In Reese, We Trust? Really? Why?

In Reese, We Trust? Really? Why?
By Martin Alvin

Nobody likes admitting they’re wrong; and since I qualify as nobody –- just ask my ex-wife — I admit to disliking it, too. But the fact is, over the last decade, I’ve been wrong about a lot of things regarding Big Blue:

I was wrong about Tom Coughlin. Yes, he was an old school disciplinarian and, after Jim Fassel, that’s exactly what Big Blue needed; but to me, Coughlin was no Bill Parcells. However, ten years later, he’s tied all of Parcells’ Big Blue records and may well surpass them.

I was wrong about Eli Manning. He was just Peyton’s Manning’s brother, and like Eddie Payton was just Walter Payton’s brother, he’d never attain the level of excellence of his sibling. And if he did become a franchise QB, the Giants would become too quarterback-centric, with too much money tied up in the position. But, ten years later, Eli is a two time Super Bowl winning MVP.

I was wrong about JPP. I wanted LB Rolando McClain. JPP was just a guy who could do back-flips and — at best — he’d be like Javon Kearse, who blossomed quickly, took the NFL by storm, and then disappeared just as quickly. And, frankly, the jury’s still out on JPP. But, for the time being, I’ll admit to being wrong about him.

And I was wrong about Jerry Reese. I wanted Scott Pioli of the Patriots. But after seven years and two Super Bowls, I admitted I was wrong; and then, came the 2013 Giants season. Now, I’m not so sure I was wrong. The lack of depth and talent on the team was obvious and appalling; and while the draft is a cooperative effort, the credit –- and, thus, the blame — belongs to the GM.

Now, to be fair, the salary cap precludes teams like the Cowboys of the early 1990s. They were built with Jimmy Johnson’s keen eye for talent and his knowledge of the college ranks — having just been the head coach at the University of Miami — but they were kept together because of Jerry Jones’ deep pockets and no salary cap. But, once the salary cap kicked in – and, as has been painfully obvious to all Cowboy fans — the Cowboys have become mediocrity personified.

And, even in the salary cap era, teams that amass the most talent through the draft are the perennial losing teams. The 49ers are an excellent example. They were awful for years and, thus, acquired high draft picks like Patrick Willis, Navarro Bowman, Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis, all of whom, finally gelled under Jim Harbaugh. The Chiefs are another bad team that acquired a ton of high draft picks that finally coalesced into a playoff team under Andy Reid.

So, no one’s expecting Big Blue to put together –- and keep — the talent of the Cowboys of the 1990s or even the talent of the 49ers and Chiefs. But that being said, how could Big Blue have been so devoid of talent in 2013? Look, I’m one of those people who have consistently proclaimed: “In Reese we trust!” But it’s abundantly clear; there’s a frightening lack of quality and depth on the team. Some of that was explored in my article:

The ‘O’ Line Killed The Giants And Reese Killed The ‘O’ Line!

Of the seven drafts conducted by Jerry Reese, only eighteen of the forty-six players drafted are still with the team and three of them are about to leave as free agents. One –- James Brewer — is a bust and another six are from last year’s draft, leaving only eight quality players from Reese’s first six drafts. That’s not exactly exemplary. What follows are Jerry Reese’s first seven drafts. The “keepers” are the quality players who contributed as either starters and/or quality backups, and they are listed in italicized, bold:

2007:
Aaron Ross
Steve Smith
Jay Alford
Zak DeOssie
Kevin Boss
Adam Koets
Michael Johnson
Ahmad Bradshaw

2008:
Kenny Phillips
Terrell Thomas
Mario Manningham
Bryan Kehl
Jonathan Goff
Andre’ Woodson
Robert Henderson

2009:
Hakeem Nicks
Clint Sintim
William Beatty
Ramses Barden
Travis Beckum
Andre Brown
Rhett Bomar
DeAndre Wright
Stoney Woodson

2010:
Jason Pierre Paul
Linval Joseph
Chad Jones
Phillip Dillard
Mitch Petrus
Adrian Tracy
Matt Dodge

2011:
Prince Amukamara
Marvin Austin
Jerrel Jernigan
James Brewer
Greg Jones
Tyler Sash
Jaquian Williams
Da’Rel Scott

2012:
Justin Pugh
Jonathan Hankins
Damontre Moore
Ryan Nassib
Cooper Taylor
Eric Herman
Michael Cox

Still with the Giants:
Terrell Thomas———Free Agent
Aaron Ross————-I/R
Zak DeOssie———–Solid starter
Hakeem Nicks ———Free Agent
William Beatty———I/R
Andre Brown———–Free Agent
Jason Pierre Paul——-I/R
Linval Joseph———–Free Agent
Prince Amukamara—-Solid starter
Jerrel Jernigan ———Possible starter
James Brewer———-Backup at best
Jaquian Williams——Part time player
Justin Pugh————-2013 Draft
Jonathan Hankins——2013 Draft
Damontre Moore——-2013 Draft
Ryan Nassib————2013 Draft
Cooper Taylor ———2013 Draft
Michael Cox————2013 Draft

Contributed Heavily and Left:
Steve Smith
Jay Alford
Kevin Boss
Adam Koets
Michael Johnson
Ahmad Bradshaw
Kenny Phillips
Mario Manningham

Barely Contributed and Left:
Bryan Kehl
Jonathan Goff
Andre’ Woodson
Robert Henderson
Clint Sintim
Ramses Barden
Travis Beckum
Rhett Bomar
DeAndre Wright
Stoney Woodson
Chad Jones
Phillip Dillard
Mitch Petrus
Adrian Tracy
Matt Dodge
Marvin Austin
Greg Jones
Tyler Sash
Da’Rel Scott
Eric Herman

Except for 2007, Jerry Reese’s draft resume is far less than stellar. Maybe, prior to being promoted to GM, he had a closer relationship with the scouting department and, thus, a better feel for the players in the draft; and, then, lost it as GM. But, whatever happened, or didn’t happen; maybe it’s time to start asking: In Reese, We Trust? Really? Why?


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5 Responses to “In Reese, We Trust? Really? Why?”

  1. smashy joe says:

    I agree he should have been the first to be dumped on his head.

  2. RON JOHN says:

    You do realize that 22 out of 46 players where heavy contributors to the Giants winning two Super Bowls. A GM is judged by the amount of players who end up starting and not making the Pro Bowl!

    Once agin Mr. Alvin I have to contest the fact that you continue to see TC as an equal to Bill Parcells and I would disagree with you every time your post that idea.I have never ever seen a Bill Parcells team quite and I have watched a Tom Coughlin team quite countless times…and I’m sure that TC has a couple of years more as Head Coach then Parcells had.

    One last thing, you suggest that Jerry Reese and not Tom Coughlin is the visionary of the football Giants…every day TC and Jr meet to discuss their team needs…you also forgot to mention Jon Beason…I really find it hard that on draft day Tom Coughlin sits alone in a corner with nothing to say about his team.

  3. DP says:

    JR and TC regardless of their futures will always be admired and appreciated. In 2014 they will both need each other more than ever. Being respectful of their previous success there is nothing wrong in bringing them both to question for the 2013 season. For JR having vastly overvalued the talent on the team/roster and for TC being totally unprepared to recognize and solve the team performance issues beginning in pre-season and lasting through the first 6 games of the season, at minimum.

    To turn the franchise around next season both will have to be at the top of their game and they will also need some luck or good fortune to come their way. However, the biggest positive leading towards a successful 2014 campaign would be for Eli to return to an elite status and for the defense to demonstrate consistent dominating performances. With both requiring so many variables in order to prove successful, I just don’t know if it is realistic to expect such positives to all occur in one season.

    I would like for JR to really look closely at improving the overall team speed at each position and within each group on the squad as he contemplates free agency and the draft.

    JR and TC both need the Giants to return to the playoffs next season!!

  4. RON JOHN says:

    I agree about TC and JR needing each other but bringing back a coach for another three years is sad…It reminds me of an article when Gilbride retired where he said he had let it be know that the O-Line was getting old-he didn’t say that no one listened but that was the gist of the article. TC should retire that is not going to happen because Mara and Tisch are lazy.

    If your a good Head Coach Jerrigan is playing from day one and it isn’t up to your coordinator to decided when he plays.TC is just to old to be leading an eliteville.

    I am a die hard Bill Parcells fan because what he did he did right there in front of every Giant fan to see…what made him special was he coach up players who were so so to play good -good football players to play Great – and great football players to play at a high level all the time…

    Eli needs to stay off his back to turn this season around.

    • DP says:

      Ron John I am with you on the travesty of just realizing that JJ can actually play and I too noted the KG article with interest indicating he told folks the O Line was aging. I have wondered why the young guys on the roster and perhaps 2nd or 3rd on the depth chart only get in games when the veteran(s) ahead of them gets injured. Seems the vet can play poorly and maintain his spot only to be replaced if he goes down. Guess that breeds loyalty out of players for the coach. I question whether position coaches are held accountable enough for failing to develop their group of athletes. We can justifiably question JR and his accumulation of talent, we can also question the effectiveness of this coaching staff to develop the talent provided.

      Personally I would have liked to see the Giants start their full coaching transition this offseason heading into 2014, however, I believe such a transition may well be forced upon the Giants going into 2015. In my opinion only a playoff position will save TC next year.

      Parcells instilled the ‘toughness’ in his Giants team that we all sorely miss. Personally I would like to see a return to the days of physical smashmouth football where the GMen impose their will on the opposition and win the battles along the LOS. I just hope the new offensive coordinator does not take a completely ‘finesse’ approach to attacking the defense and I hope JR gives Fewell the pieces to control the LOS and some 2-way linebackers who can make an impact and not play on their heels all the time.

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