As Tom Coughlin prepares for the 2013 season, he will do so as the head coach with the most experience within the NFC East for the first time.
With Andy Reid’s departure from Philadelphia, Coughlin’s nine years in the division with the Giants now trump the other three teams who have all seen turnover in the past three years.
Reid previously held the Eagles post since 1999.
“Andy is a good friend of mine,” Coughlin said Friday at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. “He went through a tremendous personal loss, very difficult season for him. Our hearts went out to Andy and his family, Tammy. He’s an excellent football coach. It’s very difficult to think that he was there for 14 years and probably won 70% of his games; I don’t know what the exact number is, but (he’s) just an outstanding football coach, outstanding person.
“It’s an unusual thing to say, but to not have him in the division, I’ll miss him. He’s on the Madden Committee and I’m on the Madden Committee, so we got the chance to spend some time together this week. It was good. I’m happy for him and his family. I’m sure he’s looking forward to his new adventure.”
Reid, who took over the reins in Kansas City, was replaced by Chip Kelly, the decorated coach from the University of Oregon. Before his time in Eugene, Kelly was in the coaching ranks at his alma mater of New Hampshire.
“I know Chip from his days at New Hampshire and the tremendous job he did at Oregon,” Coughlin said. “We interviewed him at one point here in New York and he’s done a superior job and he’s an outstanding football coach. He’s going to make it interesting.”
With the coaching changes come new schemes and new players. Just like the division had to try to solve Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris of the defending division champ Washington, teams will anticipate what Kelly will bring to the field this season.
Coughlin was asked if he’s working with defensive coordinator Perry Fewell to figure out a way to stop the read-option.
“You said it as well as I could,” he continued. “Absolutely, right in our division. It’d be foolish not to. We’re doing as much as we can.”
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