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Injuries still a bone of contention with Coughlin

Tom Coughlin reacts during an NFL game. (Nov.

Tom Coughlin reacts during an NFL game. (Nov. 23, 2014) Credit: Jim McIsaac

PHOENIX -- Injuries are not an excuse, the Giants always say.

But they are a reality, and in the last two years they have been one of the big reasons why the team has been below .500. They've lost a high number of high-profile players to injuries ranging from hamstrings and biceps and pectoral tears to patellar tendons and dislocated toes.

"Is it a concern and do we discuss it? Yes we do," Tom Coughlin said at the NFC coaches breakfast on Wednesday. "And it usually starts with the owner."

John Mara has, in fact, expressed his frustrations on the matter publicly.

Maybe injuries are like the weather: Everyone complains about them but nobody does anything about them.

Well, the Giants are trying.

"We've got scientists now, we've got GPS, we've got it all," Coughlin said of initiatives in the last few years to improve the strength and conditioning program and help alleviate the mounting pile of wounded players. And in 2014, it worked -- somewhat. Fewer players were missing games and practices with muscle pulls and soreness.

"So we went from soft tissue to other things, structural problems," Coughlin said. "I mean, it is football. But how do you even answer some of these things? A guy is running for a ball in the end zone and just goes down. A guy is running across what I call the softest practice field in the world and all of a sudden he's got a foot injury. You just kind of shake your head, but that's basically the way those two things happened [to Victor Cruz and Jon Beason]."

The Giants have once again looked into the matter this offseason.

"We always address it," Coughlin said. "You want to know why. What are the injuries? How do they happen? What can we do about correcting this? Well, we've done a lot to correct the soft-tissue ones. The concussions, the broken bones, the dislocated toes, who knows? I have no idea. Hopefully you stay away from those things. There has to be a little bit of luck involved, no doubt."

But, Coughlin said, he plans on sticking with the same basic system when it comes to training and mending the players.

"Obviously we'll do some things a little bit differently but it's not going to be a radical change," he said. "At least from my standpoint right now I don't envision anything being totally different."

Except, he hopes, the results.

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