Coughlin was more than miffed on Monday when defensive end Osi Umenyiora told the media that he would not move from right end to left end if seven-time Pro Bowler Michael Strahan decided to retire.
Strahan has missed the first five days of training camp while mulling retirement and the Giants are looking at options, including signing veteran defensive end Simeon Rice.
Rice is an outstanding pass rusher but he is weak against the run. If he were signed, he could not play Strahan's position, left end. That's the spot where most opponents run.
Umenyiora flat out said on Monday he wasn't moving to the left side, a statement that caught Coughlin off guard.
"There was no discussion about any of that," Coughlin said Tuesday. "Osi is a rising young player, he plays right end."
Coughlin later said he was disappointed Umenyiora did not talk to him before mouthing off.
"I talked to Osi last night," Coughlin said. "Hopefully, he understood."
General manager Jerry Reese felt Umenyiora was showing allegiance to Strahan, who had long criticized Rice for not being a complete defensive end.
"Players try to protect players," Reese said. "I don't think Osi meant that in a malicious way toward the New York Giants and any disrespect. Osi is being a good little brother, and trying to
protect Michael Strahan, one of his mentors in the NFL. That has been addressed with Osi, and I don't think that is a big deal at all."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved