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Giants and Coughlin agree on contract extension

The Associated Press
Giants and Coughlin agree on contract extension
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New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin speaks to the media Monday, Dec. 30, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. after the Giants season ended with a 7-9 record. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin will be going into the season with a little more job security.

The Giants confirmed Friday that they gave the 67-year-old Coughlin a one-year extension, putting him under contract through the 2015 season. The agreement had been expected since the franchise has a history of not allowing its head coach go into a season as a lame duck.

''The Giants have always done that,'' Coughlin told reporters at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.

''That was always indicated to me. I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to it to be honest with you. We've had a lot of work going on in our business and our building, as you know. So I had great confidence that it would happen, and it did.''

Coughlin said that his agent and the Giants never talked about getting a longer contract, which is not surprising. The Giants have missed the playoffs the past two seasons and three of four.

However, his Super Bowl titles in 2008 and '12 earned him at least another season.

Coughlin and the Giants had wanted to get the deal done earlier, but it was delayed while Coughlin reshaped his offensive staff. Coordinator Kevin Gilbride retired after the Giants (7-9) missed the playoffs and two other longtime assistants, running backs coach Jerald Ingram and tight ends coach Mike Pope, were fired.

Coughlin also reassigned quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan and receivers coach Kevin M. Gilbride, with Ryan taking over the receivers and the younger Gilbride moving to tight ends.

Former Packers assistant Ben McAdoo was hired as the offensive coordinator.

Coughlin said making the changes was very difficult.

''You have coaches that have, in many cases, been with you a long, long time with Kevin (Gilbride) retiring and with Mike (Pope) and Jerald (Ingram) - they had been with me a long time,'' Coughlin said. ''I have great respect for them. It's never easy. It's very difficult thing for a head coach to do, whether it be a player, whether it be a coach, guys I have respect for.

''They were very, very good football coaches. I just felt like in those situations that I needed to make some other changes after Kevin retired in the best interest of our team. And in doing that, we're back on track now trying to get ourselves ready for the spring.''

Coughlin said there will be some noticeable changes to the offense next season, but not everything will change.

''I think definitely we would maintain a commitment to the run, and that will be a factor no matter what,'' he said. ''And that's been agreed upon by all. But as far as changes, they may be subtle; there may be some drastic ones.

''But the number one thing will be the players, the team, the opportunity to again get ourselves back on track the way we need to be, the ball security issues being first and foremost. The obvious questions being made about the offensive line, we'll see where that goes. Who knows what that would have been like last year had a couple of our guys been able to stay on the field.''

The Giants' offensive line was decimated by injuries last season. Center David Baas and guard Chris Snee missed much of the season and left tackle Will Beatty broke a leg in the final game.

Guard-center Kevin Boothe is a free agent, backup Jim Cordle will be coming off a knee injury and veteran David Diehl retired. That leaves only tackle Justin Pugh returning healthy after an excellent rookie season.

The problems up front had Eli Manning and the offense being described by owner John Mara as ''broken'' after the season.

''Did I agree that the offense was broken?'' Coughlin said of the comment. ''I certainly agree that some things have to be fixed, let's put it that way. But I wouldn't have used that word.''

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