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Safety first for Coughlin as he'll cap starters no matter what happens

Tom Coughlin shouts during a game against the

Tom Coughlin shouts during a game against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. (Aug. 18, 2013) Credit: Jim McIsaac

Tom Coughlin isn’t going to pull a Rex Ryan.

While the Giants coach will have his starters play the first series or so in Thursday’s preseason finale – 12-15 snaps he said – he will not expose any of them to further injury even if he doesn’t see what he wants to see from their limited time on the field.

“I would think the latter is the choice that I would make right here,” he said when asked if he would extend the playing time or play it safe. “I would err on the side of safety for the first game.”

That, of course, is not the decision that Ryan made against the Jets on Saturday when he put Mark Sanchez in the game in the fourth quarter. Sanchez, who had probably won the starting job when Geno Smith struggled through the first three quarters, left the game with a shoulder injury.

Oh, one other way that Coughlin is not like Ryan (or at least his relationship with reporters is different)? He was asked about the impressive depth at defensive tackle today in regard to the roster prospects of Mike Patterson. Coughlin remarked that the numbers there are not as robust as they were before the first round of cuts last weekend.

“I’m not gonna argue with you,” said the reporter who asked the question with a chuckle. “You’re the coach.”

New York Sports