

Cruz, who remains right on schedule with his rehab, began running on turf earlier this month and has endured no setbacks to this point. Doctors have been surprised at how well he's coming along, but despite all of the overwhelming positivity, Coughlin still isn't entirely sure when Cruz will receive the "all clear" from the Giants — although he expects it to come prior to the start of the regular season.

“I don’t know [when he'll return fully],” he said. “I shouldn’t say this, because medically I really do not have a definite answer, but by training camp, hopefully. He will work his way through.”

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