Tom Coughlin goes off over Odell Beckham questions (Audio)

Tom-Coughlin-Least-Wanted-NFL-CoachWith less than a week remaining until the New York Giants kick off their 2014 season, Tom Coughlin is sick of fielding questions about his first-round draft pick. When a reporter asked about Odell Beckham Jr. — who has battled hamstring injuries throughout the offseason — on Monday, Coughlin went off.

“Why don’t we … let’s just let this kid get better, OK?” Coughlin began, per Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger. “Everybody, settle down and let the kid get better.”

What Coughlin said next made it difficult to determine if he is more frustrated with the media or Beckham’s inability to get healthy.

“I mean, I went to him yesterday and said, ‘Look, let’s just not have any more setbacks. Whatever it takes to get over this, let’s do this. Let’s encourage him and not let him feel like he’s an outsider, let’s get on with it,'” Coughlin said. “But, I mean, to talk about it every day, I’ll let you know when he’s ready to do something. I’ll let you know.”

A reporter then asked Coughlin why he felt the need to get defensive, at which point the 68-year-old head coach admitted Beckham might be a few weeks away from playing.

“Because it’s every day,” he said. “It’s the same question over and over. He is not ready to play. He may be a couple, three weeks away. So we’re not going to talk about him. We have a game to play. Can we talk about the guys playing in the game, instead of just the people on the injury report? Thank you for bearing with me on that.”

Beckham re-injured his hamstring on Aug. 19, though the Giants later insisted the rookie did not have a setback. He has not practiced since, and Beckham said he doesn’t even remember why he stopped practicing to begin with. The situation has been extremely cloudy, plus Beckham is a 12th overall pick. That’s why reporters keep asking.

If they ask again on Tuesday, Coughlin might really blow a gasket.

Tom Coughlin: Hakeem Nicks has not been reliable

Hakeem-Nicks-GiantsNew York Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks has the physical tools needed to be one of the most dominant wideouts in the NFL. He’s big, strong, has massive hands and is a good route runner. In past seasons, injuries have been an issue. This year, Nicks can’t stop dropping the ball.

The Giants got their first win of the season against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night, but it was not pretty. Nicks dropped a number of passes and finished with just 28 yards on two catches, despite being targeted 10 times. He has been targeted 18 times in the past two games and has only six receptions to show for it. On Wednesday, Tom Coughlin acknowledged that Nicks has been inconsistent.

“You’ve got to get to the point where the reliability factor is there as strongly as it always has been,” Coughlin said, per Ralph Vacchiano of the NY Daily News. “Has it been there up to this point? No. But we’re saying ‘Let’s get back to work and get this done.’ We count on this guy.”

Coughlin also added that he does not believe Nicks has been distracted by his impending free agency, noting that there is really no excuse for his three drops against the Vikings.

“The competitor that he is, he’s very much aware,” Coughlin said. “And quite frankly he’s always gobbled those balls up. So explanation? I wouldn’t offer an excuse. I’m sure he wouldn’t either.”

Has Nicks been a disappointment this season? Aside from a couple of big games, he has been virtually nonexistent. But there is no real way to pinpoint the most significant issue on a 1-6 team. Eli Manning has thrown 15 interceptions, which already matches his total from 2012. The G-Men rank 31st in the NFL in rushing. Their defense has allowed more than 30 points per game. Nicks can take a number at this point.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Mike Francesa goes off on caller, gets so flustered he spills his Diet Coke (Video)

Mike-Francesa-spills-cokeMike Francesa is probably very glad it’s Friday. After another week of being harassed by callers and allowing it to get under his skin, it was more of the same for Mike during his WFAN show on Friday afternoon. For starters, he had a caller who proposed that the New York Giants should fired Tom Coughlin and Coughlin should go back to coaching the Jacksonville Jaguars. The caller felt (not really) that the Jags could make a playoff push.

Of course, Francesa immediately realized he was being heckled. He went with his go-to response of asking the caller if he had a job or did anything with his life. The caller said he was a student, and Francesa went back and forth with him for a bit before hanging up. The best part was Francesa hit the dump button and then asked the caller another question, waiting for his response as if he was still on the line.

But that wasn’t all. Our man Jimmy Traina shared another video of The Pope later on in his segment that was even better than the clip you see above. Francesa — in typically cranky Francesa fashion — decided he was done with callers for the time being. He was so irritated that he even spilled his bottle of Diet Coke all over his desk. Check it out:

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Justin Tuck: If anyone turns on Tom Coughlin, I’ll punch them in the mouth

Justin-Tuck-Cowboys-Not-Americas-TeamThe Tom Coughlin hot seat talk has arrived a bit earlier than usual for the New York Giants this season. Coughlin has led the team to two Super Bowl championships since 2008, but he can’t seem to avoid folks calling for his job on an annual basis. Now that the Giants are off to an 0-4 start, the questions are already rolling in.

After Sunday’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, wide receiver Victor Cruz questioned Coughlin’s decision to not go for it on 4th-and-1 in Giants’ territory in the third quarter. Cruz caught a pass that was initially ruled a first down, but Andy Reid challenged the spot and won. New York was only trailing by three at the time, so punting seemed like a no-brainer. Not to Cruz.

“I thought we should have gone for it on that fourth down,” Cruz said, via the NY Daily News. “It’s coach’s call at the end of the day.”

Cruz was then reminded that his team was only down three and the ball was at New York’s 30-yard line.

“If it was me? Yes (I would have gone for it). Because we had the momentum,” he added. “I felt it was a yard, not even a yard, half a yard, we’ve got to take a risk at some point and make something happen.”

“I don’t know. It was Coach’s decision. I’m not getting in Coach’s head. It was Coach’s decision to do what he has to do. He’s the head honcho. He makes the call and I just go out there and abide by his rules.”

Justin Tuck strongly disagreed with Cruz. The veteran defensive lineman said anyone who thinks the team should have gone for it is an “idiot.” He also warned against any players who are planning to turn against the head coach after a rough start to the season.

“If anyone turns on our coach, I would be the first one to punch him in the mouth,” Tuck said. “And put that in print. It better not happen, I know that.”

Coughlin has made a career of getting his teams to continue fighting and making improbable runs come playoff time. It may already be too late for that this year. The last thing the Giants need right now is a locker room rift.

Tom Coughlin’s brother John dies after freak accident

Tom-Coughlin-GiantsJohn Coughlin, the brother of New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, died on Monday night following a freak accident. The 63-year-old attended New York’s game against the Denver Broncos on Sunday. When he was exiting a taxi outside his home after leaving Met Life Stadium, he fell and hit his head. Larry Remmen, a friend of Coughlin’s who was standing with him at the game, said the fall led to a brian injury.

“As a result of the fall, he had a brain hemorrhage,” Remmen explained, via the NY Daily News. “It was just a freak thing that happened.”

Coughlin was rushed to the hospital on Sunday night and died the following evening. Tom, 67, is planning to coach his team against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday after losing his only brother.

“Our family is thankful for the expressions of sympathy and prayers for our brother John’s passing,” the Giants coach said in a statement. “We all appreciate them. John was a friend to all. He loved life, and he will be greatly missed. He left us way too soon.”

Any death in the family is difficult to deal with, but one that happens so suddenly and tragically reminds us of how fragile life can be. Our thoughts are with Coughlin and his family during this incredibly difficult time.

Tiki Barber: Tom Coughlin threw newspapers in my face

tiki-barber-tom-coughlinFormer New York Giants running back Tiki Barber and head coach Tom Coughlin never really got along during their three seasons together. Their disagreements have been well-documented, but Barber has supposedly attempted to reconcile with Coughlin in recent years and been shut down.

While co-hosting “The Morning Show” on CBS Sports Radio Thursday morning, Barber provided some detail about what his relationship with Coughlin was like toward the end of his career in New York. One of their feuds took place after Barber told reporters the Giants needed to run the ball more following a 26-10 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2006.

“Tom Coughlin comes into my meeting room and he has all these newspapers and throws them in my face,” Barber said. “Like, physically, in my face. … He said, ‘What the F is this?‘ and throws them in my face.”

Barber, who said he was simply stating the truth about the team needing to hand the ball of more, said he responded to Coughlin with “like a thousand” F-bombs.

“Long story short, we ended up yelling at each other for 40 minutes,” he said. “Running backs left, the (offensive) linemen were next door, defensive linemen were on the other side. And at the end, I said, ‘You know what? I’m out of here.’”

Barber added that the only time he got along with Coughlin was on game days. Coughlin is known for being a hard-nosed coach, and that attitude clearly bothered Barber.

“Tell me, ‘do something because I say so’?” Barber recalled. “I’m not going to accept that.”

Coughlin is the head coach, so it was Barber’s job to accept that. The former Pro Bowler looks bad every time he criticizes Coughlin, simply because the team went on to win two Super Bowls after he retired. Stories about Coughlin acting like an a-hole do nothing to change that.

H/T LBS tipster David

Tom Coughlin angry with Hakeem Nicks for missing OTAs

Hakeem Nicks Super BowlHakeem 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.

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