Because of his questionable negotiatinggambling techniques, Giants GM Jerry Reese is now on the hot seat. His take it or leave it offers to WR Steve Smith and TE Kevin Boss caused both to go elsewhere. Since both have left Big Blue, Reese has become unhinged. First, he attacked the fans. “I’m not bothered by that because that’s mostly fans who say that kind of stuff and they really don’t understand the process.” Apparently, according to Reese, fans do not understand the process. He is calling out the Giants fans who disagree with his tactics. If he is not bothered, why did he have to hold a press conference to defend his behavior? Instead of coming clean and admitting he got caught with his pants down, Reese fired the first salvo. He deflected blame onto the fans who disagree with me. This was not a shrewd move. Subsequently, Reese declared the 2011 Giants will make the playoffs and make a run. “We’ll get into the playoffs,” Reese said, “and we’ll make a run.”
Then on Tuesday, Reese backpedaled from his playoff comments.
“I never said promise, I never said guarantee,” Reese said, “but when you read the paper, Jerry Reese said guarantee, so that’s what you get around here.” Now he is bothered because the media took him out of context. Jerry is correct. He did not say guarantee or promise. But he did say his team will make the playoffs. Reese’s bizarre behavior is troubling. Generally speaking, in previous press conferences, Reese has been in command. Undeterred by criticism after the 2009 season, Reese was the complete antithesis of a livid John Mara. Unlike Mara, Reese calmly stated he was disappointed with the Giants play in 2009. That was 2009. With three straight season ending collapses and no playoff victories, the pressure of the job is getting to him. Only four members of the vaunted 2007 draft class remain on the current roster. Aaron Ross, Adam Koets, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Zak DeOssie. His “sexy” free agent signings have not panned out. Canty, Bernard, Boley, and Rolle have not been dominant performers. Committing over 100 million dollars to quarterback Eli Manning is not looking good right now. Recall in 2009 when safety Kenny Phillips went down with a season ending injury, the Giants had a void at this position. It took no time at all, for an astute Sean Payton of New Orleans Saints to exploit this weakness and the rest is history. Surrendering 40 points FIVE times. Well, in 2011, the Giants now have a huge hole at the tight end position. Will Reese’s poor planning at the TE position come back to haunt the Giants?
In his first fruitful year, Reese had a tremendous draft, a very good free agent signing Kawika Mitchell, and with the seasoned veterans on the roster won a Super Bowl Championship. Much credit has been given to the superb defensive line play in Super Bowl XLII. Giants co-owner John Mara: “ I always say, the reason we were able to win Super Bowl XLII was that (the Patriots) couldn’t block our front. That was the first time all year Tom Brady faced that kind of pressure. That, to me, is the heart of our team.” Because this formula worked once, the Giants continue to draft defensive linemen. While they are gobbling up defensive linemen, they are ignoring other positions such as linebacker. This formula does not work anymore. Other teams around the league have caught up to the Giants. A ferocious pass rush can be short circuited by using tactics such as play action pass, quick slants, bringing in an extra tackle.
Sorry to say, the window for this team winning a championship has closed. In 2008, they had a golden opportunity to repeat as champions. And they blew it. 2009 was a debacle. Last season, they had a cosmetic 10-6 record. Going 1-4 against playoff teams. The epic loss to Philadelphia is indefensible. Blowing a 31-10 lead in the second half is outrageous. The following no show appearance against Green Bay capped off another lost season. The Giants had talent but underachieved. Unfortunately, this has been tolerated by ownership. Without question, this current team has talent but they have too many holes to seriously contend for a title. Tight end, linebacker, and their putrid special teams will rear its ugly head. The NFC is getting much better and the Giants schedule is brutal this year. Perhaps Reese got out his denial phase. And this is why he backed off on his playoff statement.