My posts tend to be of some length so sorry to those who like the modern day news stories an op articles that are quick hits.
I just wanted to look at almost everything Jerry Reese has done since he became General Manager and wonder about his future as well.
I’m not sure what I think about the possible firing of Tom Coughlin. I think Coughlin is a good coach, but there often comes a time when a good coach no longer is the best fit for a team. Take for example Florida State University who had Bobby Bowden as their coach. Well respected coach, still nabbed top talent from time to time, but the team didn’t play the way they had once under him, enter Jimbo Fisher and bam instant improvement.
Perhaps, it is that time with Tom Coughlin.
This was a team within 8 minutes of a possible first round bye and a #2 seed, and now this is a team that is begging the Chicago Bears to beat the Packers in Green Bay to even have a shot at the playoffs (if the Saints lose these last two games the Giants can also get in).
The Coughlin story will get played on enough and there are valid points either way, my question is what about Jerry Reese?
Has he done enough to show the ownership that Reese can still win big time with the right coach?
Let’s take a look at what Jerry Reese has done in drafting and in free agency (forgive me if I miss some of these signings because I can not locate a great list).
First let’s start with the Free Agent signings:
This was the first year Reese set a precedent for signing stop gap outside linebackers while choosing to plug other holes through the draft. This was also probably the best stop-gap linebackers the Giants have signed in Reese’s tenure. Mitchell played very well for the Superbowl winning Giants registering 76 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 4 passes defensed, and he had a huge game in Buffalo when the Giants desperately needed a win with a couple of sacks and a touchdown, as well as playing well in the Superbowl (a sack and 8 tackles).
That was a B+ signing for Reese because he proved more than his money worth.
2008 Free Agents
Coming off the Superbowl the Giants felt they had few holes on the team and thus decided to forego making any major signings in the Free Agent market.
The Giants (according to the associated press) signed:
Danny Clark was solid and unspectacular. Not great in coverage, but solid in run support registering 70 tackles.
Derrick Ward had a great year in 2008 with 1400 yards from scrimmage was a great call as a resigning.
There is not much to fault here in 2008 because Reese was right to stand on what he believed to be a great team capable of winning a Superbowl, which it looked like it was on the way to do after it disposed of all the good teams in the league in root to a dominating first stretch of the season before Plaxico blew his leg off.
Sometimes free agent signings is about NOT taking drastic measures and believing in your team as it is going out and signing players. I think the 2008 was very good year for Reese in free agent signings. Reese could not have foreseen Plaxico Buress blowing a hole in his leg and if Plaxcio doesn’t do that do the Giants win the Superbowl?
2009 Free Agent Signings
This year was atrocious for Jerry Reese. He also missed on his mid-season pickups like Aaron Rouse.
The Giants defense was one of the worst defenses in the history of the league after the first five games of the season.
Rocky Bernard was invisible.
Chris Canty was injured.
Michael Boley struggled in run support.
C.C. Brown….(technical difficulties)…..
Now, I think those players have rebounded nicely this season, but the 2009 moves were not very good.
A C- if I’m being generous with these additions.
2010 Free Agent Signings
He also added another new stop-gap outside linebacker (again) in Keith Bulluck.
Bulluck has been average at best, but hasn’t played a lot.
Deon Grant has been QUITE surprising. He’s been good in blitz packages, he’s done well in run support, he’s been good at coverage. He’s nabbed 3 INT, forced a couple of fumbles, and just played well. Great signing. The Giants didn’t pay him a ton of money and got a lot of production and until the last two weeks leadership.
Antrel Rolle has also been a good signing. He has probably been the best run stopping safety in the league, and in the first game against the Eagles he almost single handedly kept the Giants in the game. He has great cover skills, but at times has blow some coverage, which happens. and perhaps, he’s not worth ALL the money in that terms, but his production his undeniable. And he may largely be responsible for the early season turn-around.
Where Reese really shined this year though was plugging holes with midseason acquisitions.
Now, the last two weeks have been atrocious, but I don’t believe the free agent talent is at fault for that.
Free Agent recapping
All in All, Jerry Reese has shelled out a lot of money and gotten some decent value in return. I don’t think free agent signings are Jerry Reese’s strength. I think Boley has played better than most people give him credit for, he was signed to be a good coverage linebacker who could blitz and that is EXACTLY what he is.
The Giants are one of the BEST teams in the league this year covering Tight Ends and running backs (I think I can’t remember any games they got torched by running backs catching passes except for the one Felix Jones Screen pass TD on the blitz, but that was a schematic issue on that one play not a coverage issue). That is in large part because of Michael Boley.
At times, Boley can be useless against the run game, but all in all he’s been fine.
The first half of this season Chris Canty was an animal. The second half not as much.
Bernard was a terrible signing.
Reese has made some great moves by NOT signing expensive free agents as well. He hasn’t messed with the offensive line despite people’s wishes, he never went out and got an expensive overpaid WR (like T.J. Who’sYourMomma).
Reese’s free agent moves have not been the best in the league, but they have been better than most.
Let’s take a look at Jerry Reese’s drafting abilities.
First, let’s state some rules about this. NOT EVERY PICK CAN BE GREAT. No G.M. has ever been 100 percent on his draft picks.
This is what you’re looking for out of draft picks.
A Great Draft will have three or more starters two of which are top players and some depth.
A VERY Good draft will have three or more starters of which One is a top player and some depth.
a Good draft is three good starters and depth.
An average draft is two starters and depth.
A bad draft is one starter and little or no good depth.
A terrible draft is one bad starter and no depth.
Aaron Ross-Ross played VERY well in 2007 and was emerging in 2008 and has been injured on and off since then. I think his play has finally started to come around over the past few weeks where I can actually notice him in games, but to me at this point he’s nothing more than quality depth.
Steve Smith-Steve Smith is a top player at his position in the N.F.L. Wes Welker and Steve Smith are the two best third down receivers in the league. Last year’s 107 catches for 1,200 plus yards and 7 touchdowns was very impressive. This season in 7 games Smith had 47 catches for 517 yards with three touchdowns. Smith was, again on his way to a quality pro-bowl level season, and may have caught or eclipsed 100 catches.
Jay Alford-was quality depth an emerging before he got injured and subsequently released. He never really materialized into what he could be with the Giants and hopefully will turn into something some day. He’s depth for the Raiders right now.
Zak De Ossie-Is a pro bowl special teams player for the NY Giants. That’s not what you necessarily want from a 4th round pick, but he contributes as the long snapper on the punt team and is a pretty good special teams player. Quality depth.
Kevin Boss-Is a top ALL-around tight end in the league with his abilities to block and receive out of the backfield. He is not a top Receiving Tight End, but he’s one of, if not the best starting blocking tight end in the league. A valuable red-zone target as well. That’s a starter.
Adam Koets-Is the possible future starting center for the NY Giants, whose season was unfortunately cut short by injury this year. That counts as quality depth to me.
Michael Johnson-Heading into 2009 this looked like it was a very good pick. For a seventh rounder to be having the kind of season Johnson had in 2008 is good, what followed though was a disappointing 2009 and an injury plagued 2010 which will likely see Johnson released if the Giants get another safety (in the draft or the return of Chad Jones). Johnson is depth, quality at one point, bad last year.
Ahmad Bradshaw-Is a borderline top running back in the league who has fumbleitis. NO back in the league has as many 10+ yard runs that Bradshaw has had through much of the season. He has over 1500 yards from scrimmage this year and 8 touchdowns.
This is a very good draft and is a few Ahamad Bradshaw fumbles away from being a GREAT Draft.
Here are the players chosen in the 2008 draft.
Kenny Phillips- a theme you’ll see what Reese’s picks has been that a LOT of their younger players have gotten injured very early in their career. Kenny Phillips was poised for a breakout 2009 season before suffering a season ending- possibly career ending leg injury.
This season he has 73 tackles and an INT and has been mostly a middle of the road safety in the league this year, but his arrow is still pointing way up and next season will be the season we see whether or not Phillips will become the star we all thought he could be when he was drafted in 2008.
Is a tall versatile cornerback who has done well in his two season with the Giants. Thomas can be beat by far superior athletes, but is a very good cornerback. He is NOT a shutdown cornerback, but I think he could start on 29 of the 32 teams in the league (maybe not the Jets, Bengals when healthy, or the Packers). He is a very good nfl player. 91 tackles, 5 INT, 4 FF, and a sack this season.
Is a very talented, elusive WR for the NY Giants. He has been very productive, entering his third season he has over 1600 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns the past two seasons. He is one of the finest third WR in the league, and again would start on many teams in the league. His football IQ and route running are questionable, but for a late third round pick (the last pick in the third round) this is about as great as you could hope for at that juncture. He is not a starter, but has been a very capable fill in when asked to start.
Kehl was a good special teams player and depth player before he was released this past summer. Kehl has been spot starter with the Rams. He is no longer with the Giants which for the detractors could make this a failed pick. I don’t agree 100 percent with that, but it has some validity.
Jonathan Goff (5th round)
Goff was a punch line during training camp this season, but has turned into a very good 2 down linebacker in the N.F.L. who can play some in pass coverage. Goff is not a dynamic athlete and doesn’t make dynamic plays. But he has played well enough to allow the Giants to be the #2 ranked defense through much of the season (last weeks’ game dropped them all the way to #6! Yikes)
As far as players you could consider better players at this point in the draft might be Geno Hayes (comparable), Pierre Garcon (at times, he’s as inconsistent as Manningham) , Steve Johnson in Buffalo, Peyton Hillis, King Dunlap Tackle Eagles.
But those are all debatable.
Solid value with the 2nd to last pick in the 5th round of the 2008 draft. 72 tackles, 1 sack, a decent amount of tackles for loss.
QB Andre Woodson
DE Robert Henderson
Neither are in the league anymore and thus not good draft picks. The number of 6th and 7th round picks who make it in the league after three years is minimal.
2008 Draft Recap
I set out my “standards” before I looked or thought about the Giants picks and based on my standards of measurement the NY Giants 2008 draft is lingering between good and very good.
This draft produced four starters and one depth player (in Kehl) who is no longer on the team.
If you get three starters out of a draft, and the team is competitive that’s a good draft.
Terrell Thomas is a borderline top cornerback. Manningham is a borderline Top WR (obviously there are many more TOP Wr’s than say Quarterbacks because so many more play) and Kenny Phillips could be the best of the bunch with another year of recovery. Goff is solid.
Good or Very Good draft.
A ton of picks with this draft, which makes this draft downgraded a little.
nicks has battled inconsistency and minor injuries in his two years in the n.f.l. but he is already a top player at his position and if his body holds up is poised to have a shot at shattering all of the Giants WR records. He has a 1052 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns in while missing two games already this season and will probably miss a third. Still, at this point Nicks is 5th in the league in yards per game and if you take is average and add it into the three games he will have missed by seasons end he would be on pace for slightly less than 1300 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns, which is not a pro bowl year, but an ALL Pro year.
His yards per game are 5th, his plays of 20 or more yards (not averaged per game) is 4th in the league, his touchdowns are 4th in the league.
GREAT Pick, they say the third year is when players put it all together and if Nicks isn’t’ yet altogether I feel sorry for opposing defenses in the league.
Has been a huge disappointment. The problem with Sintim, to me, is that he might be misacted as a 4-3 Sam, where I think he’d be better suited for a 4-3 Mike or a 3-4 LB. He still has time to put it together, but right now he is just valuable depth.
a pick I loved and still love the pick. He hasn’t turned into anything, yet, but he could be the starter of the future.
The pick right before Barden was Mike Wallace who has been better than Barden so far. Barden offers valuable depth, and might just be on a team that he will not get to showcase his full abilities because of the quality ahead of him. It’s very disappointing that this season, where Nicks and Smith have missed some time Barden got injured before he could showcase what he could be.
Beckum has been one of the better #2 Receiving Tight Ends in the league. In the Giants’ offense Beckum will never be a star, but what do you think Beckum could be in Dallas this year with Dallas Clark out?
Anyway, it’s about drafting for Your team and your coaches’ abilities to use such players. Beckum has been good on Special teams, good as a receiving option as a second tight end (other than Martellus Bennet and others who have started because of injuries, Beckum has as many catches as any other #2 TE).
hurt waived. But unlike Barden, Phillips, Chad Jones. Reese doesn’t get as much of a pass on Brown because he fall in the draft because of an injury history.
Could be a valuable #2 QB in the league someday, but unless he leaves the Vikings after this season and goes back to the Giants he is no longer a NY Giant player. The pick not the problem, not protecting the pick could eventually be a problem.
One now has an injury settlement, the other never made the final roster. Instead they were replaced by Bruce Johnson who made the roster.
This draft will ultimately hinge on what Will Beatty becomes. if he becomes a valuable starting LT coupled with the possible greatness of Hakeem Nicks then this could be a Great draft.
But right now (and it’s still early and they haven’t been given enough time yet) Sintim, Barden haven’t done much. Beckum is a valuable role player on this team, and with a different scheme could be something very nice.
Incomplete/Average. The problem with grading these drafts is how much can you let ONE player skew the rest of the draft. For example when Joe Montana was drafted, if every other player in that draft never even made the roster is it still a great draft because of Montana? This could be this draft. The best player Reese has drafted is Hakeem Nicks. The rest of the draft hasn’t done much yet, how much do I like Nicks skew the draft grade? I’m not going to. Right now it’s one potentially great player, and very good depth, but only one starter. If Sintim and Beatty eventually start this draft looks much better.
No one can fairly evaluate this draft at this point in time, but I’ll give it a go anyway.
Jason Pierre Paul
A boom or bust product who looks more and more boom every week. He was selected 15th overall and it can easily be argued he’s been a top 15 rookie in the league this year, especially the second half of the season.
Impressive when he’s played, but his time is next year when Rocky Bernard moves on.
Tragic story. This was my Favorite pick of the 2010 draft and it’s more likely than not it will never materialize into anything because of a freak accident.
Didn’t like the pick then, don’t like it now. We all talked about Jamar Chaney during the draft season (of course he went to the Eagles), Even at the point when the Giants picked at that moment I liked Eric Norwood, Akawaski Owusu-Ansah (naturally the Cowboys selected him), and Geno Atkins.
He might be something, but so far he’s been a lot of healthy scratches, a few injured inactives, and an average special teams player (if that).
No problem with this pick at all. A very athletic, very strong (over 40 bench press reps at the combine) interior OL who can eventually become a very good pull guard. The Giants know how to coach OLinemen. And I think Petrus can be an eventual starter.
Hopefully next year (if not addressed by a Bruce Carter or someone of that ilk) Tracy or Sintim will step up as the Sam. Unfortunately, Tracy a converted DE from college has been on IR the entire season.
A starter, and statistically one of the better punters in the league (a lot inside the twenty a good average). It’s been told Feagles was crazy and erratic early too, but we’ll see. Dodge might not be on the team next year. Too many line drives though.
Incomplete. I think this has a good chance of being a good N.F.L. draft, very good if Pierre Paul is anything special. It’s chances will be hurt because of Chad Jones injury, but I think Pierre Paul and Joseph will eventually start. Mitch Petrus too should eventually start. Jones, Tracy have to come back from injuries, Dillard is probably the new Gerris Wilkinson and Dodge will be working hard during the off-season to save his job.
Final thoughts on Reese as General Manager
The General manager has two main football related jobs. Free Agency and Drafting. On these two fronts Reese has done well to very well.
Some misses in Free Agency and some misses in the draft, but a lot of hits in the draft. I think drafting is Reese’s strong suit, as well as in season pickups. This year he has kept the team afloat with his mid-season decisions. There are other factors for general managers like financial things and what not, but as far as the two main one goes. I think Reese has more than satisfied his duties to keep his job whether or not Coughlin goes.
The General Manager needs to put TALENT on the field. It’s the coaches job to maximize that talent. This team, has a Lot of talent.
The WR are good, the RB are good, the QB is good, the OL is productive (though aging), the DL is great, the linebackers are not good, the secondary is good and there is talent enough to do things on Special teams.
Since 2007 the Giants have not had a losing season, have won a Superbowl, have been in position to win at least one other (2008) and was in a position to secure a 1st round bye this year.
For me: In Reese I trust, still and will until he shows me otherwise.