New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin speaks during a...

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin speaks during a news conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis. (Feb. 24, 2012) Credit: AP

INDIANAPOLIS -- Tom Coughlin stood at a podium at Lucas Oil Stadium on Friday, looked around at the assembled reporters and smiled.

"I feel like I was just here," he said. "I was, and they were great memories, too . . . It's a little bit of a blur, but it's a magnificent blur."

In the same stadium Feb. 5, of course, his Giants won a second Super Bowl championship, 21-17, over the Patriots.

The smile was ever-present for the usually-all-business coach, still basking in the glow of another unexpected championship run. He was here to get a look-see at the rookie talent coming into the NFL this season.

"I like this," Coughlin said of the combine. "I like the digging. I like getting to know the people, the young guys, what's changing in their lives. What's coming out of the colleges these days? What can we grab a hold of that will help us? If we do draft a player, how do we need to coach him? I enjoy that."

Yes, Coughlin still has a youthful enthusiasm about his job, even at age 65. He's expected to sign a contract extension later this offseason, one that likely will keep him on the sideline until he's ready to retire.

"Everybody thought I was kidding. What did I say during the season, 72?" Coughlin quipped, referring to a comment he made about how much longer he wanted to coach. Actually, he said he'd like to coach until he's 74.

Coughlin said he's formulating a game plan for how he'll approach the Giants' Super Bowl defense, and he's anxious to keep as many of this season's players as possible. That includes running back Brandon Jacobs and defensive end Osi Umenyiora, two players whose futures remain somewhat uncertain. Both are under contract next season, but it's unknown if the Giants will retain either or both. Coughlin made his preference clear.

Asked if he expects Umenyiora to be back in 2012, Coughlin said, "I do." And Umenyiora said in a radio interview Friday that he'd like to be back, even if he has to take less money.

Coughlin said he considers Jacobs "an outstanding part of our team. As far as I'm concerned, he's a big part of it."

He also said he'd like to retain wide receiver Mario Manningham, who made a signature catch on the winning drive in the Super Bowl. Manningham is a free agent whose contract demands might force the Giants to let him go to another club.

Coughlin said several Giants players had surgery in recent weeks, including tight ends Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum, both of whom suffered torn ACLs in the Super Bowl. Coughlin said both face a minimum rehab of seven months.

Other players who had surgery and are expected to be ready for the start of the season: defensive end Justin Tuck (shoulder) and defensive tackles Chris Canty (knee) and Linval Joseph (ankle).

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