Friday, February 26, 2010

Gotta Earn It

Mikey G.'s out at the scouting combine, which is a good thing because Tom Coughlin is there, too. The coach talked to the press a little while ago, and confirmed that disgruntled DE Osi Umenyiora indeed had a sit-down with himself and Jerry Reese the other day.

Apparently, what Reese told Umenyiora about his potential return to starting status didn't appease him. And you get the idea that Coughlin's opinions on the matter didn't do much to advance that goal, if that is the goal, at all.

"I don’t know how you do that," the Giants’ coach said of any starting guarantees Umenyiora said would be required before he deigned to don a uniform in 2010. "Our field is the field, and competition is good. It’s like we tell everybody: 'Go earn it.'"

Hmmmm. A unique idea, right? Especially for someone who lost their job at a critical juncture of the season because he couldn't stop the run.

Umenyiora has also met with new defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, Coughlin said. But nobody seems to be in a placating mood. Not after 8-8, that is.

"I just reassured Osi our expectations for him were very high," Coughlin said. "He’s an integral part of our plans and of our defensive football team. Osi is a big part of our team and the word ‘team’ is critical to me.”

The coach was none too happy about Umenyiora's Super Bowl press tour, where he freely aired his gripes to print and radio reporters alike.

"Naturally, it did," Coughlin said. "It should start with me; he should come in and talk to me, which he did do, and we had a good talk but that’s where it’ll stop."

I'm not sure we've heard the end of this yet. With the offseason program set to start March 15, it'll be interesting to see if Umenyiora shows up and exhibits the kind of team unity Coughlin seeks. The defensive end said at season's end that he'd rather "retire" than come back as a part-time player, but something tells me there are more than three million reasons for him to stick around. Oh, and the Giants have no intentions of trading him.

"Osi’s a big part of our team and we expect he’ll come back, work as hard as he can and be a big part of our defensive rejuvenation, if you will," Coughlin said. "Competition is a very good thing. We’ve been able to, over the course of the last few years, have a very good system whereby we waved our defensive linemen in. It helped us in our Super Bowl year and we continue to do that. But Osi’s a big part of our plans."



  1. Posturing, they are just hoping he shuts his mouth now to get a second rounder and maybe something else. New Blood Neeeded!!!!

  2. Agreed with "Wayno". Just pacify him until we are able to dump him on someone else, preferably an AFC team.

  3. It's amazing that a supposedly intelligent man can't comprehend that he has absolutely NO leverage here.

  4. What kind of a moron thinks he can demand a starting job before camp in the NFL?

    This guy can't stop the run and he can't stop his mouth. Dump him. He has acted disgracefully and he's no Giant.

  5. Why has this become such a public topic? I'm surprised we are seeing quotes in the paper from Tom Coughlin regarding Osi. It just doesn't seem to be the Giants way. In the past, he would be behind closed doors and said nothing to the press.

  6. Sorry guys, but NONE of you "commentators" really get it at all regarding Osi Umenyiora :

    There is nothing wrong with OSI's attitude nor work-ethic... He "wants to be a starter", which means he wants to be the best at what he does.

    He's not being a "diva", nor asking for more money, nor making any real demands at all. He's obviously frustrated (i.e. he CARES!), and he simply wants to be successful.

    Yes, he certainly does have to "earn it", to be a starter AGAIN, and he just needs a chance to do that. A two-time Pro-Bowler deserves that chance!

    Osi missed an entire year with injury and that fact seems conveniently and consistently dismissed. He was NOT 100% last year - 75% maybe - and it is not very difficult to see that players just don't jump back into being dominant again after an injury like that - it usually takes a full year to be 100% again.

    It also should be recalled that the ENTIRE defense was horrifying last year - not one guy! Osi did not play well against the run LAST year (true)... but neither did 10 other starters!
    (nor anyone else that played at all).
    The defensive "scheme" was rediculous (laughable) and more to blame - having DE's dropping into coverage, "blitzing" ONLY Danny Clark and Antonio Pierce (two guys who legitimately could not start for Notre Dame) and not even bothering to attempt to cover any of the TE's nor RB's!
    All of that started much closer to the top with Coughlin, for "promoting" Sheridan as the DC (Ray Handley could not have done worse)!... And then with JR and the ownership for allowing it. Add to that DT's that were injured all year (and Cofield and Robbins also coming off surgeries) and thus getting no "push" whatsoever up the middle (which kills run and pass defense!).

    If as an NFL player you make the Pro-bowl 2 times in your career, you are an exceptional player - that's just a fact.
    Osi is an exceptional player, who after serious injury, wants to get back to the level of excellence that he demands of himself (can you honestly say that about all of the Giants on the roster last year?).

    If Osi comes back into camp and works hard he WILL be a pro-bowler again this coming year!
    If he gets "pushed out of town" (which is unlikely) then he would simply be a pro-bowler somewhere else... and that does NOT help the Giants! We need to keep our best players, and support them as they rehabilitate through their injuries - not throw smack at them!
    The media has to do that for "something to write about" - the true Giant fans should know better.

  7. Ernie,

    I have to admit: I am officially stunned.

    I just read over at that NFL insiders believe that with the dropping out of Arizona for the 2014 Super Bowl, it's just about guaranteed New York is going to get that game.

    I never thought the NFL would ever go back to a cold-weather city for a Super Bowl, especially after that disaster in Detroit (blizzard with like 20 inches of snow) even if that stadium had a dome.

    And this new stadium doesn't even have a dome on it. Ernie, can you believe it? Did anyone else actually think the Super Bowl would be played in New York? I'm stunned.

  8. Sorry, Anonymous-Sanctimonious, but YOU'RE the one who "doesn't get it", not that you'll let the facts interfere with your hubris.

    Osi DEMANDED a guarantee to start. Now you're right when you say that means "he cares". Unfortunately, it means he cares only about himself.

    Osi deserves a chance to compete for a starting position, but he won't get a pre-season guarantee from the coach or the GM and he doesn't deserve one.

  9. "Anonymous said...
    Sorry guys, but NONE of you "commentators" really get it at all regarding Osi Umenyiora"

    Actually, the only one here that doesn't get it is you. If he wants to be the starter, complaining to the press won't make that happen. In fact, it increases the chance that it will not, because it sends the message to the entire locker room that if you want to start just complain loudly to the press. Osi is getting dangerously close to forcing the Giants to NOT start him, no matter what, because of the example it will set for all the other players. There are ways to do these things and they all involve doing them in house, privately. Next time you want a raise, make sure you write to all the local papers and start a blog demanding one instead of speaking to your boss. Let us know how successful you were.