Thomas: Coughlin has 'one more' in him

February, 19, 2013
2/19/13
2:12
PM ET
Terrell Thomas stopped by NFL Network's studios on Tuesday morning and was asked about a variety of issues including his rehab and latest comeback from a third ACL injury.

The cornerback was asked about Tom Coughlin's future and whether this could be the season -- win or lose -- that the 66-year-old head coach hangs up his whistle and retires.

"I thought it was this (past) season," Thomas said on NFL Network. "But I think he has one more in him. We have a great nucleus of guys, and I don’t think he wants to give that up. That passion is still burning within him, he’s in that facility all day every day, he’s going crazy not being able to coach and watch film.

"He lives and breathes football. He has everybody in there all day everyday in the offseason. I think he wants to go out on top, hopefully we can get it right and bring a Super Bowl home in Giants Stadium."

The cornerback was also asked about what went wrong last year for the Giants, who missed the playoffs with a 9-7 record.

"We really don’t know," said Thomas, who missed all of the season after injuring his surgically repaired right ACL in training camp. "Talking to the other players, we were 6-2 at the midpoint and kind of went downhill after that. I think a little bit of the youth movement kind of took a toll, we had a lot of young guys that had to step up and fill in for injuries. It's hard to hit that rookie bump."

"We lost a lot of key veterans, Deon Grant, Aaron Ross, and myself the last two years so I think that played a role into it," Thomas added. "(Kenny Phillips) was hurt as well, so I think this year is all about coaching young guys to step up, everybody doing their job and everybody being accountable."

Thomas would love to see Osi Umenyiora, who is a free agent, return. But he also understands the Giants don't have a ton of cap space either.

"We’re cap tight right now," Thomas said. "We've got a lot of guys that have to restructure, but I think he wants to come back. He might sit here and say he wants out, blah, blah, blah. But Osi, he loves the Giants. At the end of the day, he just wants the opportunity to be a three-down defensive end and prove that he's one of the top defensive ends in the game."

Cold debate: Thomas also debated Green Bay wide receiver James Jones on the merits of having the upcoming Super Bowl outdoors at MetLife Stadium.

"Obviously, for the Super Bowl, you want even playing ground," Thomas said. "But during the season, everybody plays in cold weather and the fans come out regardless. I think it is going to be a great time. New York is a great city and we are going to host it very well.

"People complain about the weather all they want but when the Giants played the Green Bay Packers in the 2007 NFC Championship Game, that (Lambeau) stadium was rocking full and everybody had a good time and it as a great game. So I expect the same thing come next year in the Super Bowl."

Jones would rather not have to worry about the weather for the biggest game of the year.

"I think it either should be in a dome or we should be in a warm weather city," Jones said. "Because we already play five cold games as it is, him being in New York and me being in Green Bay. I will take one game in warm weather where I don’t got to worry about my cleats or wearing certain gloves."

New addition: A source confirmed the Giants added Robbie Leonard as their defensive quality control coach, as first reported by footballscoop.com. Al Holcomb recently was hired to become the Panthers' linebackers coach.
Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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