In my conversations with New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin and general manager Jerry Reese during the owners meetings, they indicated that defensive end Osi Umenyiora was in a good frame of mind and had a smile on his face again. You'll recall that during Super Bowl week Umenyiora threatened to walk away from the game if he wasn't starting in 2010.
On Thursday, players participating in the club's offseason conditioning program were made available to reporters. And Umenyiora didn't really indicate that all was well. He delivered an impressive string of "no comments" before finally attempting to explain his plight.
"If you ask me a question, I really feel I should say exactly how I feel and I think saying how I feel is really a foolish thing," said Umenyiora. "To come out and say what I feel publicly has gotten me in a lot of trouble with the team. It's gotten me in a lot of trouble with the fans. And I think it's setting a bad example for my teammates. I think it's not the right thing to do."
But I guess there's nothing wrong with hinting that you're unhappy. Obviously, Umenyiora doesn't seem satisfied with his role on the team after conversations with Coughlin and Reese. It sounds like he wants someone from the organization to come out and say that he's starting, but Coughlin's not into soothing hurt feelings. And it's not Reese's place to guarantee starting spots.
Umenyiora did take some time to praise new defensive coordinator Perry Fewell.
"He's a really cool guy, very energetic," Umenyiora said. "I liked him a lot. The scheme he is trying to run best suits the players that we have over here and I am looking forward to that. I think it's a good scheme for me."
But don't expect this story to go away. If Umenyiora's not in the starting lineup, I think there will be issues in the locker room. He's backed off his Super Bowl comments, but it doesn't sound like he's embraced the idea of competing for a starting role.