Good For You, Coach

No guarantees – Osi wants to be named a starter. Coughlin wants him to earn it. Isn't that refreshing? In this day and age of spoiled athletes being handed not only boatloads of money, but pretty much everything else that goes along with it, a coach had the guts to stand up for himself and his team. And we applaud him for it.

Now this isn't about bashing Osi Umenyiora, who has earned multiple Pro Bowl nods and is one of TGI's favorite people in that Giants locker room. But even his former teammate and close buddy Michael Strahan told Osi he should shut his mouth. Umenyiora is still smarting from being pulled from the starting lineup last season and being thoroughly embarrassed in the process. That makes total sense.

But for him to come out and publicly state that he wants the starting job before any of the offseason workouts have even begun sure does make him sound and look a little foolish.

Of course Tom Coughlin wants all his players on board, especially those most talented, like Umenyiora. But he's not about to bend his beliefs to accommodate one player – no matter how important said player is.

"I don't know how you do that," Coughlin said. "Our field is the field, and competition is good. It's like we tell everybody: go earn it."

Both Coughlin and GM Jerry Reese have had private discussions with Umenyiora – and the message was clear.

"I just reassured Osi our expectations for him were very high," Coughlin said. "He's an integral part of our plans and of our defensive football team. Osi is a big part of our team and the word ‘team' is critical to me."

The message is simple: there's no O, S, or I in team. And the sooner Umenyiora comes to grips with that concept, the better off it will be for everyone involved.

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