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Giants' Coughlin: Dwayne Harris could play a Tyree-role

Tom Coughlin defended the New York Giants giving special teams ace Dwayne Harris a head-turning $7 million guaranteed contract on Wednesday.

The coach pointed not only to Harris' unique ability to both return kicks and play gunner on special teams, but added that Harris will have a role on offense.

The role for a player who in four years has a grand total of 33 catches might not be so much snagging passes. Coughlin compared Harris to former Giant David Tyree -- a career total of 54 catches in five seasons with Big Blue.

"Tyree would come in (on offense), he'd be a blocker, that's what Harris does, but you see him on the field, you start thinking that way," Coughlin said, per "And that part of it alone opens up possibilities, maybe you get back to that old fake ghost screen stuff again, maybe that becomes a better opportunity for it. Whether he's the third receiver or fourth receiver or a special situation kind of a player, offensively he wants to contribute."

Harris also could play a bigger role in the offense early in the season as Victor Cruz returns from a patellar tendon injury. Coughlin said the team will not rush Cruz back on the field.

"I think he'll be the player that he was, and hopefully better," Coughlin said, per the New York Post. "But as far as when, I would be careful. Hopefully, it's the first (regular-season) game. But if it isn't, we've done that before. We just went through it."

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