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Friday, February 21, 2014
Tom Coughlin agrees to extension

By Rich Cimini
ESPN.com

INDIANAPOLIS -- New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin won't be a lame duck in 2014.

The two-time Super Bowl-winning coach has agreed to a one-year contract extension, through 2015, he told reporters Friday at the NFL scouting combine.

Coughlin, coming off a bitterly disappointing 7-9 season, said the extension "was never a concern to me" because of the Giants' longstanding policy of not having their head coach in the final year of a contract.

Tom Coughlin
Tom Coughlin, who at 67 is the NFL's oldest coach, has two Super Bowl championships with the Giants.

"I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to it, to be honest with you," said Coughlin, who at 67 is the oldest coach in the league. "We've got a lot of work going on in our business, as you know. I had great confidence that it would happen. And it did."

Coughlin signed a three-year contract for a reported $20 million in June 2012, a few months after winning his second Super Bowl. It made him one of the highest-paid coaches in the sport. The Giants haven't made the playoffs since.

Although Coughlin was grateful for the support from ownership, he took issue with John Mara's postseason assessment that "the offense is broken right now."

"Do I agree the offense is broken? I certainly agree that some things had to be fixed, let's put it that way," Coughlin said. "But I wouldn't use that word."

The fallout from the season resulted in a change at offensive coordinator. Longtime coordinator Kevin Gilbride, a close friend of Coughlin, retired abruptly. He was replaced by former Green Bay Packers assistant Ben McAdoo.

Coughlin, speaking publicly for the first time since the change, said it was tough to lose Gilbride, but he added that "it's stimulating and it's exciting" to have a new approach on offense.

"What I like about it is ... it's a challenge for myself with the new learning, which is good for me and good for all of us," said Coughlin, noting that he will remain "very much" involved in the offense.

"It's a good time, it's an exciting time," he said. "I feel good about it."

Coughlin expressed confidence that Eli Manning will rebound from his poor season. He spoke with Manning a couple of times in recent weeks and said, "I can see it in his eyes" that he's eager to return to championship form.

He scoffed at the notion there's concern within the organization about Manning.

"I don't know where the internal concern is," Coughlin said. "We're very confident that Eli will, with the help of others around him, return to the high stature we hold him in. I feel very good about that."