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Friday, February 26, 2010
No guarantees for Osi, says Coughlin

By Dan Graziano

INDIANAPOLIS -- As always, Giants coach Tom Coughlin showed up early for his media session Friday. And it didn't take long for Osi Umenyiora's name to come up.

Umenyiora said during Super Bowl week that he would consider retiring if he was forced to play a backup role in 2010. That's obviously not going to happen, but Umenyiora's rhetoric was duly noted by Coughlin and the rest of the organization. The Pro Bowl defensive end asked for and was granted a meeting with general manager Jerry Reese this week to discuss his future with the Giants. Coughlin also said that Umenyiora had visited with new defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. I asked Coughlin if he was disappointed by Umenyiora's decision to go public with his complaints.

"Naturally, it was disappointing," he said. "It should start with me."

Coughlin was actually very complimentary of Umenyiora's ability and said he believes the defensive end wants to remain with the team. But he stopped short of guaranteeing a starting position to Umenyiora.

"I don't know how you do that," he said. "Just like we tell everybody, go earn it."

Coughlin also hit on several other topics that you'll be reading about in the coming days. I asked him to comment on the arrival of Mike Shanahan to the NFC East. Coughlin praised him for a minute or so before saying in a sarcastic tone, "Welcome, Coach Shanahan."

His obvious message was that the NFC East is one of the toughest divisions in the league. One more programming note: I'm scheduled to visit with Reese tomorrow morning.