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Eli Manning

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Eli Manning (TRIBUNE MEDIA MCT)

Giants coach says he won't turn on pivot Eli

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- With an 0-6 record, Tom Coughlin is considering a lot of things to make the New York Giants better.

Changing quarterbacks isn't one.

Coughlin dismissed any possible speculation about replacing Eli Manning for Monday night's game against the Vikings (1-4), saying the 10-year veteran and two-time Super Bowl MVP is the leader of the Giants offence.

"He's the guy," Coughlin said Thursday. "We're going to win again with Eli."

The 67-year-old Coughlin was so caught off guard Wednesday when he was asked about benching the struggling Manning in a conference call with the Minnesota media that he asked for the question to be repeated. He backed Manning Wednesday and his view was the same Thursday, adding he hadn't even thought about giving Manning a quarter off to watch either Curtis Painter or rookie Ryan Nassib run the team.

"We talk about some of the issues, some of the problems that we've had and how we can handle that going forward and usually it's a pat on the back and let's see if we can change this around," Coughlin said.

 

Tony Gonzalez

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Tony Gonzalez (CP)

Gonzalez sees dream fade

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez put off retirement for one more year with a single goal in mind: winning his first Super Bowl ring.

But the 1-4 Falcons are mired in a three-game losing streak and ravaged by injuries, so it seems more and more likely that Gonzalez's farewell season will wind up being a real bummer.

Just don't go telling him that.

"As far as I'm concerned," Gonzalez said Thursday, "we're still in it."

Looking at the bleak situation through the rosiest of glasses, the future Hall of Famer insisted he has no regrets about tacking on another season to his already brilliant career, and he flatly denied any interest in being traded to a contender -- with his previous team, the Kansas City Chiefs, being an obvious source of speculation.

"This is the team I came back for. These are the guys I came back to play with," Gonzalez said, looking around the Falcons locker room. "I'm enjoying myself: win, lose or draw. Obviously, I would rather win. It makes it a lot more fun. But there's no way I would even think about jumping ship, because I love playing for this team and I love playing for this city."

 

Jake Locker

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Jake Locker (CP)

Locker up to start

NASHVILLE -- Injured Tennessee quarterback Jake Locker says he's preparing to start Sunday against San Francisco.

The Titans aren't saying he will, but they're also not saying he won't.

Coach Mike Munchak said Thursday the Titans are going to wait and see how Locker feels after a second straight practice before deciding who starts against the 49ers.

"We're not going to change anything until there's a reason to do that," Munchak said. "So like I said, a lot of it will depend again on the next 24 hours or so to see really how he's doing and what is realistic. Again ... we put him through a lot of things today, movement and stuff and things ... more game-like for him. It's kind of wait and see now."

Ryan Fitzpatrick is listed as the starter preparing for his third start for Locker, who sprained his right hip and knee Sept. 29.

 

Vick out again, he says

PHILADELPHIA -- Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, still recovering from a hamstring injury, does not expect to play in Sunday's game against Dallas.

However, coach Chip Kelly has not officially ruled him out yet.

Vick has practised on a limited basis all week, while second-year quarterback Nick Foles has worked with the first team.

The Eagles (3-3) have won consecutive games, with Foles largely under centre, and Sunday's game with the Cowboys (3-3) is for first place in the NFC East.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 18, 2013 C4

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