Yesterday, New York Giants’ general manager Jerry Reese addressed the media in the midst of New York’s 2-6 start. The full video of Reese’s session is available at Giants.com.
Reese did not pull many punches, but remained positive in his his analysis of the Giants season thus far.
The Giants’ GM stated, “Obviously, 2-6 is not what we expected at the beginning of the season, but that’s where we are right now and we’re going to make the best of it. Things could be worse than they are. Our division has been slow to get started, so that’s good fortune in respect to that. We’re still in it. We’re happy about that, to be in this position at this point, all things considered.”
While Reese did not point the finger in anyone’s direction, the gathered media seemed to point a finger at him for his roster composition in two key areas, linebacking and offensive line. Reese sidestepped the question faster than Victor Cruz does a free safety.
Reese was specifically asked by a reporter, “Do you think in hindsight you miscalculated at the linebacker position?”
He replied, “You can say you miscalculated at quarterback or you can say you miscalculated at receiver. You can say that any time when you’re 0-6. Beason has done a nice job for us since he’s been on board with us. We had Dan Connor in and obviously he had an injury and that set us back a little bit and we expect to develop guys. We have some young linebackers that we expected to step up and step out of the shadows and help us out a little bit, but to say miscalculated, you can say that with any position when you’re 0-6.”
The fact of the matter is that Reese went into the season trusting in the abilities of Spencer Paysinger, Keith Rivers, Jacquian Williams and Mark Herzlich. Herzlich, in particular, went through mini-camp and the beginning of training camp as the starter at middle linebacker, before free agent signee Dan Connor wrested the job from him.
Then when Herzlich was installed as the starter after Connor went down against the Dallas Cowboys in week one, he struggled again in pass coverage. Reese was able to make a deal with former Giants personnel director Dave Gettleman to acquire linebacker Jon Beason, who has played well for New York for the past three games.
Holdover free agent Keith Rivers has only 17 tackles on the season, which cannot be the type of production that Reese or head coach Tom Coughlin could have anticipated from the former ninth overall pick in the 2008 draft. In fact, Rivers, and weakside linebacker Spencer Paysinger, did not play a single snap against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
Neither did another free agent pickup by Reese, safety Ryan Mundy, but in fairness to Reese, Mundy was thrust into a starting role after incumbent starter Stevie Brown went down with an injury against the New York Jets in pre-season.
When the subject of the offensive line came up, Reese said this, “Well, the thought process is if you keep him a year too long and he gets injured and he doesn’t play well, then you don’t look too smart. The other process is if you keep him a year longer than you probably should, he works out for you, then you look like a smart guy. It’s just part of the business. I wish I had a good answer for that, but I don’t have a good answer for that. Sometimes you guess right and sometimes you guess wrong on some personnel issues. It’s just the way it is.”
Overall, the man in charge of putting the roster together for the New York Football Giants was very vague on where he would improve himself, but the fact remains that his team is 2-6, and in the cellar of the weak NFC east division.