Nicks, the new Indianapolis Colts receiver, spent his first five years in the NFL playing for Coughlin. He had two 1,000-yard receiving seasons and helped the Giants win a Super Bowl.
“I think two years ago, he was one of the best receivers in the NFL,” Coughlin said.
Last season was a different story for Nicks. He had 56 catches for 896 yards, but didn’t catch a touchdown pass for the first time in his NFL career.
I spoke to ESPN.com Giants reporter Dan Graziano when Nicks signed this month, and Graziano said the coaches were frustrated with Nicks because he couldn’t make plays in the passing game.
“He’s had some nicks, he’s had some things he’s had to deal with,” Coughlin said. “The production isn’t what it should’ve been last year. We wish Hakeem success, nothing but the best for him. Perhaps this is what he needed, the change he needed -- the reality of our business.”
Nicks signed a one-year deal with the Colts to play alongside Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton at receiver, catch passes from quarterback Andrew Luck and hopefully have a bounce-back season.
“What is there not to like about the guy? He’s a big guy,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “Very, very athletic, experienced guy, played at a high level, won championships. He brings that with him. He’ll do a great job against press coverage, and teams we’ll have to face. All of them are built to stop the big wide outs. He brings a lot to the table.”
And if Nicks is able to re-establish himself in Indianapolis?
“They’ll have one heck of a football team,” Coughlin said.