Players want Tom Coughlin to return as coach

Tom Coughlin waves to the crowd as he

Tom Coughlin waves to the crowd as he walks off the field on Dec. 29, 2013. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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In a strange twist of narratives, the Jets are the team with stability at head coach and the Giants' situation remains somewhat uncertain.

All signs point to Tom Coughlin returning in 2014 for what would be the final year of his current contract, but the team has not addressed that publicly.

Coughlin, 67, balked when asked directly if he wants to return for a 19th NFL season as a head coach. "I'm not answering that type of question right now," he said. "There will be an evaluation of everything, I'm sure, and we'll go from there."

Coughlin indicated this past week that coaching through a losing season like this one drives him to return. The players were virtually unanimous in wanting that for him.

"I hope he's back and he wants to be back and the Giants want him back," Eli Manning said. "You never know how these things work out, but I definitely hope that he's the coach of the Giants next year."

Justin Tuck said he'd be "shocked" if Coughlin did not return.

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"You tell me someone who does it better than he does," he said. "I think the fire is still there. I think he still feels that he has a lot to prove in this league . . . Obviously, I'm biased, but I damn sure hope he's manning the sidelines next year."

Added Antrel Rolle: "I wouldn't want to play for anybody else."


Jernigan stars again

The Giants waited almost three full years for Jerrel Jernigan to develop into a playmaker. Turns out all they had to do was sit Victor Cruz. In the two-plus games since Cruz injured his knee, Jernigan has scored three touchdowns, including two Sunday -- a 24-yard catch and a 49-yard run.

"It's a great feeling," Jernigan said. "I just wanted to let the coaching staff and organization know that I can make plays."

"He grew into a guy that wanted the ball and did things well when he got it," Coughlin said. "He played very well and responded to the circumstances toward the end of the year."


Giant steps

Cornerback Terrell Thomas revealed that he had microfracture surgery in September 2012 as well as an ACL reconstruction, a detail he didn't let slip earlier in the season because he didn't want to use it as an excuse. He played all 16 games and is a free agent . . . Reports indicate that Redskins coach Mike Shanahan will be fired, which would make him the second NFC East coach in two years to lose his job the day after losing to the Giants in the regular-season finale. The Eagles fired Andy Reid under those circumstances last year.

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