Coughlin irked at losing Ballard to Pats

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Tom Coughlin expressed disappointment and frustration about losing Jake Ballard to the New England Patriots.

The New York Giants took a calculated risk of waiving the injured Ballard to make room on the roster to sign defensive tackle Rocky Bernard and it backfired when the Patriots snatched up the tight end off the waiver wire on Tuesday.

“Discouraged is a minor description,” Coughlin said when asked how discouraging the news was when he learned of it during minicamp practice on Tuesday afternoon. “Very disappointing. I am not going to have a lot to say about that one, just the fact that we are disappointed. We are very disappointed.”

Coughlin was then asked why the Giants didn’t just keep Ballard on the 90-man roster and not risk losing Ballard on waivers.

“Don’t ask me those questions,” Coughlin responded. “I don’t have the answers for you. We are all disappointed. That’s all.”

The Giants were hoping that Ballard would clear waivers and then be placed on the team’s PUP/reserve list. Ballard is expected to miss this season while he recovers from microfracture knee surgery and a torn ACL suffered in the Super Bowl. However, the team was high on Ballard, who had a breakout season last year before being slowed by injuries down the stretch of the season.

The team expected Ballard to return healthy and make an impact in 2013.

“I certainly thought so, for sure,” Coughlin said. “So did everybody, the whole building thought that way. Everyone did. It is obvious it was a calculated risk and it didn’t work.”

Perhaps adding to the frustration of losing Ballard is the fact that the Patriots certainly aren’t hurting at tight end. New England has the league’s most prolific tight end tandem in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

Coughlin was asked if he was surprised that the Patriots claimed Ballard despite not needing a tight end.

“I don’t have any comment on that one,” the Giants head coach said. “Nature of the business.”

Coughlin said he does not think that other teams need to show a certain amount of professional courtesy knowing that the Giants were trying to make a roster move with an injured player who is not expected to play this season.

“I don’t think there is any question about that part of it,” Coughlin explained. “Whatever the options are based on what the rules are, based on the procedural circumstance, all is fair.”