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Giants sit down with Coughlin

The New York Giants yesterday began their search for a head coach by interviewing former Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin, according to reports in Newsday.


The interview, conducted by general manager Ernie Accorsi and executive vice president John Mara, is believed to have taken place in the New York area.

Coughlin likely will be the only person interviewed before the regular season ends Sunday, when assistants such as the Patriots' Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel and the Rams' Lovie Smith will become eligible to talk.

Hiring Coughlin, also the former coach at Boston College, is far from a sure thing, partly because of concerns over his notorious rigidity and strict rules for players. Those topics were expected to be discussed yesterday, as well as whether Coughlin would be comfortable without total control over personnel.

Eagles lose LB

Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Carlos Emmons needs surgery on his broken left leg and will miss the playoffs. Emmons broke his fibula Sunday after he tackled 49ers running back Kevan Barlow. Emmons has been Philadelphia's best linebacker this season with 119 tackles and two sacks. Ike Reese will start in his place. Coach Andy Reid said the Eagles would place Emmons on injured reserve and look to quickly fill the roster spot, though it doesn't necessarily have to be a linebacker. "He's done a great job, both in the locker room as a leader, in the huddle as a leader and as a player," Reid said. "It's a shame it happened, because there's nobody that likes to play more than Carlos." . . . With a victory against the New York Jets Sunday, the Miami Dolphins would become the first team since the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers in 1991 to win 10 games and not make the playoffs . . . The San Diego Chargers (3-12) will end another lost season Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, and Drew Brees will be back as starter even though he has committed six turnovers in the two games since he was reinstated in the lineup. Brees threw two interceptions and lost a fumble in Sunday's loss to Pittsburgh and was replaced by Doug Flutie in the closing minutes . . . San Francisco receiver Terrell Owens's broken collarbone probably will heal without surgery. Owens will miss the 49ers' final game and the Pro Bowl after breaking his collarbone in San Francisco's 31-28 victory over Philadelphia Sunday. Owens, who will be a free agent after this season, finished with 80 catches for 1,102 yards and 9 touchdowns this season, his lowest totals since 1999 . . . Two former BC players were injured Sunday and will miss the season finale for the Cleveland Browns. Guard Paul Zukauskas sprained his left knee in the loss to Baltimore and rookie defensive tackle Antonio Garay tore his anterior cruciate ligament.

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