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Coach addresses role of younger players

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The question remained the same. Not surprisingly, so did the answer.

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For the third time in four days, Tom Coughlin today was asked – in the wake of the team's elimination from the playoffs - if he would consider playing some of the Giants' younger and less experienced players in the season's finals three games. And for the third time, Coughlin made it clear that is not his priority, because winning games is.

"We're going to try to play the best we can and win with our roster, the roster that we have," said Coughlin, essentially repeating what he said after the loss in San Diego on Sunday and again on Monday. "If the opportunity is there, then so be it. That's not going to be the number one thought on our minds. Our roster is our roster. We've been playing a lot of people. You do have to look at special teams as well, to make sure you know who is out there on special teams, so you can ask me questions about the younger players.

"Our number one objective is we have a three-game schedule (beginning Sunday at home against the Seattle Seahawks). We want to play as best as we possibly can. Over the course of these x-amount of weeks, people have established themselves in their positions, rightfully so, fairly so.  I'm not commenting on the degree of where we are in regard to that, I'm just saying those people who are playing have earned their right to play."

Coughlin was asked specifically about three players – quarterback Ryan Nassib, tight end Adrien Robinson and guard Brandon Mosley. Nassib and Robinson have been inactive for every game this season. Mosley has played in 10 games, primarily on special teams and recently as an extra lineman on offense.

Nassib is the least likely to play, because Coughlin is not about to take Eli Manning off the field.

"(Nassib) has done very well as a scout team player," Coughlin said. "He's taking all these running quarterback roles and done a great job with it, played some safety, done a lot of good things. He's a very good, very sharp kid. Works his tail off, knows what his spot is, he's in that room with those guys and he's like a sponge, that's what the intent was."

Robinson, who played in just two games as a rookie in 2012, suffered a foot injury in the spring that stunted his development and has contributed to his inactivity.

"He was hurt for a long time," Coughlin said. "He's practiced for a few weeks now. He did a nice job of being a scout squad tight end for (Antonio) Gates a week ago. He's improved from that I can tell on special teams and if he can continue to improve, perhaps that opportunity will come."

Mosley spent his first season here on injured reserve. He was inactive twice early, but has played in each of the last 10 games.

"He's been the XO tight end, did a nice job with that the other day," Coughlin said., "Hopefully, you noticed that. And again, if the opportunity presents itself, so be it. But who would you like me to take out? (James) Brewer is also getting playing time, if you haven't noticed. He hasn't had a whole lot of time and he's getting playing time and he is responding, so I'd like to see Brewer continue to get better, too."


  • Four players did not practice today: defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins (shin/quad), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder), safety Cooper Taylor (hamstring) and cornerback Terrell Thomas (knee).

Coughlin was asked the plan for Pierre-Paul, who missed the last two games.

"It's as always - what are the medical people telling me, how good does he feel, where is his confidence level, physically, strength, how much strength is there, can he defend himself, can he do the things that he has to do in order to play," Coughlin said. "Once those questions get answered, maybe I can help you a little bit better, but right now, it's still, even though he's very optimistic right now and if you asked him he'd probably tell you something very optimistic, but again I look at the sheet and he's not going today. Shows you my tremendous influence in the medical profession."

  • The Giants and Toyota, in partnership with the United States Marines, will hold their annual Touchdown for Tots toy drive at MetLife Stadium, when the Giants host the Seahawks this Sunday. Fans are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys to any of the collection vehicles and volunteers located at each entrance to the stadium prior to the game. Uniformed Marine Corps Reserves will be on hand to assist in collecting gifts.

All gifts collected during the drive will be donated to Touchdown for Tots, the premier community action program of the United States Marines. Over the last 50 years, the Marines have distributed more than 272,000,000 toys to children across the country during the holiday season. Since the late 1970's, the Giants have participated in this program and hosted an annual Touchdown for Tots drive, helping to bring the joy of Christmas to children across the tri-state area.

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