Reese Speaks at Combine

Here is Jerry Reese’s transcript from the Combine, per Giants.com:

Affect of the economy on the NFL?

 

Obviously the downturn affects everyone. Several teams around the National Football League are laying people off. So it even affects the National Football League, even though it’s a great brand. There are certain situations and circumstances with the economy right now that is affecting us all.

Are the Giants laying people off?

No, we’re not laying people off yet. We’re hoping we don’t have to go that route. But you never know. We’re keeping our fingers crossed we don’t have to go that route.
            
Does it impact trying to write a big bonus check early?

We want to be sure we have enough money in the bank to write a big check. We’re being very cautious and making sure everything is in order for us to write some big checks.

Any cuts in the scouting budgets?

That’s very important to us, our scouting, and that’s a strong part of what we do, our scouting and our player personnel. We haven’t made a lot of cuts but we have trimmed a little fat as far as maybe some extra guys coming out here for the Combine. We’re looking closely at our budget in that respect.

Will you miss any Pro Days you normally would go to?

No, we won’t miss any Pro Days. We’ll still do the work and get our scouts out to all the Pro Days. That’s very important to us, that’s our lifeline, really, player personnel.

On Oakland Raiders paying big bucks for Asomugha?

Maybe they have more money than us, I’m not sure. I’m not sure how they’re doing that but that’s their business, not my business, I’m just really worried about the Giants business. I really don’t want to make any comments on that.

Affect of Plaxico Burress situation on planning ahead?

It doesn’t slow down our process. We are going to move forward as if he is going to be there, if he’s not, we’ll play it both ways. It really doesn’t affect our preparation moving forward. We have a game plan both ways.

Eric Mangini’s mentioning Derrick Ward yesterday anger you?

No, I think that’s much to do about nothing. With Derrick, free agency is coming in a week or so. I’ve done that myself. My first year up here, a couple of years ago, somebody said something about (Willis) McGahee or something like that. So I don’t think it constitutes tampering.

Any urgency to get Brandon Jacobs signed?

The tag gives us a little more time, but it has to make sense for both parties and everybody involved. It has to make sense for him and it has to make sense for us. We’d like to get a longer-term deal done, but if we can’t get it done, we’ll just keep the tag.

Free agency class weak?

There are always good players. You just have to look deep into what you need and what’s available. There are always people in free agency who can help you fill some holes in your roster. Sometimes you have to look a little deeper. It would be nice to get all the top guys, but that’s really reality, so you have to look at the mid levels. And you even have to bottom-feed sometimes in free agency.

Will Justin Tuck have surgery?

Right now, I don’t think he’s going to have surgery. He played pretty well in the Pro Bowl. He looked like he was healthy, so I think it’s going to be one of those situations where he needs some rest and during the off-season I think he’ll get healthy. I don’t think surgery is an option for him right now.

Why so many franchise tags this year?

I’m not sure why. Again, it gives people more time to work out a long-term deal with those players. I don’t have an answer for that. It gives them a little bit more time more than anything else. Sometimes it just makes sense for you to use the tag.

More players on a draft board than in past?

It’s really pretty much the same. You tweak some things and try to be smarter, work smarter when you put your draft board up. But it’s still your scouts that go out and see what (the players) do on the field. That’s what’s most important to us. We go out and see how the players play during the year for their team. That’s very important. Obviously. we scout the all-star games, we come to the combine and we go to the pro days. But what they do on the field is most important and we still lean on that the most.

Opinions change at combine and pro days?

Well, you can come to the combine and go to workouts and you can confer on some things you see during the year when they’re playing for their teams. But not a lot of things change. If a guy jumps down there or runs really fast and you don’t have a high grade on him, you’d better check your hole card on him. Take a second look.

Uncapped year or work stoppage affect this year’s free agency?

It could have an effect. But in the National Football League, us in personnel and the front office, we try to go one year at a time. You try to look into the future, but you don’t know what’s going to happen with that. We’re worried about the upcoming season. We’ll make adjustments as we move forward.

Does that make it tough to negotiate deals?

Well, you have to be cautious about that. There are some unknowns, so you’re cautious about it. But again, we’re year-to-year, season-to-season. We’re just worried about the upcoming season and we’ll let the chips fall wherever they fall moving forward after next year.

Hybrid guys – LBs and DEs – more important against spread offense?

The hybrid-type players, the more you can do, the better player you’re going to be in the National Football League. We like multi-dimensional players. I think most teams like that. Is it a big class (of hybrids)? I’m not sure how good the class is. We’re still in the evaluation process. There seem to be some good players in this draft that can do a couple of different things, so that’s a good thing.

Teams looking for “Wildcat” players and how does that affect a guy like Pat White?

We’re traditional with our offense. But some teams have gone to that look, that Wildcat look or Wildhog, or whatever you want to call that, where you have an athlete in the backfield, and he can throw the ball and run the ball and that gives you another dimension. So Pat White should be popular in that respect.

Spread offenses in college affect how you look at a player?

Offensively, when you run a spread offense, you hardly ever see the offensive linemen get down in a three-point stance. And in the National Football League, that’s really not a reality. You have to get down in a three-point stance most of the time. So it affects us in that way. And in the spread offense, the quarterback is not under center a lot, so it affects the quarterbacks and there’s a transition, an adjustment guys have to make when they get up to that level.

Think the NFL has to adjust to what colleges do with spread offense?

Well, you never know. Again, it’s year to year. I don’t know if we’ll ever transition all the way to the college spread offense. I don’t know if we’ll ever do that. I think most of the National Football League is traditional – two backs get under the center, the quarterback drops back. I don’t think that’s going away.

Situation with free-agent-to-be James Butler?

We’ll see. The market is going to be wide open for guys like James. But who knows what’s going to happen with that? We’ll continue to have conversations with his agent and we’ll see what happens.

Gibril Wilson was cut yesterday [by Oakland]. Would you want him back?

We’ll investigate everything, you know us, we try to investigate everything.

Anything going on with Eli Manning’s contract?

We’re having some conversations in that respect with Eli. But we have a lot going on. We’ll get that done at the right time.

With Osi Umenyiora coming back, is Mathias Kiwanuka’s future on defensive line or linebacker?

I think he’s going to stay at defensive end. That’s his natural position. We don’t want to keep moving him, standing him up, putting him down. I think we are going to go with our three-man rotation there and we should be pretty good upfront with those three defensive ends [Kiwanuka, Umenyiora and Justin Tuck].

Any secrets to success in picking defensive ends in draft?

We just look for good players. I don’t want to tip my hand as far as what we are looking for as far as draft picks, we just look for good players. We’ve been fortunate the last two or three years to be able to pick some pretty good defensive ends. We’re just looking for good players.

Having success with the three running backs the past few seasons, is that the way to go?

It’s such a long season and if your running back is getting 25 carries a game in this league he gets beat up pretty quickly. If you have a couple of really good running backs it always helps. Fortunately we’ve had three. Derrick Ward right now, there still is some conversation going on with him. We have Danny Ware who we like, [Ahmad] Bradshaw who we like and we have Brandon [Jacobs] franchised. I think we will be OK at running back and there are some nice players in this draft at running back as well.

When you look at offensive linemen, what’s the first thing you want to see?

You want big guys on the offensive line. You don’t want a bunch of small guys out there.  I don’t know if it was Tom Boisture or George Young when I first started scouting who said ‘We’re the Giants, we want big guys.’ You look for big guys first because if you’re too small, you’re going to have a tough time playing in this league if you are too small at that position anyway.

Do you think Mario Manningham will play a bigger role this season?

We hope so. Anytime you pick a guy in the third round you’re hopeful that he’s going to come on and develop and be a good player for you. He really has some nice skills. But he just has to learn the pro football game. I think he’s going to be a good player, the jury is still out on him. He flashes things we really like, I think our coaching staff likes him so I think it’s going to be a big year for him.

You guys at an advantage signing your own guys instead of looking for free agents?

That’s important for us, to try to sign our good players and keep them under contract for a long time. You can’t always do that, but it’s important for us to try to get deals done ahead of time. It’s worked out for us so far. It doesn’t always work. Sometimes … the Corey Webster deal. At the time, when you look at it, it seemed like a huge deal. And you see some of the other contracts come out and we’re happy that we got that deal done.

Tuck one of them?

Yeah, we just did Tuck a year or so ago.

Advantageous to get him done?

Yeah, that was important to get it done early. We try to get our guys done early and it’s been a good formula for us so far


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