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New York Giants’ Tom Coughlin Sending Mixed Signals Regarding Hakeem Nicks

January 7th, 2014 at 10:30 AM
By Billy Javed

Following a tumultuous season, New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin was able to vent some of his frustration on air in a WFAN Radio interview with Mike Francesa. In the interview, Coughlin discusses a wide array of topics ranging from whether or not Kevin Gilbride’s departure was actually a personal decision, to why exactly was the offense “broken” and what needs to be done in order for the Giants to be contenders once again.

In the midst of some generic answers, Coughlin did offer some insight into the Hakeem Nicks situation, where some rumors suggest he is finished with the Giants, while others maintain he will be back.

Coughlin’s remarks seem to be sending mixed signals as he initially mentions a disconnect within the offense where “an element of trust of was lost.” The comments were initially in reference to the struggles of Eli Manning and his receivers, primarily Hakeem Nicks.

“You lost an element of trust in a couple of ways. When an individual turns a ball down, when a recognized route adjustment is not followed, and the quarterback throws an interception,” Coughlin explained.

The initial portion of Coughlin’s jab may have been directed towards Nicks, whose effort has been questioned this past year, while the latter may have been swung in the direction of Rueben Randle, whose shady route running has yielded his fair share of interceptions. Though some have also argued the disconnect or mistrust that plagued the Giants' wide receivers was a result of a desperate Eli Manning forcing throws into dangerous areas where his receivers could get severely injured in games that are almost meaningless considering the Giants’ overall ineptitude this year on the offensive side of the ball. Whatever the case may be, Coughlin expects tremendous change in 2014 and Hakeem Nicks may or may not be with the Giants to experience it.

Coughlin would later address Nicks specifically when he discussed Nicks’ struggles this past year.

"Well, it just didn’t happen for him. We all scratch our heads over that one because when Hakeem came back he wanted it more than we will ever know. He had certain things happen year to him,” Coughlin said. “A couple of times the ball would be there and he just didn’t go for the ball and a couple other time he just wasn’t able to get himself open on a continuous basis. It just wasn’t a very productive year, as much as we would like to think. A couple years ago there wasn’t a more productive receiver than Hakeem. Hopefully for his benefit and his family, he comes back and has a great year."

An overly obsessive observer could surmise that Coughlin is sending mixed signals, but more likely than not, Coughlin is simply being honest. He was not happy with Nicks’ performance this past year and is potentially even disappointed considering the praise he gives the Hakeem Nicks of old. There’s no guarantee Coughlin is willing to forgive Nicks’ occasional effortless outings, but if Nicks can be the same All-Pro receiver he was and the Giants can get him at a reasonable price, Coughlin may be open to a reunion. Only time will tell.

Photo credit: Football Schedule / / CC BY-NC-SA


Tags: Eli Manning, Football, Hakeem Nicks, Kevin Gilbride, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Rueben Randle, Tom Coughlin

9 Responses to “New York Giants’ Tom Coughlin Sending Mixed Signals Regarding Hakeem Nicks”

  1.  Krow says:

    If we had any intention of signing Nicks we’d have used our contract year leverage to extend him.

  2.  GOAT56 says:

    I really don’t get some Giant fans infatuation with Nov Turner. So many wanted Gillbride gone because we had struggled that past 2 years though he has 2 SBs and years of highly ranked offenses. At 62 the game is said to have passed Gillbride by. Now enter Norv an OC who hasn’t won a SB in decades, has struggled producing offense the last 3 years and by the way is 61. I just don’t get it. Just because he’s been viewed from a far doesn’t mean he’s better.

    Like Kujo and a few others have brought up this offensive of system is not broken. It clearly works, 2011 is only 2 years ago. The issue outside of the players seemed to be communication and the way plays were called at times. TC is not going to completely change a system that has been so successful for him and let’s not forget he’s an offensive coach. A new coach can bring some new ideas but is only tweaking this offense. Therefore, having an OC familiar with the basics of the system makes sense. Many assistant coaches are great on their first jobs the Carolina DC and Sean Payton come to mind. IMO a younger OC coming off of his first job who has a bright offensive mind is better than a retread old OC like Norv.

    •  Krow says:

      Yep, I agree. Let’s get a bright up-and-comer.

    •  rlhjr says:

      Or the good old boy Coughlin will bring in. IMO adding Truners play calling ability and his flair for getting players open down field would be a breath of fresh air. And Coughlins principals can still be adheared to. I’m sure it would excite the skill players.

      However, I suspect something more than a shotgun draw would be run on third and five.

      I like Jimbo Fisher too. Nothing wrong with an older coach with a sharp and forward looking mind.

      As for Nicks, Coughlin was a recievers coach. And his outlook in this area is not being called into question. He had the presents of mind to keep Cruz!
      I think he is truly puzzled by the enigma Nicks has become. In my heart of hearts I think the Giants should let him go and concentrate on finding a big reciever who can play tight end and split out to the slot or wide.

      ANSWER: Ebron
      PROBLEM: Most likely gone in the third round.

      •  skinnydoogan says:

        Yes to all.

      •  rlhjr says:


        He (might work wonders with a healthy Wilson and Brown. He would damn sure get Wilson isolated where he could use that world class speed.

        But again, it all starts with some semblance of an offensive line.

        If I was an OC of note, I would not set foot in the Giants front or back door unless they promised that two of their first three picks would be offensive linemen. Either that or they had their sights set on a couple of top shelf offensive line free agents.

  3.  stuh says:

    I’ll repeat what I said about this is Coughlin’s team and I am convinced that he has a lot more to do with the play calling than most of the folks around here think. If Gillbride’s horrible play calling in the Red Zone was only his decisions then why are they interviewing these failures as his replacements? They are Coughlin’s boys with his philosophy.
    I think Reese is just a figure head and Coughlin and Mara have the final say. Gilbride was let go to shut up the media and fans.

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