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Giants' Coughlin expects Umenyiora to compete

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Recent posts by Eric Edholm

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Posted March 27, 2010 @ 5:40 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

Head coach Tom Coughlin made strong comments at the Combine last month, saying he wasn't prepared to guarantee a starting job to DE Osi Umenyiora. Those comments prompted Umenyiora to speak out as well, threatening to retire at age 28 rather than return to the Giants as a backup. He played sparingly down the stretch last season on a badly slumping defense and reportedly had a spat with former coordinator Bill Sheridan. But Coughlin appeared upbeat about Umenyiora when speaking of him at the NFL spring meetings, saying he has been "working his tail off" in the Giants' offseason program with a smile on his face. Coughlin added he believes his strong words at the Combine had an effect on Umenyiora's apparent change of attitude and expected Umenyiora to compete for a starting job in the fall. "It's a competitive game," Coughlin said. "People earn what they have, and Osi is an excellent football player. He's got nothing to worry about in terms of going out and competing. It's just a mindset, and I believe he's in a good mindset now."


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