GM: Tom Coughlin talk spun wrong

Updated: January 25, 2011, 12:40 PM ET
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com

New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese said he has spoken with Antrel Rolle and Kenny Phillips pertaining to recent comments the two made about Tom Coughlin.

Reese said both safeties did not intend to say anything critical of Coughlin in a recent interview with a Miami radio station.

"Well again, when things go bad and your season doesn't end like you want it, anything you say can be misconstrued," Reese said in an interview with YES Network's Kimberly Jones in the upcoming "This Week In Football." "I talked to both of those players. They're very remorseful about how it was spun. Both said they're not that kind of people and I believe them, I think they're both good people."

While praising the Jets' playoff run and Rex Ryan's coaching style, Rolle said Coughlin could loosen up with his coaching style. The safety did go out of his way to say that he and the Giants head coach have a great relationship but he admitted to "not having the fun."

Phillips, who joined Rolle during the radio interview with Miami's WQAM, said he still was trying to figure out who Coughlin is outside of his coaching style. He also said that Ryan was the type of coach he and other players would like to play for. Phillips did not intend for his comments to be interpreted as jabs at Coughlin and immediately came out the next day and clarified his remarks.

Rolle, who in his first year with the Giants has been forthcoming in interviews, explained his stance to Reese that he did not mean to criticize Coughlin. Reese said he has spoken to the safety about saying less. Earlier in the season, Rolle questioned the leadership in the locker room and whether the team had too much of a controlled atmosphere.

He later sat down with Coughlin and Rolle was one of several players to defend the head coach at the end of the season when Coughlin's job status became a hot button topic when the Giants collapsed against the Eagles and were crushed by the Packers with a playoff berth on the line.

"That's some of the things that he and I talked about," Reese said of Rolle. "I had a private conversation, but those are some of the things that we talked about ... Less is more with the media. Hey, you do more on the field. You leave more on the field. You do your things on the field. You let your plays do the talking ... and he said he was 200 percent in, and I believe him."

Reese was also asked again about Plaxico Burress and whether the team would have interest in their former wide receiver once he is released from jail later this summer.

Reese reiterated, as he says about all free agents, that the team will explore the situation. But he said he will be in contact with Burress after his sentence ends.

"Well, you know my standard answer to that, we investigate everything and we'll definitely investigate that," Reese said. "But you know Plax, when he gets home I think the first thing he'll want to do is just spend time with his family, and we'll be in contact at the appropriate time. So we'll just let that unfold."

"Absolutely, we will not rule that out," Reese added.

As for his two safeties, Reese said they would likely be talking about something different had they made a few more defensive plays down the stretch. Reese made it clear in his press conference at the end of the season that he was disappointed at times with the amount of "explosive plays on the back end of the defense" allowed last season.

"If we make a couple plays, if Antrel makes a play back there, if Kenny Phillips makes a play back there, we're not having this conversation," Reese said. "We're probably still playing and everybody's saying, 'Wow, Tom Coughlin's got a great formula.' That's how it goes. Whoever is winning has the best formula for that year."

Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com.

Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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