ALBANY, N.Y. - Four seasons in the NFL haven’t changed Jeremy Shockey.
The three-time Pro Bowl tight end is still playing hard, partying hard, dying to win a championship, and saying things that will raise the eyebrows of the New York Giants and coach Tom Coughlin.
In a wide-ranging 20-minute session with reporters on Sunday that was mostly positive about the Giants’ chances this season, Shockey criticized his own lack of patience, noted that the team’s current offense limits him and that Coughlin can sometimes — to put it politely — be annoyingly stubborn.
While candid, the comments were mild compared to those made before his second season in 2003, when the flamboyant player angered late owner Wellington Mara by making a derogatory comment about Dallas coach Bill Parcells — the man who led the Giants to two Super Bowls — and discussing his sexual fantasies in a magazine piece.
“I play hard,” the 25-year-old Shockey said during a break at the Giants’ training camp at the University at Albany. “In life, I live life hard. I play hard on the football field. That’s just my mentality.”
If Shockey made anything clear, it was that his desire to win is exceeded only by the frustration when the Giants don’t. He can no longer leave the field with a smile after dropping a pass.
“It’s all about winning, it’s not always about talking to you guys,” Shockey said. “I know you get mad at me sometimes when I’m not talking to you. I want to win. I won a championship at every level I have been, high school, college and I definitely want to win one at this level.”
It manifested itself by him flapping his arms, shaking his head or giving some other sign to indicate that Eli Manning didn’t get him the ball.
“In high school I used to try to bite my tongue off and lip off and bleed everywhere,” Shockey said. “Now I know it’s going to be another play, but it’s hard when you know you can make a play and you don’t get the opportunity.”
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“Jim set me down and said, ’We are going to make this easy for you,”’ Shockey said. “You don’t run the routes like they are in the book, you can do what you see.”’
Coughlin’s offense doesn’t give Shockey any options, he said, adding that there have been some changes this season.
“We are almost there, we put new things in this year,” Shockey said. “It’s an easy adjustment when you have a head coach who really wants to win, but he can be an ass sometimes. But that’s what your head coach can be. That’s what you need.”
Coughlin was not available to the media Sunday.
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