Hakeem Nicks has yet to report to organized team activities with the New York Giants this offseason, and he has not provided an acceptable excuse for his absence. In fact, head coach Tom Coughlin said Nicks has not given an excuse at all and that he expected him to be there. While the workouts are technically voluntary, Coughlin is clearly angry his 25-year-old wideout has gone MIA.
“At one point, Hakeem told me that he was going to be here, and then he was not here,” Coughlin said Thursday, via the NY Daily News. “Now, the strictest interpretation, as everybody knows, is it’s a voluntary program.”
For most NFL teams, voluntary means not showing up would be reasonable if you have another obligation. It’s more than a safe bet to assume the no call, no show is unacceptable in most organizations around the league.
“It’d be great to have all of our guys working and feeling good about the progress we’re making, and that type of thing,” Coughlin continued. “That’s just from a coach’s perspective. You deal with some of this, pretty much on a yearly basis. And it’s a product of our system and that’s the way it is. I can complain all I want, but nevertheless, it is our system.”
Justin Tuck, who is entering his ninth season with the Giants, said it is the lack of communication between Nicks and the team that is “kind of worrying.”
“Hakeem is young, he might not understand the importance of that part of it but I’m not worried about him being ready for the season,” Tuck told the NY Post on Thursday. “At the end of the day just let us know and I’m sure coach understands it. He might not show you he understands it, but he’s been around the game a long time and he understands the business side of it as well. He’ll probably still make you feel guilty about missing, it but I’m sure he understands as long as you explain it to him and it doesn’t catch him by surprise.”
Coughlin is not surprised that Victor Cruz, who is working toward a long-term extension with the team, has not attended OTAs. Other players have had to miss workouts as well, but Coughlin said all of those players communicated with him with the exception of Nicks.
For a player like Nicks who has massive potential but has battled injuries, being with the team and staying in shape is even more important. It’s early, but it’s safe to say he’s not off to a good start this offseason.Google+