In Reese We Trust.
That has long been the mantra here at Big Blue View. Implicit faith in the decisions made by New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese.
With what has happened to our Giants this season, however, I am wondering if your faith in the GM has been dented at all.
Ralph Vacchiano addressed this same issue the other day, and had this to say.
Reese has gotten next to nothing out of defensive end Chris Canty, linebacker Michael Boley, defensive tackle Rocky Bernard and safety C.C. Brown from his offseason free-agent spending spree. Injuries have ruined Canty and Boley's seasons. Brown and Bernard have been busts.
And for $84 million the Giants have a defense that is 28th in the league in points allowed (25.4).
Coming off a 12-4 season, and in a league in which fortunes can turn on just one or two right moves, that obviously doesn't reflect well on Reese's investment.
It's not all because of the Free-agent Four, of course, but it's still a startling group failure considering that until this offseason Reese had a Midas touch as the Giants' GM. After inheriting a playoff-ready roster from former GM Ernie Accorsi in 2007, Reese made a dozen smaller moves that helped push the Giants over the edge and turn them into a championship team. He's also had a scout's knack for finding both role players and future stars.
But his resume now includes a six-year, $42 million contract (with $17.25 million guaranteed) for Canty, who has missed seven games with calf and hamstring injuries and is still looking for his first sack. And it includes a five-year, $25 million contract (with $11 million guaranteed) for Boley, who missed one game due to a suspension and four more to a knee injury and has just one sack.
And those are the good signings. Brown (one-year, $1.4 million) was so bad at safety, he was replaced first by Aaron Rouse, who was cut during this season by the Packers, and then by Aaron Ross, who is a natural cornerback. And Bernard (four years, $16 million, $6.9 million guaranteed) has been such a non-factor he wasn't one of the seven active defensive linemen on Sunday night.
Bill Sheridan may take the heat , but this plan fell apart long before he called his first play.
Vacchiano is right, of course. This free-agent crop does not represent Reese's finest hour. While you are killing him, though, remember how positive the reaction was when most of these moves were made. And remember how many respected names endorsed the Canty move.
The other part of the equation, an area Vacchiano did not delve into, is the draft. In 2007, Reese's first draft, he unearthed Kevin Boss in the fifth round and Michael Johnson and Ahmad Bradshaw in the seventh. All of those players impacted the eventual Super Bowl victory.
You can't, truthfully, judge a draft class until after about three seasons. However, where we sit today, the 2009 crop does not look nearly as successful. At least if you judge it in terms of depth. Hakeem Nicks will be a star, and Will Beatty looks like a fixture on the offensive line. For whatever reason, however, there isn't really a player drafted beyond the second round who has made any impact whatsover on this year's Giants.
That has left the Giants thinner in some areas than we thought they would be, particularly in the secondary.
Thing is, I believe Reese correctly identified the areas of concern for the Giants. It's just that for a variety of reasons, some beyond his control, his choices have not all panned out.
No matter what happens the rest of this season, I think the upcoming off-season is a critical one for Reese and the Giants. The NFC East is not going to get easier, and the Giants can't afford another off-season of wasted draft picks and free-agent busts.
Do you still have faith that Reese will regain his magic touch.
I do. I believe the Giants are in good hands. In Reese I Still Trust.