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Coughlin on Plax, Osi

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin cheers on his

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin cheers on his team during warmups before a game against the Washington Redskins. (Jan. 2, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

This is just the kind of thing that Tom Coughlin loves: Finishing his first practice after a four and a half month lockout and having to answer questions about two players who weren't even on the field, one of which isn't even on the roster.

Those two would be Plaxico Burress and Osi Umenyiora, the principle players in the drama of Giants Training Camp so far.

Coughlin has been at this a while so he didn't even wait for the question about Burress and just began his press conference by talking about last night's meeting.

"Plaxico and I did have a nice conversation," Coughlin said. "I was very happy that he came in and we visited and I told him that the conversation would be confidential. That'll be my position on it.

"I did enjoy the conversation," Coughlin added.

He had said on Friday that the conversation would be the "first step" in seeing if the Giants would pursue Burress. Today Coughlin said there would "possibly" be a second step. He also noted that while the Giants are a little short on receivers, Plaxico would fill a need on any team.

Coughlin was asked if he could get a sense for Burress and his maturity in an hour-long conversation. "I think you can, yes," he said.

Then it was on to Mr. Umenyiora. Coughlin said the defensive end did arrive this evening, but it was to late to give him a physical and he'll probably take one in the morning.

Is he healthy? "We'll see."

Will he practice tomorrow? "We'll see."

Coughlin had a conversation with Umenyiora, but it sounded as if it lasted substantially shorter than the one with Plaxico.

"Just a real quick conversation," he said. "We didnt really have a chance to sit down upstairs. We came in from the jog-through this afternoon and I had a chance to see him, say hello, that's about it."

Did Coughlin ask why Osi wasn't in camp yesterday?

"No, I didn't," he said. "I didn't really spend an awful lot of time talking to him. i asked him how he was doing he said 'fine.'"

Of course now that Umenyiora is here, it doesn't mean he'll be happy about it. That's Coughlin's next challenge, to move forward with a grumpy defensive end.

"It's not what you would like," Coughlin said. "You'd like everybody to be in a great frame of mind. It's basically what I said yesterday or the day before. I'd like him to come in. I'd like him to be excited about being a Giant. I'd like to put these four defensive ends out on the field together, let them play together. I'd like to be able to take the flexibility that is there and move people around and force problems for the opposition in protection. That would be a very interesting challenge and a great opportunity for our team."

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